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What are your favored tools for testing web pages in multiple, and legacy, web browser clients? With tools such as Browserola no longer with us, what do you use - if, indeed, you test your pages outside of the current IE and possibly Firefox versions that is?

I know some people obsess about testing for everything back to Lynx (well it sometimes seems like they do) but how far back do you think it is reasonable to go WRT browser client testing?

Discuss :)

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Last Post by okparrothead
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What are your favored tools for testing web pages in multiple, and legacy, web browser clients? With tools such as Browserola no longer with us, what do you use - if, indeed, you test your pages outside of the current IE and possibly Firefox versions that is?

I know some people obsess about testing for everything back to Lynx (well it sometimes seems like they do) but how far back do you think it is reasonable to go WRT browser client testing?

Discuss :)

firefox, internet explorer, netscape, opera.

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Which versions of IE, as in how far back do you actively compatibility test for - and how far forward for that matter (IE 5? IE 7?)

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Which versions of IE, as in how far back do you actively compatibility test for - and how far forward for that matter (IE 5? IE 7?)

Good question, where do you draw the line? The same applies for developing flash websites. Which versions do you use for maximum usability? That's the problem I'm having at the minute...

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I test on IE6 and FireFox 1.5 on Windows XP, and on FireFox and Safari on OS X 10.4. I also make sure all pages W3C validate.

Plus there's the Web Development FireFox extension. That rocks!

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Which versions of IE, as in how far back do you actively compatibility test for - and how far forward for that matter (IE 5? IE 7?)

as far as forward, I don't do it. I am not testing on a beta release, adapting my code to make it work on that beta release, and then have it break when they change the beta.

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What I test in:

I test in IE 5.5, 6 and 7, Opeara 6.2 and 7 and Netscape 6.2 and 7 and I recently upgraded to FireFox 2. I also view the sites in Lynx. As a last test I also see how the sites look in Konqueror on Linux. I have no Apple testing capabilities. I test for both XHTML and CSS code validation.

How I do it:

I use standalone versions of IE 5.5 and 6 that I got from Evolt.org and I installed the different versions of Netscape in different directories so I could use them all without conflicts. I use a plug-in in Firefox that lets me view the pages in Lynx. I also use the plug-in cscgal mentioned earlier in the post. I boot from a Koppix CD and view the sites in FireFox and Konqueror to see how they look there. I validate the XHTML and CSS at W3.org

What I test for:

I test for full compatibility in IE 6 and 7, Opera 7 and Netscape 7.

I test for graceful degradation in IE 5.5, Opera 6 and Netscape 6.2 ie parts work, but don't neccssarily look the same.

I test in Lynx because some handheld devices don't honor style sheets so how the text looks is still important.

Questions I have:

From what I understand, Konqueror uses the same codebase as Apple Safari and should render the same. Does anyone know the truth of that?

Is there a difference between FireFox 1.5 and 2? I haven't seen problems yet, (I just updated) but I don't have both of them installed or even know If I can.?

What is up with Netscape 8? Do I have to test for it, or does this browser actuall need testing? It seems to be using either IE or FireFox rendering depending on user choice. Does it just co-opt the existing engines from my other installed browsers or does it have its own codebase?

Future Plans

I'll stop testing in IE 5.5 when the installed base of IE 7 reaches about 70% or so according to my site logs. From what I understand, IE 7 is the browser in Vista, will be a forced ungrade for XP SR2 and an optional upgrade for XP so should spread pretty fast.

I may stop testing in Opera 6.2 soon as Opera now seems to be targeting the handheld device market.

I don't know if I should test in Mozilla at all. Is it different than FireFox? The times I've tried to install it, it wants to take over my FireFox browser so I've kept if off my machine. If its that different though, I may have to find a way to test for it. I'd like some feedback on this.

What I call success:

I'm more flexible than most when it comes to claiming full compatibiliy. Unless the design demands it, I don't try to achieve exact layout of all elements on the page. I let some elements morph a bit depending on different browsers. Don't get me wrong. Unless it's Opera 6 or IE 5.5, things won't be noticably different unless a user looks at it in multiple browsers.

I feel the object of a Web site is to get the word out. If I can make the message clear on most, read 90%, of user machines I feel my job is complete. It may not render exactly the same on all user devices (handheld, text readers, small screens, in old browsers, etc.) but the site should be usable to most.

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