When it comes to browser compatibility, this is my favorite tool…
One of my biggest frustrations with developing web applications is the need to deal with old and clunky browsers. I find that one of my least favorite exercises is being forced to support browsers that aren’t what I would call modern. Well, I tried several tools to help me in this process and found that two different ones became my favorite.
One of the pains with working with these different browsers is that you either need to manually install every type you need or you need older machines that still have the version running for you.
I looked at Expression Web 4 Super Preview and found that although the interface was nice and did allow me to see some differences, it was 100% accurate as to what I would see in the real browser. I found this interesting and frustrating at the same time. It also only allowed me to test the various versions of Internet Explorer.
Here is a screen shot of Expression Web 4 Super Preview:
I do like the interface and what it tries to offer but I found that it wasn’t the best choice as far as rendering accuracy.
Which now leads me to my new best friend! I discovered a service that allows you to use your desktop applications anywhere. I now use Spoon.net as my first line of defense when it comes to testing across multiple versions of IE or whatever browser you may need. Here is a screen show of their page:
Here is a screen show of what I am currently using just like above but now with the ability to run IE 7 and IE 8 side by side without performing any installations manually:
You can configure your own applications that you wish to access. Here is a screen shot of some of the browsers that are provided:
I can launch both IE7 and IE8 side by side. I also have IE9 as my main browser so this gives me the ability to test all three versions that I care about.
Here is what IE7 looks like when launched:
As you can see, this is just what you would expect from IE7. Now let’s see IE8:
Again, no surprises here. What I really like about this service is that I can access it from any computer and perform my testing as I need without the need to configure my computer.
It does cost a little but it is well worth the price to know that your web applications will look sharp across any browser version and more. This service allows you to have more than just browsers to access from anywhere.
Hope this helps…