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How to test on other browsers

Is there any way to test your website on other browsers besides firefox and I.E. if you don't have access to a Mac or any other type of machine other than your XP machine ?

I'm wondering if there are emulators.
Monday, March 26, 2007
For most audiences, the only important browser that's not available for Windows is Safari. Opera and Netscape both run on Windows. Since OS X can't be made to run under virtualization (at least without jumping through an extraordinary amount of work) your options are a bit limited. You can buy a Mac, or use BrowserCam or a similar service.

Whether that's worthwhile depends on your circumstances. I find that if my HTML and CSS validates and works on IE, Firefox, and Opera, it'll most likely work in Safari without modifications. Javascript-heavy stuff is another matter entirely.

Depending on your audience IE 5.1/OS X or worse yet IE 5.0/OS 9 might be worth testing for, but in most cases the market share of those browsers is vanishingly small. On Linux, all browsers of consequence except Konquerer are based on the same engine as Firefox. I don't consider Konquerer worth testing for.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Since both Konqueror and Safari are based on the same rendering engine (Webkit) you can test your site against Konqueror. It won't guarantee you 100% that it will work under safari but that's the best you can do without buying a mac.
Monkeyget Send private email
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Get a good Mac. Get Parallels, and run WinXP virtual machines, one for each version of IE that you need to test. I recommend testing IE6 and IE7, which means you will need a couple of virtual machines.

This is great for development, as you can test all the important browsers while you are writing CSS / HTML, instead of doing it retrospectively, where bugs are much harder to identify and fix.
Sam Piper Send private email
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Screw Apple. If they don't let you virtualize their OS, then don't cater to their users. Hopefully they'll realize their mistake.
Wayne B Send private email
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Probably not the most robust solution, but you could get a quick idea of where you stand on various OS/Browser combinations.

This is a free service that takes a snapshot of your site on various configs.  I've tried it, and it works pretty well.  You'll at least be able to uncover whether or not a major issue exists.

Good luck.
Carmen Ferrara Send private email
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Re: Sam's suggestion.

I have a Mac, Parallels, XP, and so on, but that's a very expensive solution simply for testing web browsers. If you're an mISV, it may not be practical.

I think you're better off reading the various incompatibility guides on the Net, getting a feel for what works and what doesn't work, deliberately avoiding known problems on Safari/Konquerer (not that hard) AND most importantly, accepting the risks that come with browser incompatibility.

For example, you obviously don't test your web site to work with Lynx (a text based browser), nor do you test to make sure the blind can visit your site. I would presume that's because you sell a product that can't be used by the blind and is unlikely to appeal to anyone still using Lynx.

If your mISV only sells Windows based products, you might put up a basic apology page for Konquerer and Safari users but otherwise why go to the expense of testing?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thank you, you fine people you
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
"Screw Apple. If they don't let you virtualize their OS, then don't cater to their users. Hopefully they'll realize their mistake."

How do you feel about MS not allowing you to virtualize all but the most expensive versions of Vista? Do you suggest dropping support for Vista users as well?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
clcr: Yes. Turn away IE users and tell them to go download the free Firefox browser. This is the reverse of what Microsoft and many other large companies have done in the past.

If YouTube and MySpace had done that, Firefox would have 50% of the market by now. I fully support using your own personal power to change what you don't like about the world.

Anyway, besides all of can still test IE7 on XP if you want. It should work exactly the same as IE7 running on Vista.
Wayne B Send private email
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Apology pages are horrible. If you can't test on a particular browser then try to degrade gracefully. If you know there's some feature of your site that doesn't work in a particular browser but you can't fix it, then disable that feature for that browser.

Saying "sorry you can't browse this site without browser X" to a user of browser Y will just piss them off and can impact their opinion of your business.
Rob Send private email
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

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