Skip to Main Content

Recommended Browsers for LDS.org Tools Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Recent posts in the LDSTech Forum have highlighted some incompatibility problems for people using Internet Explorer 8 with LDS.org tools. The LDS.org directory, calendar, and other tools have various incompatibilities with Internet Explorer 7 and 8. Sometimes the tools function correctly but don't always display as intended. Other times, as with newsletter, functionality isn't the same (image uploads for the newsletter do not work in Internet Explorer 8 or 9).

About 67 percent of clerk computers are still running Windows XP, which is not compatible with Internet Explorer 9. So if Internet Explorer 7 or 8 is the only browser on your clerk computer, you won't have the best experience with many of the LDS.org tools.

To ensure the best browsing experience using the new tools on LDS.org, update to a newer supported browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. This will typically resolve most issues encountered.

Both Chrome and Firefox support a number of advantages. In addition to loading faster, these browsers support current features and technologies that project teams are starting to take advantage of, such as responsive design for mobile-friendly displays.

Safari (the default browser for Macs) works too, but most quality assurance testing in ICS is not done with Safari, so there may be unidentified issues with Safari.

 

Comments  

 
# Russell Houlton 2012-09-20 09:45
Note that according to policy, the stake president's authorization is required to install any software on clerk's computers.

WinXP is still supported by Microsoft, so it's still a "valid" OS.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:35
RussellHltn, thanks for pointing this out. Maybe we need to have a push from Church headquarters to update clerk computers from XP to Windows 7.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 09:22
Quoting Tom Johnson:
RussellHltn, thanks for pointing this out. Maybe we need to have a push from Church headquarters to update clerk computers from XP to Windows 7.

Seems more efficient and less expensive to obtain a stake president's approval to install an alternative browser than to push the church into upgrading all computers. It should be easy to obtain approval with this blog entry as support. Installing an alternate browser is a very simple, quick procedure.
 
 
# Luis E. Perez 2012-10-03 18:12
It is not necessary, if XP is working fine, do not spend the money on that. If it is not working properly, install another browser or install Linux (free) on old computers; in every stake there should be some IT members that would be happy to help.
 
 
# Dan Jones 2012-10-03 18:37
Quoting Luis E. Perez:
If it is not working properly, install another browser or install Linux (free) on old computers.

Sadly, Linux is not an option, because there are a few parts of MLS that don't work on Linux. I've gotten it to partially work on Linux before, but printing and networking doesn't work.

Until everything can be done on the web (which I think would be the best approach for the church), or MLS gets modified to work properly somewhere other than Windows, the computers used by ward/stake clerks need to run Windows.
 
 
# Doug Merrill GSC 2012-10-19 08:06
Software such as Google Chrome does not need approval to install onto a MLS Clerk computer. The instructions (mls.lds.org) for installing MLS onto a Windows 7 computer specifically says "Use the links provided to download MLS, the Local Unit Security Software, the Computer Management Software, and any Additional Local Unit Software you prefer", on page 3. On page 4, under Optional Items, it says "Install the additional applications you downloaded earlier such as Adobe Reader, Open Office, CutePDF, Google Chrome, and the Record-Keeping Training Installers.".

Based on this, I believe the division on what needs stake approval is based on software licensing requirements.

Best Practice though is; if you have a question, ask the Stake Clerk to discuss it with the Stake President.

I hope this helps
 
 
# Gary Miller 2012-09-21 08:07
This is unreal where there are many computer users using XP operating systems. Someone decides that the church functions won't support IE-7 and IE-8 so go use a diffrent browser. While thats may be the quickest fix, in the long run its not the best fix.
 
 
# Wayne Cooke 2012-09-23 15:52
Why? I have used Firefox at home for years. It seems to work better for me than IE. Why not for the Church as well?
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:38
Thanks for commenting, Wayne. A lot of users may not be accustomed to using browsers not bundled with the OS, but yeah, Firefox is a great way to go.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:37
Gary, thanks for your feedback. The local unit application teams do hope to support older versions of Internet Explorer, but at this time, there are significant differences between the browsers, and the teams don't have the staffing or budget to deal with the incompatibiliti es. Perhaps in an upcoming iteration the discrepancies can be addressed.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 09:19
Quoting Gary Miller:
...in the long run its not the best fix.

Why do you believe this is not the best fix? Chrome and Firefox are excellent browsers and in many ways superior to IE. Chrome is widely considered more secure than IE. This is the result of an aggressive security campaign in which Google pays bounties to hackers who find security vulnerabilities in Chrome.
 
 
# Dan Jones 2012-10-03 10:06
Quoting Gary Miller:
This is unreal where there are many computer users using XP operating systems. Someone decides that the church functions won't support IE-7 and IE-8 so go use a diffrent browser. While thats may be the quickest fix, in the long run its not the best fix.


As a web developer, I can assure you that this is, in fact, the best fix. Internet Explorer is consistently the worst browser, and has been for well over a decade. Microsoft is starting to catch up, but they've got a long way to go.

IE is not only consistently behind in implementing new standards (so basic features don't work), but is also consistently behind in security updates. Microsoft is simply not as good at patching security issues as Google and Mozilla are.

Even if all the church computers were upgraded to Windows 7 and running IE9, it would still be better for them all to be using alternate browsers.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 10:10
Quoting Dan Jones:
As a web developer, I can assure you that this is, in fact, the best fix. Internet Explorer is consistently the worst browser, and has been for well over a decade. Microsoft is starting to catch up, but they've got a long way to go.

IE is not only consistently behind in implementing new standards (so basic features don't work), but is also consistently behind in security updates. Microsoft is simply not as good at patching security issues as Google and Mozilla are.

Even if all the church computers were upgraded to Windows 7 and running IE9, it would still be better for them all to be using alternate browsers.

Well said!
 
 
# Gary Miller 2012-10-23 10:09
Quoting Dan Jones:
As a web developer, I can assure you that this is, in fact, the best fix.


As a consumer and a computer user, I can assure you that the average home user is still using IE as a browser. This is due to the fact that windows is still the main operating system on computers purchased in the local store.

And while Microsoft is going to stop supporting XP come next spring, XP will still be used by many home computer users due to the cost of upgrading. And these people will still be using IE.

While I know to use a different browser, its only because I'm frequent the tech forms that I knew what to do then the calendar went wacky using IE. However, I afraid the average member trying to use the calendar system will not know this. Will not know who to ask to fix the problem, and will just not use the calendar at all.

Mind you I'm talking about the average home computer user, not the clerk computers.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-23 13:00
Gary, that is exactly why we sent an email to all members of our stake explaining the situation, referencing this blog post, and providing links to the recommended browsers. Installing one of the recommended browsers is very simple: click on a link and it installs and your done.
 
 
# Billy Green 2012-09-21 08:51
I don't see anything wrong with this. As a web developer myself, I always develop against Chrome. I use web standards and everything works fine in Chrome and Firefox. Yet things are always broken in IE. It's just not always worth the time and effort to get things working 100% in IE.

Chrome is a better browser in almost every way. It's faster, more secure, supports newer standards, etc. Why would anyone be against using it?

Web development has been held back long enough. It's time to say no to IE and leave it in the past.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:40
Billy, thanks for commenting. I appreciate your perspective as a web developer. IE8 and older versions are holding back web development, and that is precisely why teams have decided to go ahead and support the most recent version of any vendor-supported browser.
 
 
# Kary Burke 2012-09-24 20:13
I just spent several hours trying to fix a formatting problem on the stake building scheduler's home computer. We tried everything and finally found this post on the tech website. Frustrated is not even close to how I feel. Why not put something directly on the calendar explaining that IE 8 is not compatible? Now, I have to try and explain to senior citizens why they need to use Chrome or Firefox. It is difficult to explain that they need to use a different browser for the church websites. Please fix the web applications and support Windows XP IE 8. Too many users and church computers are still running Windows XP.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:41
Kary, I'm sorry that we didn't include a browser notice directly within the applications. I'll log an enhancement request for this. We hope to support IE8 perhaps sometime in the future, but right now teams are pushing to meet other requirements and deadlines.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 09:24
Quoting Kary Burke:
I just spent several hours trying to fix a formatting problem on the stake building scheduler's home computer. We tried everything and finally found this post on the tech website. Frustrated is not even close to how I feel. Why not put something directly on the calendar explaining that IE 8 is not compatible? Now, I have to try and explain to senior citizens why they need to use Chrome or Firefox. It is difficult to explain that they need to use a different browser for the church websites. Please fix the web applications and support Windows XP IE 8. Too many users and church computers are still running Windows XP.

In our ward, we sent an email - referencing this blog post - with the browser upgrade recommendation. Simple solution.
 
 
# Kary Burke 2012-10-03 15:31
Good idea to send an e-mail to everyone in the ward and stake. However, the point I was making is that the roll out of the changes to the calendar occured on approximately 9/20/2012. It took several days to figure out why people were having problems viewing the calendar and find the announcement that the calendar had changed. For the average member, they don't know to check tech.lds.org It would have been nice to have been notified ahead of time, or at least have a message on the new applications that IE8 was no longer supported. It would have saved me and several others many hours of wasted time.
 
 
# John Marks 2012-09-24 22:35
As any good web developer knows, you optimize a web page or application for all browsers, not just for one or two. This way you don't eliminate any of your users or viewers. The last five or six systems my stake received from the Church, are running Windows XP, which as we all know, have issues with Google Chrome and to a lesser extent, Firefox. Unless the Church is ready to upgrade all of the systems in use, the LDS Tools (and all the church websites) should be optimized for all browsers. Just think about all the members that are not located in the North American areas where the latest technology is not available.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-09-25 15:43
John, thank you for your feedback. I have relayed this information to the local unit application teams. Since there are free alternative browsers that do work well, even on older technology, I am not sure how high of a priority the IE8 browser issue will become. But teams will attempt to address it. Of course the more time teams spend trying to fix compatibility issues, the less time they have to focus on other development features. It's a tradeoff.
 
 
# Dana Hudrlik 2012-10-03 08:25
In the mission office I serve in, we use Google Chrome as our primary browser. For our computers, using Windows 7, Chrome works well with all the Church's web based applications.
 
 
# Tom Johnson 2012-10-03 08:51
Thanks Dana. This is exactly the kind of approach we're hoping people will take.
 
 
# Dan Greenland 2012-10-03 09:13
I would think that as most of the computers have Internet Explorer on them, that that would be a priority to upgrade the applications so that they will work with IE 7 or 8. I would think this would be the solution and not worrying about other browsers compatibility.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 11:51
Quoting Dan Greenland:
I would think that as most of the computers have Internet Explorer on them...

Not true: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-08-06/tnw-chrome-browser-market-share/56824336/1
 
 
# Duane Tanner 2012-10-03 09:48
In my IT experience, the user/equipment base and compatibilities were the prime considerations when designing applications, web or not. It appears ICS is more focused on implementing/leveraging the newest technology as a first priority.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 14:13
Quoting Duane Tanner:
In my IT experience, the user/equipment base and compatibilities were the prime considerations when designing applications, web or not. It appears ICS is more focused on implementing/leveraging the newest technology as a first priority.

As Mark Peterosn aptly explains in his reply to Jason Kentner, "compatibilities " with industry standards are a prime consideration. It just so happens that newer browsers are more compatible with the standards.
 
 
# Karen Marie Frank 2012-10-03 11:30
I don't believe there are too many XP users anymore. It doesn't have the update with security issues XP has. Not many XP updates to show either. I have been having difficulties and this may be the reason. I run Windows 9, because microsoft is telling us it has more securities on it. I still have problems with the new family search as well. How do I update my gedcom file of today to update the tree. There has been many problems, it showed two of my relatives deceased, when they are alive and well. I don't want anyone messing up my genealogy. I thought we were to switch back so others couldn't ruin your files, and change things to show these problems. I don't want to go in to there every day and have to try and fix, or send the problem to you. Takes away time better sent.
 
 
# Hyruml 2012-10-03 17:52
Best solution --- get a Macintosh. :-)
 
 
# Dan Jones 2012-10-03 18:42
Quoting Hyruml:
Best solution --- get a Macintosh. :-)

Not even close to the best solution. Especially for computers in the church building.
 
 
# Bruce Ellis 2012-10-03 20:40
Are there plans for updating the websites to be compatable with IE 8 & 9? Which is more preferred FireFox or Chrome. I personal issues with both of them, but if I have to have one of them, which one is preferred?
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-03 20:57
Quoting Bruce Robert Ellis:
I personal issues with both of them, but if I have to have one of them, which one is preferred?

I used to use Firefox, but now prefer Chrome.
 
 
# Jimmy aka abetageek 2012-10-03 21:49
What about Opera it has been my browser of choice since its beginning but chrome and firefox both work for me.
Millions are still using xp, I have 300 computers and less than ten have non xp
 
 
# Dan Jones 2012-10-04 02:52
Quoting Jimmy aka abetageek:
What about Opera it has been my browser of choice since its beginning

In my experience, if something works in Firefox or Chrome, it works in Opera.

Opera holds a special place in my heart, even though I don't use it anymore. It was the first browser I started using when Microsoft stopped trying with IE, and Netscape was becoming too bloated to be usable. Opera was the first browser to support tabbed browsing, and now everyone does. Opera was my browser of choice for a very long time before switching to Firefox.
 
 
# Jason Kiel 2012-10-04 19:50
IE7 (October 2006) and IE8 (March 2009) should be deprecated. Tech years, like dog years, that is a long time ago. MS is up to IE 10 now.

There are other free alternatives as previously mentioned that work much, much better.

Why use budget to support something that is 3+ years old when there is a better free alternative? Yes...67% of the church is on XP (MS ending support in 2014) BUT there are free quick alternatives for browsers.

Spend minimal resources on educating users about the alternatives so that funds can be dedicated to the future and not the past.
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2012-10-11 16:54
Quoting Dan Jones:
Sadly, Chrome on iOS isn't really Chrome. Because of the restrictions that Apple places on apps that can be approved to the App Store, browsers must still use the stock rendering and Javascript engine. What this effectively means is that on iOS, Chrome is really just Mobile Safari with a Chrome façade. It has many of the features of Chrome for Android, but it's not near as fast, nor as secure. In fact, because of optimizations done on Mobile Safari, Chrome for iOS is much slower than Mobile Safari.

Thanks, I didn't realize that. I'm not surprised. I gave up all Apple products a couple of years ago. This is just another reason to not purchase their products.
 
 
# Jason Bowne 2012-10-27 22:50
As a foundation testing should happen on 4 browsers (IE, chrome, Firefox, safari). Hopefully HTML 5 is the future of church websites as it is a standard all 4 browsers will support without needing to have different code. I just got a Microsoft surface and love it, however unless chrome, Firefox, or safari write an app for the Windows store I won't be able to run it on Windows RT. Most church websites seem to work fine on IE10. Debating apple, android, Windows is like trying to debate what blade of a pair of scissors is more important. It is a multi device / multi os / multi browser world - lets accept that and move on.
 
 
# Aaron Barker 2012-11-01 07:02
I'm late to the party, but thought I'd add to the discussion.

I'm the front-end lead for the content portions of LDS.org (so not calendar, directory, etc). As such, this is speaking for those portions, not others (unless specified below).

We do support IE8, but do not expect that it will have a perfect experience. Users should be able to consume all content, but occasionally it may not be pretty. One of my happiest days will be when we drop IE8. IE9 is a decent browser and we don't have to jump through many hoops for it.

IE7 was dropped about a year ago (another happy day). It currently generates less than 1% of our traffic. Due to that low usage it has been dropped for ALL lds.org properties (including calendar, directory, etc).

We will of course continue to support IE. Which versions we support is what will change over the years. I anticipate IE8 will be dropped next year as a result of reduced usage (currently around 10%)
 
 
# Sperry Hope 2013-06-05 12:06
Just another note on this issue. Looks like IE10 has issues as well. I use Chrome for most of my browsing but have to use IE for part of my job. I get a nice message on some of the tools to upgrade my browser but I am running the latest released IE Version available.
 
 
# Anita Hess 2013-07-12 22:14
I too have IE10 and can't seem to be able to load the ward directory anymore. This started about 2-3 weeks ago from what I can tell and I wonder if the latest MS updates caused this. I have to use Firefox to do so, which works nicely. Wondering if I need to change my settings in IE in any way. Anyone else have this problem as well? Any thoughts?
 
 
# Brandon Bauman 2013-07-21 10:53
Quoting Sperry Hope:
Just another note on this issue. Looks like IE10 has issues as well. I use Chrome for most of my browsing but have to use IE for part of my job. I get a nice message on some of the tools to upgrade my browser but I am running the latest released IE Version available.


I saw this and thought I'd provide what will hopefully be a little bit of useful info. From what I've seen, the error you're seeing may be caused by running IE 10 in Compatibility Mode or Developer Mode. Shut those off or restore default settings and you should have the message go away.
 
 
# Anita Hess 2013-07-21 11:00
Thank you Brandon! That's exactly what it was: the Compatibility Mode on IE10. Disabled that and now the ward directory loads just fine. Thanks for the help!

Anita
 
 
# S. Michael Convey 2013-06-19 16:58
Quoting Jason Lyman Kentner:
I can concede that both of us are correct depending on sources.

Fair enough. Thanks for an invigorating discussion. =)
 

Please Sign In in order to post comments.

Missionary

Learn how to become a full time or part time Missionary.