Web Devout tidings

Archive for the 'Browser releases' Category

Standards support progress

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I just wanted to give a little update about where I am on the standards support testing for IE 8. I just got the final version installed this morning, and I’m committed to getting the CSS results out by the end of the weekend.

I’m currently about a third of the way through the CSS section, and so far IE 8 is looking very good. It isn’t all “Y”s, but it’s been pretty close so far. I’m not making any final judgments until I’m done testing, but I suspect that IE 8 is now what I’d consider a “modern” browser in CSS support.

I also made a slight change to the Webpage test page to help with testing: When visiting it in IE 8, there is now a checkbox that says “IE 7 mode”. When you check it and hit the “Display” button, the output will be the IE 7 rendering. This is accomplished via the X-UA-Compatible HTTP header.

Stay tuned.

IE 8 is platform complete

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I know I’ve gotten behind on browser testing, but I’ll definitely be reserving some time in the next couple of weeks to run the newly released IE 8 release candidate through the gauntlet, as well as bringing the Firefox and Opera information up to date. Safari might even get some love, if I can find enough time to get it all done.

Opera 9.5 released

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Yes, I know. I’ll be testing its standards support, too. Firefox 3 will be released this coming Tuesday, the 17th. I won’t have the standards support information done yet for either browser, but I hope to finish the CSS sections this weekend and put that up by Tuesday.

Firefox 3 RC 1

Monday, May 26th, 2008

It’s browser testing season again. Since the first Firefox 3 release candidate has been released, I will begin testing its standards support and adding it to the site. As usual, I’m going to start with the CSS section and post an update when the initial test data is complete.

Rather than using a standard test suite, I prefer to write custom tests as I go. This allows me to get into the nooks and crannies of standards support, but it does take longer. Starting now, I’m going to save all of the test cases of bugs that I find, and at some point I’ll make those test cases publicly available.

My testing process usually works like this: I initially assume that everything with a “Y” in the last version also has a “Y” in the new version, so I’m not testing for regressions in my initial test data. This saves a lot of time, and I can add regression information later as it is found. Next, I go through each “I” and “N” and retest the browser’s support. Features that still have “N” support go by quickly, so it’s the “I” features that take the bulk of my time. The time it takes to complete a section depends on a number of factors, such as the demands by my day job, how scorching hot the weather is, and whether or not the pizza has arrived yet.

In regard to Safari 3 information, that will not be part of this test session. Adding information for a new browser from scratch is a ton more work than updating for a new version, and I want to get the Firefox information out there quickly. At some point, though, I’m going to bite the bullet and do the Safari 3 testing, even if the information isn’t very thorough at first (the IE, Firefox, and Opera information started off very rough as well). Until then, here are some sites you can check out for Safari (WebKit) support information: SitePoint Reference, Wikipedia, Quirksmode.

Internet Explorer 8 beta 1

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Microsoft has released the first beta of Internet Explorer 8. I won’t give a final assessment of its standards support and whatnot until the final release, but here are some of my impressions on the beta so far:

  • It’s really really slow. I feel almost like I’m using Amaya. In particular, the Web Devout site is nearly unusable because the heading backgrounds take forever to render (they are just tiled 2×1 alphatransparent PNGs).
  • Switching to IE 7 mode requires a browser restart. That’s a little annoying, especially since it doesn’t gracefully restore your session like Firefox does during addon changes.
  • It broke the Web. I took a run through Alexa’s top 20 sites (cue rant about Alexa’s methodology), and about half the sites had big glaring display glitches. Yahoo is busted up, CNN is bleeding content… even Microsoft’s own Live.com looks like it has seen better days. I predict that the Web is about to have a lot more meta tags.
  • Web Devout’s headings are standing tall, but not very proud. It looks like IE 8 has a problem with negative margins in generated content. In fact, IE 8 seems to have lots of problems with generated content (which I pretty much expected). Other than that, it’s actually making a good effort at rendering Web Devout properly without any IE-specific rules that apply to IE 8. Still not up to scratch with the other browsers, though.
  • IE 8 still fails 9 tests in the brief CSS test suite I made for IE 7 a while ago.
  • Did I mention it’s really slow?

Keeping in mind what IE 7 beta 1 was like, I’m hoping IE 8 will improve a ton before the final release. But for now, the browser is too slow and buggy to actually use, and it doesn’t help web developers much because there will probably be a lot of additional changes before anything in the engine is final. I’ll dive into it more once Microsoft announces that it’s layout-complete.