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Best way to test Macintosh compatibility?

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11:08 am on Mar 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As a PC-webdeveloper, I often stumble upon messages about quirks in Macintosh-based browers, which I have no opportunity to test...
What would be the best way to test for compatiblity with Macintosh browsers?
- Does anybody know of a (subscription-based?) remotely accessible Mac, where users can login and test their websites?
- Are there clear lists of compatibility problems in different Mac browsers?
- Or would the best idea be to ask Mac-owners to test my sites?

Our company is very PC-oriented, I've been asking my boss several times for a Macintosh computer for testing purposes, but he doesn't see the need. -- What he can't see, doesn't seem to exist ;-)

Does anybody have any good suggestions?

1:58 am on Mar 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Does anybody know of a (subscription-based?) remotely accessible Mac, where users can login and test their websites?

netmechanic (I used them for one year to check compatibility with different Windows OS and Mac, I use a Mac though....also- I'd post a URL, but I'm not sure that is allowed.)

- Are there clear lists of compatibility problems in different Mac browsers?

The biggest problem I know is Internet Explorer. AFAIK it just does what it wants, standards be damned. So you code to make it look good in IE and it has problems with other "standards compliant" browsers, you code for "standards compliance" and it looks like crap in IE.

Or would the best idea be to ask Mac-owners to test my sites?

good idea, especially for seeing how javascripts work instead of just looking at what screenshots look like. But just like there are still ALOT of people using Windows 98, there are ALOT of people using Mac OS9 and a variety of browsers

3:34 pm on Mar 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Or would the best idea be to ask Mac-owners to test my sites?

It might be tricky to find folks willng to do this for you long-term (just a thought).

But you may be able to get Mac users to create PDF's of the ill-formatted pages and send them in to you. Your boss may be more willing to entertain your request for a Mac if he actually sees the bad impression your company is making for itself.

FYI, to create a PDF on Mac OS X: Select "Print" and click "Save as PDF."

BTW, do you syntax-check your HTML? I have helped folks troubleshoot Mac-browser compatibility just a few times, but in every case, an HTML error was implicated.

6:45 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I know this isn't the same as fully testing a site, but if you merely want to see what a page looks like in Safari, the default Mac browser, there's a tool called iCapture done by a guy name Dan Vine which does that for you -- it's free and web-based, and rather than drop the URL, just go to Google and search for the tool name and the guy's name and you'll find it.
8:46 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Wow very good suggestion! I like the site very much, and this will even be great to show screenshots to support my case for the need of a real Mac for testing! Thank you very much!
9:11 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Browsercam try it
10:03 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>and this will even be great to show screenshots to support my case for the need of a real Mac for testing!

Just in case numbers can help too...

1-You can get a pretty decent used iMac for testing purposes for less than 200 $.
2-Mac users are between 5 % to 8 % of market share.
3-They can afford a more expensive computer.
4-Less then 1 visitor on 500 will signal any anomaly,the rest will just hit the back button.
5-Most of them are graphic artists, journalists, scientists, teachers and forum moderators. :)

10:15 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You don't have a mac!?
10:24 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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No, I don't have a Mac ;-)

I am also planning to do some log file analysis, including how many Mac users visited our site for less than a minute (i.e. came in and ran away again).

10:32 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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ah..go ahead get a mac, it doesn't hurt.

Like MacGuru said, a few hundred bucks will get you something perfectly acceptable (used, but good) for browser checks.

10:43 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am also planning to do some log file analysis, including how many Mac users visited our site for less than a minute (i.e. came in and ran away again).

Smart.

Go by the numbers. They want to hear numbers.

12:29 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am also planning to do some log file analysis

Be careful how you interepret the results. If the Web site is buggy on the Mac, it may already have driven Mac visitors away.

So you might compare first-time visitors only, or visitors who arrived via a search engine, etc.

Kudos for your commitment to your users.

4:34 pm on Apr 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Be careful how you interepret the results. If the Web site is buggy on the Mac, it may already have driven Mac visitors away.

That is exactly my intend; compare the number of Mac users that ran away within one minute (for example because the site doesn't work for them) to the total average, and see if it concerns an above average number of Mac users.

9:45 pm on Apr 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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pleeker
>>iCapture done by a guy name Dan Vine<<

Thanks. This is a great help. No Macs here now but one's coming.

If you don't have a Mac, this is the place to test Safari compatability. I was demo-ing our site to a Mac guy and the nav bar was all jacked up. Very embarrasing. It was fine on IE, NS, and Opera but not Safari.

7:09 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I read somewhere that the rendering engine of Safari is the same as Konqueror on Linux (KHTML). Can anybody confirm that? Does this mean pages will be the same on Safari as on Konqueror?
This would still leave IE/Mac to be tested on a Mac though ;-)
9:27 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Peter72,

I always though Safari's engine was made by General Motors.
Sorry... :)

You heard right about Safari ; rendering is handled by a modified version of KHTML. Pages will not show exactly the same since both browsers evolved in paralel since build 51.

I think there is still a lot of bugs to iron out, especially with CSS 2.

8:51 pm on May 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Peter 72


What would be the best way to test for compatiblity with Macintosh browsers?

There is a mailing list I'm on for the HWG HTML group called hwg critique where you can ask folks to critique the page/site and they will do so from a multitude of browsers/platforms. You have to become a member of HWG is the only problem but the list hardly has any traffic at all.

go to [hwg.org...] and look for hwg critique mailing list.

Lorel

[edited by: Macguru at 7:37 am (utc) on May 8, 2004]
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