Microsoft Develops a Web Site Testing Tool

Presumably as an answer to Adobe’s Meermeer testing suite, Microsoft is currently developing a tool to allow you to compare your Web site among various browsers. The tool is currently called “SuperPreview” and is apparently going to be a part of the next “Expression Web” suite (which seems to be a cross between the next incarnation of FrontPage and Microsoft’s answer to Dreamweaver).

Having not tried either Meermeer (MM) or SuperPreview (SP), here is a list of the pros and cons I’ve been able to gleen from various blog posts about the products:

  • SP will be a standalone application and will apparently not require an Internet connection. MM will be Flash-based, hosted solution.
  • SP only works on Windows, and will, initially, only support IE, Firefox and Safari (the demo version only supports IE). MM will work from any Flash-enabled browser.
  • SP allows you to overlay one browser’s rendering above another browser’s rendering and will even allow you to overlay the live site on top of a Photoshop file. MM has a feature called “OnionSkin,” which apparently allows you to overlay multiple views of the site on top of each other. I’m not sure if it will have any support for Photoshop files or not (wouldn’t that be ironic if Microsoft’s tool supported Photoshop and Adobe’s didn’t?).

It will be truly interesting to watch the development of both of these tools. I will definitely be pushing for the ability to use both in my professional life (and, if I can afford it, in my part-time side work, as well). For now, though, we all have to continue using IETester, MultipleIE and BrowserShots while keeping multiple browsers installed locally to try to test our sites in multiple browsers.

Internet Explorer 8 Released

Microsoft publicly released the “final” version of Internet Explorer 8, today. Hopefully this will help decrease the amount of users still plodding along with IE6 and convince them to upgrade to either IE7 or IE8. One the main Web site for which I am responsible, IE6 users still make up nearly 25% of our visitors.

If you haven’t already, head on over to Microsoft’s Web site and download IE8. Hopefully IETester will be updated with the final version, soon.

IETester – Test Your Web Apps on Multiple Versions of IE

ietesterI’ve been working on a web application and one of the frustrating bits is wanting to test on multiple versions of Internet Explorer but knowing the computer can only hold one version at a time. Typically what I’ve done in the past is have IEx on my desktop and IEy on my laptop so I can test in at least two versions.

Last week I learned about IETester which is an application that allows you to test in IE 5.5, 6, 7 and 8 Beta. When you load IETester, you select which version of Internet Explorer to run that tab in. And you can have multiple tabs with different versions in each.

It’s one of the most useful Web developer applications I’ve used in a long time.