Testing browsers

Various browsers in a toolbar

I’ve got to a point working on my current Website design project where I’m needing to

  1. test the code in a variety of browsers
  2. keep track of which browsers still have issues with the code


So I took my own advice and created a new toolbar which I now have as part of my main toolbar, with links to the 15 web browsers I currently have installed, based on the Google Analytics stats for the website.:

  1. Firefox 1.0.8
  2. Firefox
  3. Firefox
  4. IE 5.01
  5. IE 5.5
  6. IE 6.0
  7. IE 7.0
  8. Opera 7.5
  9. Opera 8.0
  10. Opera 8.5
  11. Opera 9.27
  12. Netscape 7.2
  13. Netscape 8.1
  14. Netscape
  15. Safari 3.1

The “Browsers” link with the folder icon (that you can see in the screenshot) is simply a shortcut which will immediately open the folder containing the links to all these browsers.

Even though this now takes up a fair chunk of the main toolbar I’m finding it invaluable for quickly opening whatever browser I need next without having to scrabble with Start menu … Programs … Internet … Browsers … etc. I can always remove the toolbar when I’m done with this part of the project.

Keeping track of issues

Spreadsheet of browsers and files

The next thing I need to do is keep track of which browsers I’ve tested the code in and whether there were any issues. So I’ve thrown together a spreadsheet to do that very thing. I have a rows for each of the files, and columns for the filename, whether it validates and whether it works as expected or not.

The key that I’m using is:

  • A – OK
  • B – Minor flaws
  • C – Major flaws
  • XXXX – Unusable

I’ve updated this key since I first blogged about it, as I needed to distinguish between minor and major flaws. I’m still using XXXX as it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I’m aiming to get everything marked as either A or B in the majority of browsers, certainly the A-Class browsers (Firefox 2, IE 6, IE 7, Opera 9 and Safari).

Needless to say, as tests go so far I’m having issues with Firefox 1.0, Netscape 7 and Netscape 8 (which both use the same rendering engine as Firefox 1.0), Internet Explorer 5.01 and Internet Explorer 5.5.

Oh well, on with the testing …

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

2 thoughts on “Testing browsers”

  1. Pingback: Web Design » Testing browsers
  2. This and your previous post (which I will comment next) shows proper commitment to web design standards.
    Rev. Saunders, I salute you! keep up the good awesome work!

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