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Cross browser compatibility tool

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Thursday January 18, 2007 )

When the Internet Explorer vs. NetScape browser wars were over, the dust settled to reveal NetScape lying bleeding in the gutter. I rejoiced, if only for not having to bother so much with cross browser compatibility issues any more – which were the bane of most web site developers back in those days.

Then FireFox reared its (insert term of choice here) head and I could see history repeating itself.

On a positive note, the rapid growth in popularity of FireFox, did certainly get Microsoft’s butt into gear with Internet Explorer and it has become more standards compliant amongst other things. More so.. not totally.

If you design a site purely to W3C standards and then view it in IE; you may still see a few issues. If you design just using IE to preview your site during development, you’re also likely to differences when viewed in FireFox; so it’s important to use both.

But these aren’t the only two browsers on the market; nor does everyone run the latest versions of Internet Explorer and FireFox.

While I certainly won’t lose any sleep if my site isn’t isn’t compatible in every browser out there, I’m curious as to what it looks like on one of those darned Mac things running something called Safari I’ve heard rumors about, plus a few other operating system/browser/resolution combinations ;).

Browsershots.org to the rescue! Browsershots, a free service, takes screenshots of your page via different browsers through a distributed computing network. These screenshots are then uploaded to their central server for viewing. When you enter your URL, the job is submitted to a queue, so results aren’t immediate; but it’s usually just a few minutes wait. Screenshots expire 30 minutes after upload.

The current list of browsers supported:

MSIE 5.0
MSIE 5.5
MSIE 6.0
MSIE 7.0
Dillo 0.8
Epiphany 2.16
Firefox 1.5
Firefox 2.0
Galeon 2.0
Konqueror 3.5
Mozilla 1.7
Opera 9.2
Safari 2.0

… which covers over 99% of the browser market.

Operating systems supported are Windows, Linux and Mac. A variety of resolution options are also offered along with options for JavaScript versions, color depth, media plugins and more.

A very handy service for checking your your site looks in various browsers and systems – give Browsershots.org whirl!



 

 
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