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DESIGN USABILITY

Browsers as Test Platforms


In this article we will take a look at browsers from a developer’s point of view. When developing for the Web, it is inevitable that we need to debug and test our work. How easy or how hard is it to find the problems causing errors, and how easy is it to replicate certain environment changes? Once we identify the steps we need to take to test properly, we will see if there is a chance to extend the browser to make these steps a lot easier.

Author Info:
By: Chris Heilmann
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 8
December 08, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Browsers as Test Platforms
  2. · Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  3. · Mozilla Firefox 1.0
  4. · Opera 7.5
  5. · Summary
  6. · Browser wishlist

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Browsers as Test Platforms - Browser wishlist
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With the aforementioned extensions even IE is a good testing and debugging platform, but browsers are still far too forgiving to help interaction architects with their quest for a compliant and clean Web.

Some of the stricter features of older browsers – Netscape 4.x not rendering unclosed tables or IE showing a fixed status bar and popping up error messages – got axed for seemingly better usability.

Maybe a really strict browser, or even better, the operating system refusing to render invalid HTML, would make the Web a cleaner and more reliable media than it is today. It would also ensure that companies need to provide quality rather than quantity in a shiny wrapper.

Links

[1] Quirksmode: http://gutfeldt.ch/matthias/articles/doctypeswitch.html

[2] FireFox web developer toolbar http://texturizer.net/firefox/extensions/#webdeveloper

[3] MSIE accessibility toolbar: http://www.nils.org.au/ais/web/resources/toolbar/redirect/

[4] Testing bookmarklets: http://slayeroffice.com/?c=/content/tools/suite.html

[5] More testing bookmarklets http://www.accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/accessibility-checking-favelets.asp


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