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  1. #1
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    What do you test on, what order?

    I don't do commercial web design - just personal sites for myself and friends, or small club sites. (but I'm a sw engineer, professionally).

    My question is, when developing a site what platforms and browsers do you test on, and in what order? Do you keep a lab with every major platform - PC's running XP, PC's running ME, PC's running Linux (different Distro's?) , Mac's running OS-X, earlier MAC OS's? BSD? Solaris?

    Do you own all of these or do you just keep a list of friends who you can ask to try out your latest designs?

    What about browsers? IE 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, 6, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, etc?

    What about configurations - do you test the same browser with different security settings, font-sizes, screen resolutions, etc?

    What about testing order - do you always try certain browsers or OSes first?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    I start all development using Firefox to make sure my code is right while glancing at IE along the way. At certain points I'll look at it in Opera and Netscape and bother the guy next door to look at his Mac. I also look at on FreeBSD and Linux.

    The OS matters less than the browser though IE on a Mac performs differently than on Win, they aren't the same thing.

    I really don't mess with anything before IE6. I've even stopped looking at FF<1.5.

  3. #3
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Firefox 1.0+, IE6+, recent Konqueror, Opera 8+, and Safari 1.0+ (the only Mac I have access to is 10.2 ).

    I haven't totally given up on IE5 support but I don't really care if it's perfect either. I just make sure that there's no usability problems on the page (i.e. overlapped content or other weird things).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Firefox 1.0+, IE6+, recent Konqueror, Opera 8+, and Safari 1.0+ (the only Mac I have access to is 10.2 ).
    Yeah, Mac's are my biggest problem. I have PC and Linux PC's at home with a selection of browsers. But I have no easy way to get access to a Mac to test anything on.

  5. #5
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    pnelson, quick tip for you.

    Safari is built on the Konqueror Engine (the KDE browser in linux)

    Aside from a few issues, they render the same. Safari has some z-index issues with any kind of plugin content, and you cant style buttons or scrollbars (who styles scrollbars anymore anyways) ... aside from that, the basic rendering is the same. The newest safari uses the Konqueror code from the KDE 3.0 release.

    The biggest issue I have with safari is the z-index on flash movies. NOTHING can overlap a flash movie...except another flash movie...which stinks because alot of our work has simple flash movies (quick product tour type stuff, nothing crazy or distracting) under DHTML menus...which is a nightmare in safari.

    As for the original question. I work solely in IE when developing, glancing at FF every now and then to make sure im good. Then I have our designers who are on macs look at it on their end. IE Mac gets no consideration...but aside from that, we test on almost everything, including opera...

  6. #6
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
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    Firefox 1.0+, IE5+ and then I used iCapture and BrowserCam for the rest.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    I work solely in IE when developing, glancing at FF every now and then to make sure im good.
    I'm sure that method works well for you but I know that a lot of people new to designing solely with CSS come unstuck with that method. That's why I recommend to them (like Dr said) to test in a browser with better standards compliance like Firefox and then work around for IE.
    Like Hawk I do FF 1.0.7, 1.5, IE 5.01, 5.5 & 6 and Opera 8 on my PC and then use Browsercam for Windows NS7 and Mozilla, and Mac and Linux browsers.

  8. #8
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    The problem with that logic, is that even though the browser is more standards compliant, if you treat IE like an afterthought...your treating the vast majority of your viewers as an afterthought..

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm1982
    The problem with that logic, is that even though the browser is more standards compliant, if you treat IE like an afterthought...your treating the vast majority of your viewers as an afterthought..
    It's not treating IE as an afterthought. It's recognising IE's limitations, getting your code right first and then making allowances for those limitations.


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