How To Test Web Application on Internet Explorer 5.5, 6, 7 on Windows & Mac Safari, Firefox , Linux…

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Friday, December 7, 2007

Cross-browser and cross-platform testing is a bane as well as a requirement for web applications. Consider Internet Explorer on Windows. There are two major version 6 & 7, not to mention still used 5.5. You need to either use different machines or multi-boot machines or use hacks to run them simultaneously or virtualization software like VMWare; not of them are really easy to setup and use for common web developer. Then you have Opera & Firefox (we develop in Firefox so it gets tested first in our case). Did I mention testing on Mac with Safari, Firefox and other browsers? Oh, and don’t forget Linux too. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Let’s see how you can solve most of these problems.

Netrenderer provides you screenshots of how your web page looks like on all major versions (7, 6 & 5.5) of Internet Explorer on Windows. It also provides differences between IE 6 & 7 though I couldn’t get meaningful results. The service is free.

Browsrcamp (yet another website who couldn’t get a properly spelled domain name) provides screenshots of your web pages in Safari browser running on Mac OS X in multiple resolutions. It also provides a paid service which includes many more browsers running on OS X Server 10.4.10:
Camino 1.5.3
Flock 1.0.1
iCab 3.0.3
Mozilla 1.7.13
OmniWeb 5.6
Opera 9.24
Safari 2.0.4
SeaMonkey 1.1.6
Shiira 2.0

They have a duration based charge ranging from 3$ for a two days subscription to 99$ for a year of subscription.

As the above methods are browser based they can be used from any platform. The downside is that they provide images only so you can test the look but not the functionality.

You can test browsers on Linux by using a Live CD. I would recommend either Ubuntu or Kubuntu Live CD for ease of use. You can also get them mailed to you for free.

BTW: Testing Internet Explorer 5.5, 6 & 7 on Linux (emulating Microsoft Windows look & feel) is easy. I would recommend it over any of the image based service for Linux users.


December 12, 2007: 9:03 am

Thanks a stack for the Netrenderer link… was getting reports of an error in IE6 that I couldn’t personally see myself (as I’m on IE7). Sorted now! :)

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