Realistically, the last 10 versions of Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Firefox behave 99% the same. And those browsers get updated constantly — either automatically or through scheduled software updates.
IE is the only legacy browser with potentially significant problems and substantial market share. I’d like to see a simple browser list like this:
IE8 +, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera
It’s only important to identify the oldest version of IE supported. In 2012, for every other browser, nobody needs to know which version it is (or cares).
Do not make the mistake of listing individual devices for mobile. It’s a rabbit hole. I’m not even sure listing mobile OSs is a good idea. There’s too much fragmentation for the information to be valid.
To intelligently and clearly display all the compatibility info of an item, it can’t live in the sidebar and definitely not in the category list view. Unless you’re drastically simplifying this info it needs a different display mode.
Minimum Compatible Browsers:
IE8 , FireFox 3.5, Safari 4, Opera 10, Chrome 3
Minimum Compatible Software:
Optimized for (Front end):
Desktop, Tablet, Mobile
The above data points only the minimum compatibility but makes sure to emphasize that. For the latest version compatibility, authors can just update them on description; easy and less harmful. The current trend is emphasizing the latest version/device support on item preview image and on top of description.In the upload page, getting input from author for the browser and versions in the above mentioned way is tricky but I guess it should be possible with combination of more than one dropdown or something. Especially the version number can be allowed to enter using text field while the browser names should be selected from a list. This way dev team no need to iterate that section unless a new browser introduced etc. No worries for version number updates.
I like your proposition! However, there is a slight problem with it. It seems that Apple has stopped development of Safari for Windows, so us Windows users won’t be able to test our sites in newer versions of Safari. And I don’t feel comfortable with dropping a grand on a MacBook Air as I detest netbooks.
Honestly the ‘compatible with’ attribute has only one purpose, that is Internet Explorer.
Authors usually test latest stable version of major browsers, IE and latest mobile os update because checking each browser/platform version combo, as in mobile firefox X.Y on iOS V.Z, wouldn’t be possible.
for desktop compatibilty, we should really just have ie options (IE7, IE8 , IE9) while mobile could just list platforms: iOS, Android (maybe few more) where default browser is assumed.