I help run a messageboard for people affected by a neurodegenerative disease that is powered by Discourse. I keep the software up to date by following the security list at Search · SECURITY · GitHub and updating whenever there is security issue. However this has the unintended side effect of locking out increasing number of users who have older machines.
It has locked out one user who is a carer for her husband and only had access to the messageboard through an iPad that no longer receives iOS/Safari updates and more recently another with an older Chromebook that cannot update Chrome to a version that is compatible. I understand having a policy of only supporting the latest versions of browsers but when devices made only a few years ago are no longer receiving updates but are otherwise fully functional prevent access to what is, for many, a vital lifeline it is extremely frustrating.
The header on the messageboard tells these users there is a lower feature version they can use but as the messageboard is login only (due to problems with privacy invasion we have had in the past) and the lower feature version does not allow logins this is not usable.
Ideally I suppose there would be a security update stream that did not cause old browsers to stop working or at least a warning when updating that certain browsers will stop working so I can warn users before I apply the update.
Here are some quotes from our users about it:
“I stay on there to support another wife via private messages- it is so distressing you’ll never know the havoc it causes… I seriously am …broken😢”
“Sorry I sound so mad…I don’t post since losing my husband 17 months ago but I still log on daily and am full of despair”
“I think I can access the message board at the local library but it very frustrating to have no access at home”
“I mean I can get into every other site and banks etc there’s no issue there and they constantly update”
“So, I have tried your suggestion of downloading the app and, unfortunately, it will not install. It states that it is not compatible with my iPad. No doubt this is due to the iOS version (again).”
“This is really frustrating! I can’t afford to replace my iPad and it is the only thing keeping me in touch with this community”
“the mb is a life line…they’ve snatched it away from me and I suspect many others”