Web code checking in different browsers, IE, Mozilla, Opera
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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Have you ever tried any of those browser-checkers that claim to test a bunch of browser versions all at once, or are those not very reliable? Seems like it would take a lot of time to check every page separately on a couple dozen different browsers.

When you do web development, you must test on the following:

IE 6, preferably also IE 5x for windows, IE 5.x and 6 have different implementations of the CSS box model, IE 6 is closer to W3C specs, IE 5x uses a MS proprietary model. Unfortunately you can only have one version running. If you can only pick one, pick IE 6, you can trigger the pre IE 6 'quirks mode' behaviors by what code you start your page with.

Mozilla/Firefox, the gecko rendering engine has been extremely consistent since gecko 1.0, Firefox 0.9 uses gecko 1.7.

Opera 7x. Opera 7 was a complete rewrite of Opera 6, but almost nobody uses Opera 6 so it's not necessary to test for it unless you really want your site to be perfect.

Netscape 4x, either 4.7 or 4.0x, that's just to make sure the page actually works, it will never look right. As noted, you can download this one at evolt.org

We made a screenshot of the main site in Netscape 4 if you want to check it out.

After that it's up to you, you can see how the page works more or less on Apple safari by downloading and burning to CD the linux knoppix os, which runs off your cdrom on boot, it has Konqueror browser, which is about the same as safari.

IE 5x mac is a completely different browser, with tons of really bad bugs, it's very hard to develop for unless you have a mac.

Browser checkers are more or less useless, you need to run the code on the actual browser, with the actual rendering engine.
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Status: Curious
Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 7
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Try browsercam.com, they offer a screenshot and even remote access to several operating systems and browsers. You can sign up for a trial and get 100 captures for free.
It works great and gives you excellent broad range of feedback on how your site will look.
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Status: Contributor
Joined: 30 May 2004
Posts: 148
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Thanks for the tip on browsercam, currently dan devine is doing something like that on his icapture site, but only for Windows IE and Mac Safari, that site got so popular he's been having trouble keeping his home server up enough to run the site, but that's a great site once he gets enough bandwidth and server space, hopefully he'll give up on doing it from home very soon so we can use his site again.

The way I develop I'd have to have the monthly package, which at $39 per month would cost me $480 per year, in other words the price of a used Mac.

Testing on your own platforms is always much easier to do than trying to do stuff via an online service, at the very least web developers should run the browsers listed above, it's 10 times faster debugging browser issues when you run the browsers yourself, but for those who can't do it this seems like a decent idea, although a very uneconomical one.
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