Well, the best way is still actually using the browser itself. As far as I know, old versions of Netscape pose no threat to your computer whatsoever -- I've run several for many years. You can also run several versions of Opera, Mozilla, etc.
Another plus, here's a thread that instructs you on installing multiple versions of IE:
There are websites and services that will provide you with screenshots - but that doesn't tell you anything about functionality, only the visual display. So I've never been willing to go that route.
Also, even if there were an application that simulated various browsers (and I don't know of any), I still wouldn't trust it to give more than a superficial idea. I just don't think there's a practical substitute for running test browsers and seeing the real deal.
Here's a recent thread on the same topic:
|You can also download older versions of browsers at http://browsers.evolt.org|
|Also, even if there were an application that simulated various browsers (and I don't know of any), I still wouldn't trust it to give more than a superficial idea. I just don't think there's a practical substitute for running test browsers and seeing the real deal. |
Case in point, tedster: while I'm really happy with TSP as an editor, I was pretty appalled when I used real browsers to look at pages that seemed fine in the "external browser" viewers.
Doesn't work at all as it's cracked up to.... NOT at ALL.... caused me a LOT more time than if I'd just used "real browsers" to begin with....
If you use Homesite it allows you to create a dropdown list for any external browsers you have installed it makes things nice and convenient.
There is an online service called browsercam that will give you screen captures of how your site looks in many different browsers. They have a free trial period, after that they charge.
|used "real browsers" to begin with.... |
That's my approach to design. I have FireFox, Opera and IE open -- NN4 if I "must" -- for the project.
I've previously created a prototype for the basic design of the page in Photoshop as a psd file - all layers maintained and text kept as text, not rasterized.
First, I lay in the basic page structure. Just the main divs and tables, whatever -- with some filler text to hold positions. I validate the code after each change and I keep going to each of my basic browsers immediately after validation, catching anything peculiar the minute it appears.
By the time I've filled in the first page, I have very few questions left about cross browser performance - except perhaps how a Mac will handle it. Our Macs here are in a recording studio in a different building, so I trudge over there and check a little less frequently. Some day soon, I'll put a mac in my office.
Any time I introduce extra functionality beyond the basic page template, I follow the same process. I don't want to create tangles where multiple problems get layered over each other and become difficult to resolve. Find the bugs early and fix them early. Saves a lot of time.
tedster: that's now my modum operandum. I wish I'd known that to begin with. Oh well - better late than never!
And as to Homesite: I have it too, and it does exactly what TSP does: give you a "quasi-browser" view, rather than the "real thing".
The "real thing" is priceless. The rest isn't worth a plugged nickel....
|Homesite: I have it too, and it does exactly what TSP does: give you a "quasi-browser" view, rather than the "real thing". |
There's also an "external browser" dropdown list (at least in Homesite 5) - that's what I'm talking about. You can stock it with whatever browsers you want.
HTML-Kit also has a similar feature.
[tedster: yes, same as TSP. But it STILL shows me "great and wonderful Oz" stuff, which when viewed in a "real browser" online is NOT wonderful at all. So the "externalization" of the browsers isn't really fully functional/usable. AND there's another problem with this: if you're using includes of any kind, the external browsers won't display the include files UNLESS you figure out how to "map" through a server on localhost - the idea of which I can't seem to get my dim brain around.... and therefore it doesn't work....]
And back to the real question: the danvine site is only "snapshots" - you can't "work" the "workable" parts. So you can't tell anything but if a page looks good - which ain't the whole story at all!