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Multi-Browser testing, this is the way!

» posted 4687 days ago @ 01:36 PM by George Merlocco in web

Developing professional websites can be a daunting task, especially when your client wants all the bells and whistles. After adding more and more of these fancy effects and complex layouts, the chances that your website might not display 100% correctly in other browsers rises. I have been plagued with this sort of thing since IE5 and Firefox v1/Netscape, and it's come to the point that I needed a better solution. Microsoft now believes in web-standards (finally!!) and this could definitely make our lives as web devs/designers easier. Their new product line, Expression, aims to compete with Adobe Flash in the rich media internet experience, and they are claiming that Expression will build standards-based websites out of the box. I can only hope...

There will never be an escape from tweaking small things to look perfect in every browser, but there are some tips that can help you develop a better, more browser-friendly website. What I've done recently is obtain a copy of VMWare Server which is completely free. After that, I installed an old copy of Windows XP on the VM, and loaded it with all of the different browsers I could find. Thanks to the help of a few dedicated people, it is now possible to install multiple versions of Internet Explorer, and have them run synchronous in standalone mode. Here's what I currently have on my VM (IE7 is tested through my Windows Vista, more notes below):

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v3/v4/v5.01/v5.5/v6
  • Mozilla Firefox v1.5/v2.0.0.6
  • Opera v9.22
  • Safari v3.0 beta