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browser compatibility

tools for checking multiple browsers

1:17 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hope im posting in the correct category.

Im trying to locate tools for checking compatibility across netscape, AOL, windows and Mac browsers.

Personally I dont think its possible for a site to be compatible with all these browsers at the same time.

I would like to be proved wrong, can anyone here point me in the right direction and do just that?

1:40 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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depends what you mean by compatible...if you mean usable and professional looking then I'm certain we've achieved that not only for those you mention, but also for

any version of Mozilla
most (if not all) text to speech browsers

if you mean identical...then you can't guarantee to make the site look identical between any two computers een if they supposedly have the same set up...even if one monitor has been used longer than the other it will make a difference

so identical across a range of browsers is a pointless goal

2:14 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The best (and probably the only existing) tool is a browser itself. Install as many as you can get them, and test your works in all of them.

Of course, this should be done a "clever" way. For example, you don't need Netscape 6.2, Netscape 6.1, Galeon, Phoenix and Mozilla all together, as they all are based on the same engine called Gecko. The only difference is it's version, but there are no any [i]significant[/i] differences that requires you to store more than one. Just get Mozilla 1.0 (Netscape 7 uses it's engine version) and it's quite enough by my opinion.

IE: you need both v.5 and v.6 as there are many new things in latter that should be considered important. Also, I hear quite often that there are sometimes problems with scripts/pages in IE6 while everything is OK in earlier versions.

Opera: get the latest 6.05 version - I don't think that testing in O5 makes much sense. Opera users are quite "mobile" and upgrade quickly; it's audience is (unfortunately - an Opera fan inside me adds) not so large that some version range usage can occure. But when the new O7 will be released, it's a good idea to keep O6 (at least for some first period) because there are many DOM improvements announced in upcoming v.7 that are missing in current v.6.

Also get any of Netscape 4.x versions (it's enough to get just one), if you plan to support it too. I don't tend to rise an arguement again about it - I just state that it is important to get a complete picture that includes data about what will happen with your page/script in old browser.

Of course, this is an ideal picture. There are some diffuculties to achieve this; for example, it's impossible to install several different IE versions on one Windows system. And if you upgrade it, it's no way back - that's why I use IE5 (for testing only - I don't need it for web surfing) and don't upgrade to IE6.

I think that this can be useful:
It's story is about multi-browser set-up on Mac.

2:25 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This is a useful tool: http://www.anybrowser.com

I also keep IE, Opera and Netscape handy for easy testing.

3:33 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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At work I keep IE (6 is what my department is standardized on), Opera 6, and NN4, as well as Mozilla for testing purposes. I have multiple versions of Mozilla, Netscape, phoenix, etc, but agree that they are not necessary for testing. I just like to look at different UIs and play with the newest version of Gecko I can.

At home, I use Galeon, and keep Opera 6 and NN4 for testing. I also test in Konqueror. My emulated Windows installation just hosed itself, but it used to have IE6 as well, for testing. Until I get that put back up, I'll be using my wife's computer to test in IE.

4:09 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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thanks for the response.

just to clear it up, when i say compatibility i mean, how can i be certain that my site will be viewable across multiple formats of browsers.

i personally dont think its possible to please everyone all of the time, in regard to browsers.

i know that different browsers dont always read the same tags as others do, so i need to assertain my target audience and determine which browers to validate my pages for?

as long as the code is clean, maybe stripped bare, it should be able to be viewed across a wider variety of formats?

5:24 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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A good place to check for proprietary codes or how well certain codes work in various is browsers is this site:


They've got a comparison chart showing implementation differences in PC, Mac, and Unix, as well as across browsers including AOL and WebTV.

If you want to just check your code to see if it's W3C compatible, try this link for HTML code validation:


Or this one for CSS validation:


If your code passes these tests, any browser that adheres to W3C standards should be able to view your site.

5:25 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The best bet is to make sure your code validates with the W3C standards:

W3C HTML Validator [validator.w3.org]
W3C CSS Validator [jigsaw.w3.org]

Beyond that - not necessarily bare, but as simple and straightforward a style as you can work out for your pages. Include only those "extras" which are important to your business purpose.

I find that this also helps the user make sense of your message, no matter what it is.

7:46 pm on Oct 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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sorry, bare minimum was a slight exaggeration, clean would have been a much better term to use. :)

thanks to all for your response


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