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Automated Browser Testing

A servive that tests all common browsers for you
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

As a web designer I'm often annoyed, that I have to check all those old browsers for potential bugs, or misinterpretations. Most of all I can' t even have all those browsers installed on one computer, since I want to test for Mac and Linux, too...

So it would be nice if somebody would offer a service, where I can enter my URL, and I get a screenshot of what it looks like on all the browsers I indicate.

That would really save a lot of time.

nick!, Jun 26 2002

Browser report http://www.hav.com/...ack/visbrowser1.htm
[angel, Jun 26 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

"Internet Explorer 95.3, Mozilla 0.4" http://news.com.com/2100-1023-938784.html
From c|net News.com [waugsqueke, Jun 26 2002]

Browser Photo http://www.netmecha...m/browser-index.htm
$120 (around £80) annual subscription for one site. $15 (around £10) one time use. In the old days, a similar service was offered free through Web Site Garage, but this ended when AOL took over the site. This makes Browser Photo the alleged only service of its type currently on the Web. [thumbwax, Jul 01 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Browser Cam http://www.browsercam.com
Browser Cam is a service for web-developers that creates screen captures of your web pages loaded in any browser, any version, any operating system ... so you can quickly see how your webpages look on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, in IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, even the new Macintosh Safari Browser in just about every version of every browser ever released. (Cost ~$1/URL) [jwitchel, Oct 17 2004]

Browsershots http://www.browsershots.org
does what it says [lkozma, Sep 07 2007]


       Is this not a WIBNI? correct me if I'm wrong.
kaz, Jun 26 2002

       I suspect that the stats collected on the page I have linked are fairly representative. They show that 88.5 % of hits are from two basic browser types, and the overwhelming majority of those are from the current incarnation of MSIE. Obviously it would depend to some extent on your intended audience, but it's probably hardly worth your time testing on anything other than IE down to 5.01, Netscape 3, and AOL 7.0.
angel, Jun 26 2002

       angel: although another aspect would be to check it works with special browsers for the blind, etc. And you don't want to piss off the 0.1% using obscure text-based Unix browsers, because they'll whine like no one else.
pottedstu, Jun 26 2002

       That's my point. I know that there are some odd browsers out there, but there's little point spending hours optimizing a site for them. Where do you stop? Academic sites are more likely to be hit by text-only browsers, but they're also less likely to have anything other than text on them.
I take your point on accessibility, but a bit of common sense covers most of the issues.
angel, Jun 26 2002

       This exists and has for some time. I'll see if I can find the link.   

       (later...) I can't find it. I'm sure it's still around, and I'll look again when I have more time. It was a Java applet (actually useful) that mimicked the behavio(u)r of various browsers from Lynx to the latest versions. You could view any URL through it, in any of the browsers it featured. Worked very well.   

       However, my recommendation to you regards this problem is to design for IE 5.0. Screw the others. With IE 5.x/6 holding 95.3% of the market share, I think you're quite safe. (Plus, your pages won't break in Netscape 6.1/7 either...)
waugsqueke, Jun 26 2002

       One of he websites I take care of, is an academic website, and in fact more than 15% of the visitors still use Netscape 4.x. That really sucks, but I still want to make the content accessible for them. The other thing is, that there are still some small fine differences in interpretations of stylesheets or often, if there is a small bug, it doesn't show in IE, but makes everything look ugly in Netscape. I really like the idea of testing special browsersm, in fact I remember I did once check with a device that checked for the colorblind. However, it wasn't reading the CSS correctly, so it didn't help so much.
nick!, Jun 26 2002

       If the sites keep breaking in Netscape 4.x, they'll eventually get tired of it and switch.
waugsqueke, Jun 27 2002

       Actually, this can not be done do to the fact that the web technology that we have imposed is only designed to do so much. I suppose it can be done, but more than likely, no site has the space or usage for that except for places like C|Net.com Builder.com or Zdnet Developer. Either way, the possibility of testing browsers in browsers, is just not possible. Plus, I would think that if something isn't compatible in one browser, it won't be compatible in the other. I also believe that someone really really intelligent would have to come up with modification robots in order to simulate the experiences within each browser. Then again, I remember (dumb***), these are ideas.
AMarkle, Jun 30 2002

       //this can not be done//
Didn't [waugsqueke] just say that it already has been done?
//if something isn't compatible in one browser, it won't be compatible in the other.//
Sorry, but that's just wrong. Try running JavaScript image rollovers or DHTML in Lynx 1.0. Or that evil <blink> in anything other than Netscape.
angel, Jul 01 2002

       [waugs]: true, but not the way I think you intended. I know that few web sites are important enough to me to be worth switching browsers. I'll switch websites, though, until I find one that doesn't throw incompatible crap at me.
wiml, Jul 02 2002

       As a point of interest, what browser are you currently using, [wiml]?
angel, Jul 02 2002

       You can use VMWARE and have working installations of different OS and browser versions .
godless, Aug 07 2002


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