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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    Testing ie6 on vista.

    Multiple IEs does not work on vista.

    It seems the popular solution is a virtual machine and vpc images released by microsoft. The image is 600mb, is a hassle to configure, has localhost issues, and actually expires every month or so, so you need to keep downloading it.

    I have not bothered with the above solution for those reasons and I also managed to find this:

    http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage

    It seems to work fine, but I heard from somewhere else that to get ie6 to work on vista without that kind fo extensive emulation, the ie6 program would have to be manipulated or something. So does that mean it is possible that the debugbar ie6 tester will not always be accurate(not show bugs that appear in ie6)?

    If anyone knows of any other decent ie6-vista solutions let me know too.

  2. #2
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    You can't run a true version of IE6 on Vista without running some sort of VM that is running an earlier version of Windows that actually supported IE6. Any version of IE you run on Vista will pick up the IE7 or IE8 code embedded into the operating system for part of the processing and will therefore only reporduce a part of how IE6 works.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I installed the VM and it works no problem. Although it does seem like an unnecessary hassle.

    I still do not understand though, why it is so hard for someone to recreate an ie6 clone for vista. Even if the ie6 source code is not available to anyone, could someone not recreate a clone purley based on general browser standards combined with implementation of a browser clone that recreates every known ie6 bug by simply mimicking how ie6 acts when it encounters certain code.

  4. #4
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    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    That's not viable, because in a project of such a vast scope there will be further issues and problems, and you will end up with yet another browser that behaves differently, but this time coded to be deliberately broken. There are better uses of peoples time.
    Last edited by paul_wilkins; Dec 15, 2008 at 23:10.
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  5. #5
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Half of IE is built into the operating system. When you upgrade the browser that part of the operating system is upgraded. The half of IE6 that is part of the operating system only exists in Win XP (half IE5 was in Win 2000 and half IE7 is in Vista). When you upgrade the browser on an older operating system that small part of the operating system that is half the browser is upgraded and will continue to work (as Microsoft tests the operating system to make sure that it will - which is why IE upgrades take so long).

    You can't install that part of XP in place of the corresponding part of Vista without breaking Vista.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Centauri's Avatar
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    I would imagine that writing an IE6 clone that will emulate all the stupid bugs it has would be MUCH more difficult that writing a browser that adheres to the standards.....

    I have different versions of different browsers on different networked computers - each browser is then operating in its natural environment.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centauri View Post
    I have different versions of different browsers on different networked computers - each browser is then operating in its natural environment.
    Same - I've got a separate PC for testing IE6 on XP. I have tried the VM solution but as I almost always have my XP box on anyway, generally end up using that instead.

  8. #8
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Since IE6 relies on Windows XP code you'd have to rewrite Vista into an XP clone in order to get it to run. Might as well delete Vista and install XP if you are going to do that - it would be much easier than writing your own clone of XP and that's what you need to replace Vista with to get IE6 to run since the trident engine in Vista is the IE7 one.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I bought a whole new system recently which came with vista 64 bit and I missed xp at first(I used to be very anti-vista), but I prefer vista a lot more now, even though it has some serious issues, it feels like a big step forward. I have abandoned all my old software anyway in favour of new more vista compatible solutions, which are generally better anyway.

    ie6 via XP-VM seems to work without a problem, although it is a hassle i can live with it. Why has microsoft integrated ie so deeply into it's operating system? is it for security? I know microsoft has taken the route of deep networking integration with all this windows "live" stuff. I don't know much about it though.

  10. #10
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    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    It had nothing to do with security. Years ago MS was told by the courts to make IE uninstallable so that computer vendors weren't forced to provide the IE browser by default.

    MS fought back and ensured that parts of the browser were so deeply embedded within the OS that it simply wasn't possible to completely remove their browser.
    Last edited by paul_wilkins; Dec 16, 2008 at 07:49.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    Interesting. Sounds just like microsoft too.

  12. #12
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    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    The history of internet explorer page has more details about the case.
    Last edited by paul_wilkins; Dec 16, 2008 at 22:03.
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  13. #13
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
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    I actually use an old computer for IE 6 testing. The old beast also has my MP3 collection on it and plays music while I'm working. One key reason is that it can be tricky to get virtual machines to act like a slow machine - I know that they can be configured for the task, but there's nothing like having an honest to god slow machine.

    I even went a step further and throttled the router the thing is on to simulate a 56.6K connection, even with other machines in the LAN. My philosophy is if you're using a 2001 era browser be prepared for the best of 2001 pages - pages built for dial up and 600mhz processors.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    Is having a virtual machine not as good as having an actual old pc? I struggle to see how having slow and old hardware makes the debugging process any more accurate. Besides seeing how a slow connection would load the page slower I suppose.

  15. #15
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjetsu View Post
    Is having a virtual machine not as good as having an actual old pc? I struggle to see how having slow and old hardware makes the debugging process any more accurate. Besides seeing how a slow connection would load the page slower I suppose.
    By default a virtual PC file is going to use your hardware as best it can. Now my work hardware is near what I consider end of life for a personal computer - 3 years old - but it has been upgraded and still acquits itself well: 2ghz dual core athalon with 4GB of RAM. That's still a lot more hardware than a lot of people use just to "surf" the web and, well, it's almost on par with bottom of the line new $500 PC's now. Someone who bought a $500 surf and email PC 4 years ago is likely working with about 1 ghz of processor and 512M of RAM.

    Now you can throttle a Virtual PC instance to simulate old hardware - I've seen our resident network guru do that. For my own work I just let an old computer have at it outright.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I understand that an old pc is more accurate at simulating old hardware, because that is what it is. My point is that what is the difference between old and new hardware when testing websites? Websites generally use hardly any processing power at all.
    Although I can't say I have recently tested any news sites on very old machines, websites/browsers are generally the fastest and processor friendly applications I have ever used. So I believe that the amount of people using a computer that cannot handle a modern website is so small(a lot less than people using ie6).


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