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Internet Explorer: compatibility changes since Citizen Space 3.10.0 (3rd May 2018)

Jess Henderson -

Summary

As of version 3.10.0, Citizen Space no longer supports browsers in "Compatibility View". If your Internet Explorer browser has Compatibility View turned on when you access Citizen Space, you may encounter problems with layout or functionality. To solve this, you (or your IT team) will need to disable Compatibility View for your Citizen Space domain.

 

What is Compatibility View and why would I have it turned on?

Compatibility View is a setting that Microsoft introduced in Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8), enabling newer versions of the browser to work with sites designed for older browsers (specifically IE7). It does this by rendering all pages as if it was IE7.

These days, very few sites support IE7, so looking at them in Compatibility View will make them appear broken. However, some organisations run internal systems that do still require Compatibility View. Because of this, your browser may have been configured to use Compatibility View specifically for your organisation's domain (e.g. all sites within myorganisation.gov.uk).

In a lot of cases, Citizen Space also lives on a subdomain of the organisation's domain (e.g. consultations.myorganisation.gov.uk). If Compatibility View is turned on for the whole of your organisation's domain then your Citizen Space site would also be displayed in this mode, which will cause some Citizen Space functionality to break.

 

How do I know if I have Compatibility View turned on?

If you are using Internet Explorer (any version) and have started seeing problems as of May 2018 when accessing the admin areas of Citizen Space, this may be due to Compatibility View. Problems include:

  • Page elements appearing misaligned or being cut off or hidden
  • Text editors missing their toolbars and showing HTML source code instead of formatted text
  • Functionality not working correctly (eg XLSX exports not downloading)

If you are experiencing any of these problems, you can check whether your browser has Compatibility View turned on as follows:

In the settings menu (which you will find by selecting the button that looks like a cog in the top right-hand corner of your browser window, directly below the close button), select "Compatibility View settings":

compatibility_view_settings_1.png

In the window that pops up, check whether your organisation's domain is listed under "Websites you've added to Compatibility View", or whether "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View" is ticked. If so, it's likely to be Compatibility View causing the problems.

compatibility_view_settings_2.png

  

What can I do about it?

You may be able to turn Compatibility View off by removing your domain from the list or unchecking the "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View" box. However, if Compatibility View is set up to support a legacy site on your domain, that other site may stop working for you. If you are in any doubt (or if you do not have the option to change the settings yourself) then you should contact your IT team.

 

Why have I only started seeing problems recently?

Citizen Space used to send a special code telling all modern versions of Internet Explorer that they should behave like IE10. We did this because the WYSIWYG text editor in Citizen Space did not support versions of IE greater than IE10. This code also had the side-effect of forcing browsers to behave like IE10 (instead of IE7) when they had Compatibility View turned on.

In version 3.10.0, we upgraded Citizen Space's WYSIWYG text editor to a newer version, which is better supported by all modern browsers. In doing so, we had to remove the code that forced browsers to behave like IE10.

As a result, browsers that incorrectly have Compatibility View turned on for Citizen Space are now behaving like IE7, which has been unsupported in Citizen Space since 2016.