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Testing websites on Safari without a Mac?

One part question, one part public plea to Apple... if anybody from Apple is reading. 

As a web developer, I'd like to make sure my sites work well with Apple's Safari web browser. Unfortunately, this is impossible without a Mac. Solutions range from imperfect (testing on another KHTML-based browser like Konqueror) to expensive (even at $499, buying a Mac just to test webpages is pricy) to impractical (running an emulator such as PearPC under another OS) to *extremely* impractical (there are websites that show you a snapshot of your page in Safari, but this is slow and doesn't work for sites behind a firewall, as all development environments should be).

I realize that for a lot of people and shops, spending $500 on a Mac Mini is pretty much a no-brainer purchase.  But don't underestimate the percentage of webpages developed by individuals and garage shops.  Also, a lot of developers work for companies whose main business is *not* software development.  While Fog Creek might not blink when it comes to spending $500 on a proper test platform, the guy working in the underfunded web development portion of "Ned's Widget Shop" might have a hard time getting a purchase approved.

Does anybody have a better solution? Apple, please help us to help you... give us Mac-less developers ways to make our sites work better with your software.  Think Firefox would have gotten support from developers if it cost $500?
John Booty Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A Mac-only equipped garage shop would say the same for Microsoft: "please give me a practical way to test my web site on Windows Internet Explorer without buying a PC, without Windows, without an emulator, and without spending a dime."

Sorry but that's how the software industry works. If you want to test it on a Mac, you shall buy a Mac.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I believe you want:

"BrowserCam Screen Capture Service
The Screen Capture Service lets you submit multiple URL's, choose the browsers and operating systems you want to see, and in less than a minute returns screen captures of your webpage loaded in the different browsers and operating systems you selected.

BrowserCam Remote Access Service
The Remote Access Service lets you log into any of our machines remotely using a simple program called VNC. We have a huge and growing library of operating systems and configurations. Simply select the operating system you want and click connect. We will allocate a dedicated machine from our server farm for your immediate use. We have Macintoshes, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP machines, and Linux machines, all in a variety of configurations."
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
You could also try running PearPC, a mac emulator that runs on linux & windows. You'll still need to buy the OS though :(
Pete Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
You might be able to get an approximation by validating your site with KHTML from the KDE project, upon which Safari is based.

There will still be a difference, but you should be able to identify significant rendering issues.
Art Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
D'oh, somehow I missed the line where you discussed that. ;>
Art Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Browsercam just for Safari? A one year subscription is around the same price as a minimal config Mini and far more expensive than picking up an old G3 or G4 of eBay.
Just me (Sir to you) Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Of course you could try to get by with .
Just me (Sir to you) Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
You want to test a website on Safari, without an emulator, mac computer or screen capture service?  And you don't want to spend any money?

Find a university, internet cafe or some other location that has macs and test your site their.  Other than that I don't know what you would possibly be looking for.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
You need to approach your manager with the proper business case.  "We have 600 clients.  30 of them use Macs for business.  10 of them use Safari as their browser - I have the logs that illustrate this if you would like to see it.  There are architectural differences that require testing in Safari for some of our scripts and templates. 

We expect use of Safari to increase as more of our clients migrate to Mac OS X.  Each client is worth $400.  Providing a broken experience for one client exceeds the value of buying a test machine.  Here are the specs and cost for a test machine adequate for our purposes.  It's expected lifespan as a testing machine is 5 years."

Put everything in perspective.  Often the right business case with the right background information will get the necessary support.
Lou Send private email
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Did the first 4 responders not read his post AT ALL??  He mentioned pearPC, he mentioned Khtml (art I know you corrected yourself) and he mentioned pages that give you snapshots.  Wow, read the OP before you respond.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
If your website doesn't make enough money to justify a $500 mac, you have other problems to fix before you worry about what it looks like on Safari.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
but, anon, he took away all the best answers... all we have left are answers like "Find a neighborhood kid with a Mac, and pay him $5 to see if the site works," "Find a store/library/school where Macs are hooked up to the internet and use those," or "go back to the manager/finance guy/spouse and tell the person that we really need the money for a computer." The last opion would be to fly to Cupertino and beg Jobs to release a version for the PC.
another anonymous fellow
Sunday, January 23, 2005
If Macintosh compatibility is suppose to be a check box that makes your company look good, I hope it's helping you charge more. Because there is NO way you can test it without buying a mac. Even if you manage to get Pear going, I don't think it's quality enough to test it right, it's not a genuine Mac with all the color quirks accurately emulated.

Ways around this: if this is a one time deal, Kinkos and Sneak someone a twenty at your local graphics art college or high school mac labs, see if the labby will let you have some time on it. I don't know, you got a brain, be creative.

Just buy one. Get on craigslist and ask if anyone regretted their decision to get a Mini or just finished college and don't need their near-new iMac anymore. You can get it half-price like that if you are lucky, even if Mac have crazy resale values.

There's no way you can convince Steve Jobs to fire their hardware engineers.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Thursday, January 27, 2005

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