Google ChromeFrame

In my new day job, I came across a problem today that I had never seen.  The application I’m working on requires an inordinate amount of JavaScript (in the form of jQuery).  Basically I’m display large amounts of data from a database in a graphical form using jQuery Spidergraphs.  The problem I ran into is that large institutions, such as LCC, are still using Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP machines because of other software limitations.  The particular jQuery that I’m using needs the <canvas> HTML5 tag in order to display the data, and IE8 doesn’t even know what the <canvas> tag is about.

After a couple hours of beating my head against the wall and trying different DOCTYPE declarations, I finally figured out that it was in fact the lack of <canvas> that was my problem.  A co-working pointed me to ChromeFrame.  This nifty little script looks at the browser that’s loading a page and, if it’s IE that doesn’t support <canvas> (and other things) it throws up a warning and offers to install a little utility to help you out.  Once you say ok, everything works just like it’s supposed to.  Pretty good time saver.  Not sure why everyone doesn’t just install it.