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LabVIEW NXG 3.1 Web Module : Support technology behind the scene ?

Hello,

 

I'm using WebVIs with NXG 3.1, and I'm wondering what are the technical pre-requisite to display the generated pages. The readme specifies the following :

 

"LabVIEW NXG 3.1 Web Module supports the latest version of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari"

 

That's fine. What are the minimal version of each of these browser ? And why ? I mean, what are the exact limitations / needs / prerequisite for the client browser to display a WebVI properly ?

 

I've opened niBase.min.js, that comes with the generated content from the WebVI. There is mentions of jQuery v3.2.1, Sizzle.js and Polymer Project. From this differents supporting tools web pages, I understand that the client browser must at least be able to handle ES6 language features :

  • niBase.min.js uses let instruction, that appears with ECMAScript 2015 (6th edition) also known as ES6
  • Polymer states in Browser support overview that it relies on ES6

 

According to the W3C :

 

Browser Support for ES6 (ECMAScript 2015)

Browser Version Date
Chrome 51 May 2016
Firefox 54 Jun 2017
Edge 14 Aug 2016
Safari 10 Sep 2016
Opera 38  Jun 2016

Internet Explorer does not support ECMAScript 2015.

 

 

Finally, what are the pre-requisite for a browser to display properly a WebVI ? Is ES6 the only requierment ? If not what the other points to check ?

 

Best regards,

 

Message 1 of 4
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Hello Mathieu,

 

We're reaching out to R&D to get you a definitive answer, but with the Thanksgiving holiday in the US it will probably be next week before we get that answer.

 

 

authored by
Christian L, CLA
Applications Engineering Senior Manager - Data Acquisition, Control, and Real-Time Test
National Instruments - Austin, TX

  
Message 2 of 4
(334 Views)

Hello Christian and thanks for your answer.


It's compliacated to test all existing browsers and differents versions for each of them, in order to say our customer wich one is compatible. I mean, some of them are using Opera, old version of Firefox, what about mobile browsers, and so on. Things are moving quite fast in Web technologies ! (Edge will soon use chromium engine)

 

So, if I can tell my customer "okay you need a browser that support ES6" (for instance), or whatever technology, it can be detailed in a release note, in user guide or reference manual I provide to my customer, with the application (giving example of browser + version at the time the documentation is produced).


This way, we will be able to provide a clear information, without any abiguity, about technical requierement to properly display any content generated with NXG Web Module.


I am really curious to get the "definitive answer"...

 

Happy thanksgiving !

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Message 3 of 4
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Hi Mathieu,

 

Let me provide NI R&D’s perspective on this matter of browser support for WebVIs.

 

The paradigm for updating software (automatic installation of security updates) is significantly different in modern web browsers than it is for Desktop software. Moreover, we have concluded that the days of “I only support IE7 and Firefox 4, etc. are over”. Browser updates are either decoupled from the OS or are part of OSes that update aggressively.

 

In terms of Web Module policy, we say WebVIs are supported only on the latest browsers and you should absolutely be using the latest browsers. And of those browsers that update frequently we support only the official releases from: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari.

Our supported browser list is a reflection of the state of the modern web.

 

The thinking behind this is the following:

  1. Web Browsers are staunchly backwards compatible
  2. Users are following best security practices of modern browsers and using the latest browser versions. All of those browsers are very bullish about being on latest either by the browser itself updating (Chrome and Firefox) or the OS being forceful on updates (Win10 for Edge and macOS).
  3. The browser vendors are handling the testing burden of their latest browser across platforms (i.e. Chrome on Win XP, Win 7, Win 10, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebooks, Smart Kiosks), so we don't list desktop vs mobile vs other OS configurations.

Therefore, we aren’t testing WebVIs in other browsers, because as you pointed out above it is very expensive to cover the testing matrix of non-standard browsers + the OS variants +  device variants. For the same reason it is expensive for you to do this, it is prohibitively expensive for NI R&D to do this also. We feel that our R&D invest is better spent on improving WebVIs core functionality.

 

Even though NI R&D is not testing WebVIs on other browsers, it certainly is possible that WebVIs to work in other browsers like Opera, Brave, etc.  And this may vary from NXG release to NXG release as we evolve our technology under the hood.

 

Depending on the version of NXG you are using, we may be using browser features not just in JavaScript, but in CSS and HTML as well. Some features we use (again depending on the NXG version) are ES6, some ES2017, some ES2018, WebAssembly, CSS3, some CSS4, some of the newer CSS extensions like CSS Custom Properties Level 1, HTML Custom Elements v1, etc. The key factor being what features are available in the latest versions of our four supported browser or what can be "polyfilled" using a small library to temporarily implement support in a few of the browsers.

 

Let’s say you tested your WebVI and found that it worked fine on an old Firefox version… Even then, I would not recommend using an older browser version or non-standard browser to your end customer – as this is effectively advising them to do something that could leave them exposed to a security risk.

 

Instead, I would advise you to lay out the same argument to your end customer that I described above: WebVIs are supported only on the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and you should absolutely be using the latest browsers. That is a reflection of the state of the modern web and security best practices.

-Darin Gillis
R&D Product Owner, NXG Web Module
Message 4 of 4
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