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I'm writing a small task tracking webapp for intranet use by about 20 people of varying technical skill (from clerical to developer). I was hoping to be able to rely almost entirely on HTML5 form elements and finally do away with jQuery UI.

Sadly, even the latest versions of modern browsers don't do a very good job implementing rich features. Specifically, <input type="date" /> and hint="" attributes:

Chrome and Opera's implementation is flawless Opera's html5 date picker and input type=number selectors.


Safari's is very mediocre (and for some reason uses numeric increment and decrement buttons):

Safari html5 datepicker


Internet Explorer 9, well, doesn't know about html5 yet: IE 9 datepicker

Now, I'm left with a choice:

  1. Chalk it up to 'progressive enhancement' and ask my users to use Chrome if they want a nice{r} experience; or
  2. Implement a fallback jQuery UI datepicker.

I am loathe to force my users to use a particular browser, but I also don't want to implement a date picker (even though it would be quite easy). I fear the long, slippery slope of adding a tonne of <script />s that each add very little functionality.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The problem will be that the typical non-chrome user is the one who desperately needs a datepicker (I'm pretty sure the devs can live without it, I mean, I'm partly a dev, and I know how to use command line if needed), and that will be the clerical.

Therefore, you either tell them to change the 'browser' to 'chrome' (they won't understand that), or you just do your job, and make it work for them.

That said, I don't believe in OS-provided date-pickers. It's my user experience. I'm the interaction designer. I want to control the interaction of my users, I want to make sure that it's flawless, that it works the way it's intended, and as it fits the circumstances.

Also, it's a kind of a "modernizr" thingy: you can always make this downloads "opt-out" with AMD or similar, just make sure that the user experience is consistent and fits all the platforms.

Number of scripts loaded is not part of the user experience, as long as it doesn't slow down response times well over the cognitive barriers. It's part of the developer experience though, that's something I had to care about as dev teamlead, but still, you have to make sure that you're well within the user's comfort zone and only then you can ease devs' pains. BTW: there are minimization and compilation techniques which make this shorter, while still keeping it organized.

In an intranet situation, I'd kill of explorer. I'd simply standardize on Chrome or firefox. That's it, as long as the users don't care, let devs have an easier life than what's needed outside in the wild.

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Are there still dev's not using Chrome or Opera? –  Marjan Venema Jul 31 '12 at 5:41
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@MarjanVenema: Yeah, have you heard of firefox?;) but they could use safari as well, although lately I'm getting into a love-hate relationship with it (but I don't want chrome for ... political reasons) –  Aadaam Jul 31 '12 at 5:43
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Yes, switched to Chrome as soon as it come out... ;) –  Marjan Venema Jul 31 '12 at 5:43
    
The developers are all using Chrome or Firefox (the latter I mostly because of an affinity to Firebug). It's the office admins who are using Safari et al. –  msanford Jul 31 '12 at 14:02
    
PS +1 for "It's my user experience", (even though I want it to be theirs, I get the point ;)). –  msanford Jul 31 '12 at 18:58
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