I am a zealot when it comes to Cross Browser Compatibility. I never wanted to hear the cost arguments or anything else for that matter. My position was, if it didn’t work correctly or at least degrade gracefully across the major browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE and Opera), then somehow I had failed my clients.
For a long time, I even extended this philosophy to IE6 support (trembles with a sudden convulsive movement). As a result, I came to know every single IE hack and filter. After awhile, I was able to recognize every browser bug by name, but more importantly, identify each browser bug fix.
One happy hour, after a very expensive IE6 bug, a good friend finally convinced me it was time to move on. About nine months ago, in a very unceremonious fashion, I stopped supporting IE6. I’ve been making more money and gaining more time ever since.
You can save time with your Cross Browser Compatibility testing. Recently, I contracted to test a client’s Ruby on Rails app across multiple releases of the major browsers. Tired of using the test box, I decided to look for an online replacement to the traditional cross browser testing process. That’s when I ran across Adobe’s BrowserLab.
Maybe it was just my client’s app, but Adobe’s rendering engine was kinda slow (1-2 minutes processing). But, once it was done, things got pretty cool, pretty quickly. First, I was able to setup baseline Browser Sets that would run each time I clicked “Test”. So, I was testing IE6 through IE8 all at once.
Then using the 2-up View, I was able to compare IE7 and IE8 compatibility side-by-side. Here, the major drawback for me was BrowserLab didn’t render the entire page. BrowserLab only rendered up to a certain point on the page. But, it got the job done!
Of course, don’t forget to setup a Test suite for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. But as you might agree, those browsers understand standards well.
How do you handle Cross Browser Compatibility issues on your squad? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your experiences!