We need more browser versions….

One of the big challenges for anyone working on web based projects is the age old challenge of browser compatibility. The number of browsers supported typically depends on a number of factors; your strategy as a business, your customer base (i.e. what browsers they are using) and your required use of the browser (do you only make use of newer features?)…plus many more decisions in what versions you support.

There are several tools out there to help you test against various versions of each browser like Browsershots, Selenium Grid etc but in reality many of these strategies have hurdles to overcome. Sometimes you can’t beat that human element 🙂

This problem for web testers with a wide variety of browsers supported is going to be made slightly worse with the announcement that all three of the major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome) are now doing more frequent releases. So in a sense we could be doing a huge amount of compatibility testing across an even bigger set of browser versions (and growing). This news also affects other departments like support, sales and marketing. What do we support and in what context/extent?

This could mean we need even smarter ways to support and test against these growing versions, and ultimately find out what our customers are using or our product supports. It’s a challenge, but I’m sure we’ll overcome it.

Chrome: http://google-chrome-browser.com/how-google-speeds-chrome-release-cycle-slideshow
Firefox: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20030846-264.html
Internet Explorer: http://www.conceivablytech.com/6745/products/microsoft-releases-first-ie10-preview

2 Replies to “We need more browser versions….”

  1. VM’s are beautiful for just this problem. In addition to browser compatability, for installed software one must also factor in different OS. Windows 7 is quite different than earlier MS OS, and with other OS gaining popularity it really increases scope.

  2. Hi Rich,Absolutely. I use VMs for this same purpose. It’s a good point about operating systems especially since browsers like IE9 won’t work against older versions of Windows.There’s also Linux and MAC too which adds yet further combinations. :)Thanks for commentingrob..

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