Question on level of FreePBX 2.10 support for Internet Explorer in ARI user web application

Re: changeset 13443 ( )

It appears the change to prompt for Google Chrome Frame in IE was done to address a JavaScript problem in the FreePBX web admin tools, but it also affects users using just the ARI end user-facing web application.

IE is a common browser in corporate environments and users without local administrator credentials cannot install Chrome Frame.

So, I wanted to check is the intention to require users only accessing ARI to use Firefox, Chrome, Safari or IE with Chrome Frame only (i.e. IE on its own is now more or less unsupported) or is this browser requirement really just for PBX administrators and ARI was included by default?

If the later, then it would be appreciated to not have the Chrome Frame check for ARI.

If the former, then shops using IE will need to explore centralized deployment of Chrome Frame or change the PHP locally to bypass the check and test ARI functionality to ensure it is working well enough.

Just looking for a direction statement from mbrevda or other FreePBX developers.

Tim Miller Dyck

According to Google, since Oct. 2001 Google Chrome Frame dose not require admin rights.

From the original announcement:

It is extremely hard to find the right cross between having a bleeding edge gui and a gui that works reliably and predictably in IE. At this point, it is even still difficult to have features that ALL OTHER major browsers supported 3-5 years ago work reliably in IE. To that end we officially didn’t suport IE and encourage all IE die-hards to install Chrome Frame. Nevertheless, we still feel a responsibility towards our users and have always made an effort for IE to at least work basically.

As of 2.10 we have begun paying closer attention to precise stats of our users and have noticed that the number of IE users is really, really low. Low enough, in fact that we find it extremely difficult to justify supporting IE any more at all and have officially deprecated any IE support. Always keeping our user interest in mind, we have actively begun encouraging users to use Chrome Frame, as you have noticed.

For the few remaining IE users: please find a way to install Chrome Frame! It will enhance your, your families, and your employes experience in many more ways that just the improved FreePBX experience (safety, security, and speed just to name a few). We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that ultimately you, too, will agree that this was the right move.

Hi Moshe,

Thanks for the pointer on non-local administrator installation of Chrome. I tried it again. For the information of others, what happens is the Windows UAC administrator credentials prompt displays as expected, and the user needs to click No, as they do not have these credentials. Chrome Frame then displays a second prompt asking if the installation should proceed without administrator credentials, which will then succeed.

Regarding browser stats, that’s great you have statistics on this. I wonder if the low IE use is true for ARI only, as the end user browser use may be different than what PBX administrators are using to administer the system. 2.10 is probably not that widely deployed in production yet also.

IE is a lower cost-of-ownership option in corporate environments because it is so centrally manageable, supports Group Policy very well, makes centralized backup of user bookmarks easy, and doesn’t require a separate security updates infrastructure from Windows itself.

BUT I am a sysadmin, not a web application developer, and am speaking from that perspective! Whatever you guys select, I will find a way to centrally support for end users that like to use ARI.


I’m glad to hear that Google has worked out the kinks. IE (and all Microsoft products for that matter) integrate well in to windows and especially corporate/Active Directory/Group Policy environments. Thats how Microsoft gets away with selling/distributing products that aren’t up to par!

Google Chrome is also distributed as an msi which might make deployment easier for you - if your interested in that. Otherwise, as you mentioned, you can let the end users handel it themselves - we have already provided the infrastructure for that.

My $0.02 is that your statistics are way off. We are an IT company supporting over 1000 users and most of our users are on IE strictly.

Further, If I had to choose between bleeding edge and something that just works, and works with hassle, I would say forget the bleeding edge. I am really not looking for a fancy UI. I just want something easy and logical to use with the features I need.

I am not an Apple fan but they really do understand this concept.

You are right that in general large IT shops prefer IE for the advanced deployment and control options it offers. The stats I was quoting apply to FreePBX ONLY and not to the world at large.

Unrelated to FreePBX, I would wonder why a shop such as your would not want to deploy Chrome Frame. It seems to be rather simple, comes in a .msi and offers security and speed that would seem to rival IE’s. Having managed Windows environments in the past, it would seem (to me) like a no brainer. Even the state department started offering (stand alone) Chrome now.

I would love to get your perspective from the “other” side.

I’ve already beat this seemingly dead horse, but it’s been prob two or three years now (prob w/ Philipe) and I’m a glutton for punishment… regardless, I am continually dismayed how the undeniably largest and longest running of web browser installations (that is Internet Explorer) has fallen on deaf ears.

In the past, whenever issues were brought up, it was always the company line that we don’t use IE but we’ll do our best to maintain some level of compatibility, whether it be in original design or later insertions into css or whatever. However, the constant nag for Chrome Frame and its application to ARI in 2.10, coupled w/ ‘I don’t why such a shop would not want to deploy Chrome Frame’ has me somewhat concerned. Sheer numbers in user base alone should atleast dictate some kind of consideration.

Now, whether ‘you’ (figuratively) believe something isn’t a problem to deploy across every workstation in an organization or not, the fact remains that there is a great majority of companies that will not entertain this ‘requirement’… especially for ‘something that should be so trivial as navigating to a rather simple webpage’ (the mindset). In the administrators’ mind, it just adding another degree of complication and more effort… needlessly.

As developers/installers/salesmen of such a telephone system, you have to cater (atleast a little bit) to your customers… it doesn’t matter if I use firefox, you use chrome, and some other network guy is using opera… at the end of the day, it’s the user you’re impressing upon (and he’s using IE 9x out of 10).

I see a couple outcomes:

1.) IE 10 comes out w/ stricter rendering/support for the various standards and you lighten your stance and drop the (rather ridiculous) insistence of Chrome Frame in that "it’s not a problem anymore"
2.) You at the very least will put in a config file or advanced setting the ability to disable the very aggrivating nag for it
3.) I go into the php and rip it out myself :slight_smile:

Being that I’m personally in the process of working through 2.10 before letting loose in the wild, and IE 10 is atleast 6+ months away from reality… I’m atleast hoping for #2 in the shortterm before I get to the point for #3 :slight_smile:

In another thread, you said how you expect all IE users to moan, all three of them … but I concur w/ gherbstman in that you are grossly misreading your installed base, and would beg you to reconsider. It’s not large IT shops in general but all shops large, small, & everything in-between.

  • J

@TheShniz thank you for taking the time to comment. I have one question for you: where are you getting your numbers from?!

I don’t know what reports you have seen, but the stats that we collect are in line with a larger global trend: the move away from IE. Since the initial rollout of 2.10, we have actually seen a HUGE drop in the number if IE users - which is inline with our feeling that installing Chrome Frame is a viable solution for most. We simply do not have the resources to support IE at this time, nor the justification to do so. Do you want to step up to the plate and take on that responsibility? We would love to add more experienced dev’s to the team.

Our goal is not to force people to use this or that browser. We prompt users to install Chrome Frame to ensure the best posible experience. There are many ways around the prompts, even more elegant than those which you have proposed. We currently have no plans to incorporate any of them. Again - development resources are limited, and we need to cater to the majority. If you want to submit a patch, feel free to open a feature request on the bug tracker for us to consider.

TL;DR: We have nothing against IE, we simply “can’t afford” to support it. Thanks again for your feedback.

While I trust my own experience more than numbers, these types of statistics/reports are rather consistent regardless of origin… and while this may include ma & pa’s home 'puter, it also includes corporate america small & large. Finally, while it may be argued that “yeah, but that’s not what our base is using”, these are in fact the customers and managers that the base is catering to (and I again defer to my own experience).

Dated just a week ago…

So do I want to take on the responsibility? Sure, it would be lovely if I made all the decisions and everything was done just the way I like it… but sadly I’m unable at this time anyways (another fairly consistent statistic I suppose). I only stumbled upon this thread in an unrelated search and felt compelled enough to impress upon those currently w/ the responsibility with what I feel to be an error in judgement.

…at the very least, I would again suggest dropping the prompting for Chrome Frame (make it opt-in, not an opt-out every time someone tries to log in)… way too intrusive.

Hi - can someone provide pointers on how not to have ARI nag to update to Chrome frame (e.g. what file to update)? I have a wide diversity of users, and don’t want them to go through the process of updating to IE.


OK, I figured out how to disable the nag, but I also agree that the use of IE is being underestimated by the FreePBX development team.

It would not surprise me in the least that your own statistics of FreePBX users show most use Chrome or Firefox - but a PBX Admin is most likely a power user - not your average voicemail user that just have an extension on the system. The stats that theShniz shared (that IE is the most used browser in the world) are also backed up by my own analytics. The stats for the people that visit my site, are below.

I understand that you can’t support everything, but particular pain is being targeted at users of the most prevalent browser.

From a corporate standpoint, many users are technophobes. What’s simple and straightforward to you and me is not to others, requires support or visiting each desktop to upgrade, and handholding is required. IE is working fine for these users for everything else - nobody wants to go through the hassle of installing it just for a web UI for voicemail. Especially one that might be used at internet cafe’s, hotels, etc. that don’t have chrome frame installed. Plus, I’ve found the installation is often not successful.

For me anyway, I found that the corporate objectives were best served by disabling the chrome frame nag.

  1.  Internet Explorer	41.03%	
  2. Safari 25.58%
  3. Firefox 13.63%
  4. Chrome 11.72%
  5. Android Browser 4.24%
  6. Mozilla Compatible Agent2.73%
  7. IE with Chrome Frame 0.23%
  8. Opera 0.23%
  9. Opera Mini 0.19%
  10. BlackBerry8520 0.07%

We are having same issue would you care to share how you managed to disable the nag?


Speaking from memory, I think it was in the file /var/www/html/recordings/theme/page.tpl.php

Do a search in the file for the word IE or explorer, or for part of the text in the error message you are getting. Let me know if that’s not it and I can dig deeper.

What page/feature needs this Chrome frame. As I went through pages with IE9 & FF15 side by side without seeing any difference.

While IE9 is a LITTLE bit better this IE7/8, there are still many features that are not supported - and FreePBX expects them to be. This site has a full list of differences between browsers.

While IE9 is a LITTLE bit better this IE7/8, there are still many features that are not supported - and FreePBX expects them to be. This site has a full list of differences between browsers.

I find that using FreePBX 2.10 with IE 9 has been working well for me. I find the Chrome nag very annoying. I think it should be considered to have an option to turn off the nag.

As for my reasons to not use Chrome, I have had my share of issues with the Chrome frame and browser. I have no inclination to install anything on my system that I do not need. IE9 has been working exceptionally well for me. We also manage large corporate environments. We utilize group policy to control many aspects of browsing. We also go out of our way to put in policies to prevent users from installing and using other browsers.

Guys - we appreciate all your feedback! As we do for every release, we will review the usage stats before the next release and see what - if anything - needs to be adjusted. Your comments will be taken in to consideration.

Thanks - the only thing I’d ask you to remember is that the usage stats directly available to you reflects the FreePBX administrator community. The folks that use ARI, are users at large.

In my case, I use FF, but 99% of folks that have extensions on the system that connect to ARI use IE.

Our stats are across fpbx + ari, so we get the monty of ALL users