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Picturefill Me In

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If you started reading this hoping that I might bring more references to the excellence of Craig David’s early ’00s jams, the title is really the best I’ve got.


I’ll cut right to the chase: update your copy of Picturefill.

npm update --save picturefill

(or whatever the equivalent thing to do is in the way you’re managing your libraries). Go ahead and do that. Make sure you’re up on the newest in Picturefill hotness (2.3.1 as of when I was writing this). It’s important.

How important?

Older versions of Picturefill can net you broken images in both Microsoft Edge and Webkit Nightly. There’s already an issue logged for the problem.

You may be sitting here thinking, “OK, Jeff. So what’s the big deal? Some people have some broken images on their sites—they’ll get up to fixing them at some point” and this is where I tell you the deeper problem. Let’s say you’re Microsoft and you’re working on your new awesome browser that people are getting excited about. It’s got support for some of the latest and greatest web technologies. Now, let’s say your new browser is rolling out support for responsive images and it just so happens that a polyfill that’s on thousands of websites, including quite a few that get a lot of traffic cough cough, throws an error in your browser that makes it so images don’t show.

That’s a straight-up, first-class bad experience. You can’t have that. So, you remove the feature in your browser that collides with the error in Picturefill. Then, all it takes is another browser doing the same thing and all of us out here hoping this spec lands are worried that the functionality will get scrapped all together.

You see why we’re all worried now?

The good news is that you can help! We need this bug to hit the fewest number of people possible. Let’s get the sites out there using earlier versions of Picturefill upgraded. Upgrade your own. Let your people know about the need to upgrade. Evangelize this biz like you were born to do it (OK, I lied, there’s another Craig David reference after all).

For more information, check out Mat Marquis’ post on CSS-Tricks.

5 Reader Comments

  1. This is the reason why I don’t use polyfills. Be future-proof, be safe, don’t use hacks just to live on the bleeding edge. This should be common sense. If you’re affected, it’s your own fault. Use object tags just to make this horrendous thing work?

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