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Thread: Browser testing

  1. #1
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Browser testing

    Can anyone tell me where I can find a simulator for the common browsers? I dont have any of the netscapes installed and I dont want to install any of them really, but I would like to test my websites from NS4 upwards.

    Any idea how I can go about this?

    thnx
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    SitePoint Columnist
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    There are a few - some have a cost and some do not...

    http://netmechanic.com/browser-index.htm
    http://www.hull.ac.uk/wag/testing.html

    Hope these help
    Freelance System Administrator, Researcher, Writer
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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    http://browsercam.com/

    Though I recommend just going to http://browsers.evolt.org/ and downloading all the browsers you're missing, because that will invariably end up cheaper than the $40 or so it costs to join BrowserCam.

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    Of the 3 mentioned here (see links to them below), what's your opinion? Is it worth it to pay a fee for BrowserCam and/or BrowserPhoto?

    - AnyBrowser.com: http://www.anybrowser.com/siteviewer.html

    - BrowserCam: http://browsercam.com/

    - NetMechanic's BrowserPhoto: http://netmechanic.com/browser-index.htm

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    SitePoint Wizard jax502's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    This one's my favorite if you want to test your page on a Mac's Safari browser if you don't have a Mac:
    http://www.danvine.com/icapture/thanks/

    Hope this helps!
    jax502

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    That one is great for Macs... too bad there's not a decent free one like that for PC's!

    I'm trying to decide if I want to fork out the $$ for BrowserCam or BrowserPhoto to get the different browsers.... without installing all of them on my computer.

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    SitePoint Wizard jax502's Avatar
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    If you have a fast connection, just download the other browsers, like Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, etc. They won't hurt, and it's a lot cheaper too. It is also easier to test the compatibility of your pages that way since you have full control of the other browsers...Also if you're planning to test again sometime in the future, you won't have to pay again.
    jax502

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    Good point... but I'd want to test each of the browsers with multiple versions. Wouldn't that be a nightmare to download/run that many browsers & versions on one computer?

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardweb
    Good point... but I'd want to test each of the browsers with multiple versions. Wouldn't that be a nightmare to download/run that many browsers & versions on one computer?
    Right now I have IE4, IE5, IE6, Netscape 4.79, Firefox 0.8, and Opera 7.23 all on the same machine, and I used to have the OpenWave mobile phone browser simulator. I think you'll be okay .

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    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
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    Hi,

    I have ie5 , ie 5.5., ie6, nn4.7, NN 6.2, Mozilla 1.2, mozilla 1.4, Firebird 0.6, Opera 6, Opera 7.03 and Opera 7.22.

    They don't seem to cause me any problems.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Right now I have IE4, IE5, IE6 ... all on the same machine
    How did you do that? Are you using virtual machine software of some kind?

    That would have been my suggestion anyway - get VM software like http://www.vmware.com/ then you can run as many different versions of Windows and Linux, and various browsers for them, as you like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brothercake
    How did you do that? Are you using virtual machine software of some kind?
    No just download them from here -the link explains how and why they work.

    http://www.skyzyx.com/downloads/

    Paul

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    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B
    No just download them from here -the link explains how and why they work.

    http://www.skyzyx.com/downloads/

    Paul
    Don't think that will work with Win Me though so I still have different browsers on several computers here.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earther
    Don't think that will work with Win Me though so I still have different browsers on several computers here.
    It's worked for me on Windows 2000 and XP, but try it on ME and see what happens!

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    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    It's worked for me on Windows 2000 and XP, but try it on ME and see what happens!
    Guess I'm just not that adventurous! Well, maybe I'll give it a try someday when I have the time to fix things if it bombs.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earther
    Guess I'm just not that adventurous! Well, maybe I'll give it a try someday when I have the time to fix things if it bombs.
    The other browsers are self-contained in their own directory. There's nothing to install so nothing should "bomb". If you ever want to remove IE4 and IE5, all you have to do is toss the directories into the recycle bin .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B
    No just download them from here -the link explains how and why they work.
    Oh wow - yeah I have his standalone IE5s, but I didn't realise there was a standalone IE4 now as well. Nice one although I will say that the standalone IE5.5 is not exactly the same - filters and transition effects don't work, and scripting with them throws errors.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Scripting is kind of unreliable in most of the "fake" IEs, because IE still reports itself as IE6 in the user agent string (or whatever version you have "officially" installed). Object model detection (document.all, etc) is okay, but using navigator.userAgent is kind of dangerous (it's unreliable anyway, since Opera and Mozilla can change their UA strings at will).

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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Scripting is kind of unreliable in most of the "fake" IEs, because IE still reports itself as IE6 in the user agent string (or whatever version you have "officially" installed). Object model detection (document.all, etc) is okay, but using navigator.userAgent is kind of dangerous (it's unreliable anyway, since Opera and Mozilla can change their UA strings at will).
    Not in the versions I have - the same ones from Skyzyx's site - IE5 and IE5.5 both correctly report themselves in UA string. If you look for the version number from the "Help > About Internet Explorer" then that always says IE6, but the UA string should come back correctly. That filter thing is the only discrepancy I've found - other scripting and even CSS hacks all work identically to their genuine counterparts.

    I agree with using object detection to establish that a browser is IE, but beyond that, UA info is the only way I know to differentiate the various versions from each other. Do you know of object tests that precise?

  20. #20
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brothercake
    I agree with using object detection to establish that a browser is IE, but beyond that, UA info is the only way I know to differentiate the various versions from each other. Do you know of object tests that precise?
    Not really, since the only object detection I usually do is just to see if that particular object is supported in the browser of choice so I can do something with it.

    i.e.
    Code:
    //load an XML document (only works in mozilla currently)
    if (document.implementation)
    {
      var xmlDoc=document.implementation.createDocument("", "doc", null);
    }

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    Yeah I see what you're saying. But it's not always that simple. Browsers may implement an object or feature, but implement it incorrectly, or with quirks or proprietary syntax - for example, document.styleSheets in win/ie - simply testing for document.styleSheets is not enough because it uses a proprietary rule syntax.

    "hasFeature" is another good (or rather, bad) example - it returns a boolean, but what if a feature is support incorrectly - "true" would imply full support, which isn't the case, but "false" would imply no support, which isn't the case either.

    There are inevitably gonna be times when you need to know exactly which version of which browser on which OS you're dealing with.

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    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Quote Originally Posted by earther
    Guess I'm just not that adventurous! Well, maybe I'll give it a try someday when I have the time to fix things if it bombs.
    The other browsers are self-contained in their own directory. There's nothing to install so nothing should "bomb". If you ever want to remove IE4 and IE5, all you have to do is toss the directories into the recycle bin .
    Well, I gave it a go. Downloaded 5.0 and 5.5 and they seem to be working just fine. It's a little hard to tell though because except for some minor vertical spacing problems in 5.0, pages look the same in all browsers. Thanks for the encouragement.

  23. #23
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    You can also see what individual pages look like in Apples Safari browser buy using the iCapture site. It opens the page on a iMac then does a screen shot.
    It's also a free service, unlike Browser Cam.


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