Monday, February 14, 2005

Websites: test your pages with multiple browsers!

Consider this an open plea to any company with an internet presence: please test your websites against more than just Internet Explorer and Netscape!

"I've performed software quality assurance of some type at three different companies in my IT career. Any time we tested web sites, we generally did so against Microsoft's Internet Explorer and occasionally against Netscape Navigator. It made sense at the time: IE was clearly the dominant player and Netscape was a distant but solid second. In case you haven't noticed: times have changed and there's a new sheriff in town.

Please test your sites across multiple browsers. Now that Mozilla's Firefox has surpassed 24 million downloads, you would think that this is a large enough number to evaluate you web testing plans going forward. Please don't just test with IE; consider testing with Firefox, the Mozilla suite, Opera and others. Be sure to test your pages with the images off also; there's a few folks still on dial-up and you wouldn't to further alienate potential customers would you?

Special note to Microsoft: Yes, you're still 'king of the browser world' and I don't dispute that. But please: grow up and allow your key sites to be viewed with Firefox and others. It's bad enough that I have to get patches for your software on a regular basis to begin with. At least open up your Windows Update site to work with non-IE browsers so you don't add more salt to the wound."

Kevin C. Tofel

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