Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Software The Internet

Microsoft's New Multiple-Browser Tester 221

Posted by kdawson
from the innovation-actually dept.
Z80xxc! writes "Microsoft recently announced a new product called Expression Web SuperPreview, which lets developers view their web pages in any browser installed on their system, as well as in different versions of IE, all from the same interface. The product has one genuine innovation — a built-in tool for overlaying the rendering from one browser over another to compare (referred to as 'onion skins'). There are also HTML debugging aids and other helpful tools for web developers. A beta version is available for download. However, the current build only has support for IE — it will compare rendering in IE6 with either IE7 or IE8, whichever is installed. An internal build shows Firefox and Safari on Windows as well. The final product will appear as part of MS Expression Web Studio 3 when it is released later this year. (It will not be available in the Expression Mac suite.)"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft's New Multiple-Browser Tester

Comments Filter:
  • Browsershots (Score:5, Informative)

    by Snowblindeye (1085701) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:22PM (#27373667)
    There is a free service that does the same thing: browsershots.org [browsershots.org]
    • Re:Browsershots (Score:4, Informative)

      by larry bagina (561269) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:27PM (#27373705) Journal

      Queue estimate: 3 minutes to 1 hour, 12 minutes

      It's only free if your time is worth nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Xtravar (725372)

        Because obviously you have no other important work to do until it's finished.

        Because you just design websites from your mom's basement for some spare cash on the side.

        Anyway, browsershots is useful for browsers you don't have installed and want to *eventually* check. This product is for browsers you have installed and want to debug *now*.

        • Re:Browsershots (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ericlondaits (32714) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:10PM (#27374057) Homepage

          I do web developing professionally and can say that a service with a 3 hour queue is only marginally useful. When your site has a rendering bug under some browser it takes quite a bit of trial and error while fiddling with CSS until you come up with a different way of expressing the same layout that is compatible across the board. IE6, particularly, has numerous rendering bugs that sometimes call for this "do the same, but differently" route and some bugs that require hacks to be put in place. While looking for the rendering bug you also need to find out what exactly is going on... for instance, IE6 will double an element's margin in some cases, but you need to find out which element first, which can be done with a bit more of fiddling with the CSS. ... So anything but an interactive solution is worthless in this cases. A service like browsershots is useful to check the state of a site, but once you find it has errors, you probably need something else.

          I have a single VMWare VM with side-by-side installations of IE3 through 6, and IE7 in my main OS, along with Opera, Safari and Firefox.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dmsuperman (1033704)
            Not only that, but if the issue requires you to scroll or click to show you the bug then you're SOL. Personally I run a VM for IE6, a VM for IE7 (only because I've found MultipleIE to not always accurately represent what the end user uses), and Firefox in one of the VMs. I have outrageous amounts of RAM to play with, though. At work we have a couple fairly decent windows machines running remote desktop that the lot of us remote desktop into to view the pages, for the 15 or so of us it works quite well.
            • Re:Browsershots (Score:4, Insightful)

              by ericlondaits (32714) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:59PM (#27374325) Homepage

              Just minutes ago I had to fix a bug where IE7 will place misterious bullets on "ul" elements which had the bullets removed through CSS... but the bullets only appear in some of the pages, and dissapear when you scroll or force a redraw of the browser (i.e. by minimizing and maximizing).

              Browsershots is also useless when checking JS code, animation, DHTML and AJAX... which amounts to a good percentage of what I do.

          • by D Ninja (825055)

            I have a single VMWare VM with side-by-side installations of IE3 through 6, and IE7 in my main OS, along with Opera, Safari and Firefox.

            IE3 through 6? Really? I can understand supporting 6, maybe even 5, but if people are still on 4 or 3, they sure as heck don't know what's going on with their computer, and you're creating (what seems to me) a lot of extra work for yourself.

            I'm not a web designer, though. Can you explain why you care about IE3/4/5 compatibility? Is it that huge of the marketshare that it even matters?

            • Normally I just test for IE6, and in some special cases I might test for 5.5... I've never been asked to support IE4 yet, but installing it along the rest wasn't any harder.

        • "Because obviously you have no other important work to do until it's finished."

          Human multitasking is very, very, very bad for productivity. By switching task one will lose his concentration, and it will take a long time before one's back into "the zone" [wikipedia.org]. If you have two tasks to finish, it's faster if you finish them serially. If you multitask between them every 10 minutes then it might take you twice as long to finish the tasks.

          If I have to wait 3 minutes every time I want to see a browser rendering it wil

      • 3 minutes is pretty quick but over an hour, well after getting a huge spike in demand (presumably we all submitted something) thats still not bad.

        but if you looked at details of the 67 default browsers most will complete in 20 minutes or less. the remaining ones are all on bsd completing in about an hour.

        I hate to say this but unless your site is huge or bsd related bsd hits are going to be very rare, and unlikely to get much paid attention.

        The alternative product from Microsoft is a windows only product su

      • results
        67 different browser versions across 4 platforms 60+ near identical renderings and then there is internet explorer... but then we knew that didn't we.

    • Re:Browsershots (Score:4, Informative)

      by FooBarWidget (556006) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:45PM (#27373843)

      Browsershots is not a serious alternative. Everything that you send to Browsershots will be placed into a giant queue so you'll have to wait about 30 minutes before you see the results.

      • Re:Browsershots (Score:4, Informative)

        by ais523 (1172701) <ais523(524\)(525)x)@bham.ac.uk> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:23PM (#27374133)
        You can pay to jump the queue. Also, the 30 minute time is for if you want rendering on some really obscure browsers; the more easily available browsers, like Firefox and IE, generally render pretty quickly, and if you turn off all the obscure ones you'll get shorter queue times. Still, Browsershots is best for a final check that your page works in really obscure browsers, as opposed to other alternatives which you'd use during development.
    • Re:Browsershots (Score:5, Informative)

      by RichardJenkins (1362463) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:47PM (#27373855)

      Overlay? Interactivity? Real time results?

      Last time I checked browser shots didn't provide that for free.

      This sounds like the first new MS product that's interested me in a while.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hannes2000 (1113397)

        This sounds like the first new MS product that's interested me in a while.

        What a coincidence, that one of Microsofts more interesting products' sole purpose is ironing out their own fail :-)

    • by bcrowell (177657)
      I like browsershots and use it quite a bit. I don't consider the wait time to be a huge issue. I can just do something else while I wait. It sure beats driving in to work to get access to a Windows machine for testing, and I don't have access to a mac at all, not even at work. You can test a huge number of browsers in it, way more than it would be practical to do by hand. The one place where browsershots doesn't quite do the job for me is when I have javascript that I need to test interactively. However, it
    • Unfortunately it doesn't let you test behavior. You can't tell it to click a page. It's also hard to get IE 6/7 shots off there, at least every time i've tried). It's a pretty unconvincing way to correct IE bugs.

      Right now I'm in the market for a way to test IE6/7/8 on my Mac without having to license Windows 3 times. At the moment there's not an IE6 machine within 3 miles.

  • Web standards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightglider28 (1243916) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:22PM (#27373671)
    Tools like this, while helpful, should never have been necessary. If MS, owner of the dominant browser, wasn't among the poorest in W3C compatibility, stuff like this wouldn't be needed. Web pages should render the same in any browser, on any OS. The only difference should be in resolution.
    • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:25PM (#27373693) Journal
      As long as there are different rendering engines, things will look differently. The biggest problem is that you cannot have multiple versions of Internet explorer installed on the same computer.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BenoitRen (998927)

        Every rendering engine that isn't Trident renders most things the same way, as long as the code is valid.

        • Re:Web standards (Score:5, Interesting)

          by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:53PM (#27373911)

          Oh, very much not true. Webkit (either Chrome or Safari, take your pick) and Gecko render things very differently. Especially in regard to fonts. Not even Chrome and Safari render fonts the same way.

          There's also some weirdness related to boxes, but that should come as no surprise to anyone.

          • Re:Web standards (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:09PM (#27374053)

            No they don't. Not relative to the differences between Trident and most other engines.

            There may be some differences, but they're nothing when compared to IE's awful rendering engine. Just look at the broken box model, or the hasLayout flag for example.

            For around the last five years my Web design job has always revolved around making things look right in standards compliant browsers, then hacking for IE. Look at the code of most sites these days and you'll see an IE-specific style sheet.

            • Re:Web standards (Score:5, Insightful)

              by causality (777677) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:12PM (#27374401)

              No they don't. Not relative to the differences between Trident and most other engines.

              There may be some differences, but they're nothing when compared to IE's awful rendering engine. Just look at the broken box model, or the hasLayout flag for example.

              For around the last five years my Web design job has always revolved around making things look right in standards compliant browsers, then hacking for IE. Look at the code of most sites these days and you'll see an IE-specific style sheet.

              Imagine the sum total of the economic cost to Web designers worldwide, if such a figure could be accurately assessed. I wonder just how large this number would be? To me this sort of unnecessary and deliberate incompatibility is very much like spam; it's a business practice that causes others to bear its costs. If the total cost to Web designers everywhere could be known, I really would have no problem with fining Microsoft for that amount, accompanied by the legal use of government police power to seize assets if this is necessary to pay the fine.

              If that sounds drastic, I say that the only thing more absurd is the idea that we should have to put up with this kind of shit and shouldn't use any means available to discourage it, within the bounds of the law of course. I really believe that the only reason why Microsoft gets away with half of the things that they do is because of the general public's ignorance and lack of technical understanding. If not for that then I would expect at least some type of backlash against it, much like what Sony experienced due to their rootkit DRM.

              • by pyrbrand (939860)

                Should we charge every new browser that doesn't match existing browsers? Because there's certainly no browser which is 100% compliant with every standard. And the standards themselves leave a lot of leeway with things like "might", "may" etc.

                You're certainly allowed to put a "works best in Chrome" stamp on your pages - no one's making you keep them working in Safari, FF, and the various versions of IE. What you're paying, essentially, is the non-monopoly tax. The only way you're not going to have to t

              • Imagine the sum total of the economic cost to Web designers worldwide, if such a figure could be accurately assessed. I wonder just how large this number would be? First off, if we really wanted standards compliant browsing, we could just send bitmaps over the server back to the client. We can stream bitmaps to the client and remote desktop works like a champ. The concept of a standards compliant browser is retarded from the get go because all consumers really truly need is a standards compliant remote d
              • it doesn't cost web designers it makes them money. it costs companies and people who for whatever reason want to make a website. because these issues make it hard for an inexperienced person to make a widely compatible and also reasonably advanced website, they have to hire experienced web designers
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Blakey Rat (99501)

              For around the last five years my Web design job has always revolved around making things look right in standards compliant browsers, then hacking for IE. Look at the code of most sites these days and you'll see an IE-specific style sheet.

              Smart people code in the browser most of their customers use, then adapt that code for the other browsers. It's a lot easier that way around.

              I'm not one of those "worship at the alter of web standards" people for two reasons:

              1) I'd *much* rather have browser makers add fea

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pizzach (1011925)

            I have news for you: Ariel and Verdana are not always guaranteed to be available. People may even enlarge them or shrink them on your web page without your permission. Fonts are something you have to plan for when making web pages, though many nowadays don't. I HATE authors forcing font sizes smaller than I am comfortable with.

            • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Animaether (411575) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:01PM (#27374339) Journal

              That's no argument against the fact that presuming that, as per your example (which GP didn't give),
              - Arial IS available
              - The user IS NOT overriding the document style
              - The window size etc. IS the same (or the website is presented in a fixed-width format to begin with)

              things still do not render the same even between browsers that supposedly use the same engines.

              I lay much of the blame with the W3C. All that fuzziness with "A browser MIGHT display this as:" and "a browser MAY ...". All that has no place in 'strict' documents. Either the browser renders it exactly the way as specced, or it doesn't follow the spec. Sounds simple enough, but apparently as long as you just do things 'close enough', you're standards-compliant.

              Doesn't take away that IE is indeed, by far, the worst of the bunch (IE/FF/Opera/Safari/Chrome), but to dismiss the fact that there are differences between even the 'standards-compliant' engines/browsers as "well they're just minor differences" (as per your sibling poster) or "you probably just didn't design your site right" is a bit silly

              • Re:Web standards (Score:5, Insightful)

                by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3 AT justconnected DOT net> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:05PM (#27374863)

                No no no no no.

                That thought is breaking the Web.

                HTML is a markup language. It was NEVER designed to give a pixel-picture representation of content. EVER. That would break mobile browsing, not to mention different resolutions, and everything else.

                What you're looking for is called PDF, and it works great. That makes the guarantees you want - every pixel is in its proper place.

                Too many designers, used to working in pamphlets where they had complete control, moved to web design. They just aren't the same!!

                • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by indiechild (541156) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:15PM (#27375369)

                  Even PDFs with vector-based images and layouts render slightly differently on different platforms and different PDF viewers. I could hardly believe it myself when I saw the results.

                  The only thing you can trust is a bitmap image.

                • by claar (126368)

                  No no no no no.

                  That thought has perpetuated the breakage of the Web.

                  HTML (combined with CSS, etc) and decent design should not be mutually exclusive. It should be possible to specify that, if the client renderer supports it, an exact rendering. Why do we have to resort to flash or PDF to get content to look the way a designer intended?

                  We're getting closer with CSS3, and while I can't stand the jumbled mess that has become HTML/CSS/Javascript, I believe we can have the best of both worlds (pixel-perfect re

                  • by Rich0 (548339)

                    HTML (combined with CSS, etc) and decent design should not be mutually exclusive.

                    Absolutely. Just put your document text inside the appropriate header/table/list tags and the browser will render it just great using a VERY decent design.

                    The problem comes when what you're using a content markup language to desribe an appliction GUI. HTML is about content - not presentation. If I'm reading a news article I don't see why it needs to take up 30% of the screen with the other 70% occupied with navigation device

                • That would break mobile browsing

                  Everything breaks for mobile browsing. The interface and interaction differences are too great to try to reconsile the difference between a mobile phone and a "real" browser. That is why you do a seperate website for them.

                  It was NEVER designed to give a pixel-picture representation of content

                  It was never designed to display images either. Quite frankly I dont care what it was designed for. Times change and now days, we expect all browsers to render the way we specify.

                • HTML is a markup language. It was NEVER designed to give a pixel-picture representation of content. EVER. That would break mobile browsing, not to mention different resolutions, and everything else. HTML was supposed to be a markup language but it is a layout language now. So now we have an ok markup language being shoehorned into a presentation langauge and let's throw some scripting on top of that. Dude, the internet is a train wreck. screw all this browser shit, and let everyone have some basic kind
        • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Insightful)

          by moderatorrater (1095745) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:06PM (#27374027)
          The problem is that "most" isn't the target for high profile websites, they need to be as close to identical as possible. The assertion that cross browser testing only came about because of MS was just plain wrong. In fact, it could be argued that for a few years, cross browser testing wasn't necessary because of Microsoft since IE was the only browser with any significant market share.
      • Errrr, not so, Grasshopper. I have IE4, IE5, IE6, IE7 and IE8 all on the same physical machine, and I can view a page side by side in all of them. What's more I can run Firefox 2, Firefox3, and Firefox 3.1 at the same time that I run Safari, Chrome, and Konqueror. Granted, you can't run them all in the same installation of Windows, but that doesn't stop me comparing browsers. ;)
        • by tepples (727027)

          I have IE4, IE5, IE6, IE7 and IE8 all on the same physical machine

          Which requires the purchase of how much hardware and how many Windows licenses?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            its called a virtual machine ;)
            • Let me rephrase (Score:3, Interesting)

              by tepples (727027)

              its called a virtual machine ;)

              I knew that. Please let me rephrase my question:

              You have one PC running Internet Explorer versions 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in virtual machines. What kind of PC hardware would one need to run these virtual machines at an acceptable speed, and how many licenses for Microsoft Windows operating systems loaded into these virtual machines would one need to purchase?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE [tredosoft.com] You would only need 1 windows xp vm, so you would probably only need 1 gig of ram for the virtual machine at most, which doesn't cost that much and 1 copy of windows xp which is only $150 at most I believe
      • Yes, it's possible:

        http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE [tredosoft.com]

      • The biggest problem is that you have to license and run windows in order to test IE. Yikes!
      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        The biggest problem is that you cannot have multiple versions of Internet explorer installed on the same computer.

        You can with an application virtualization technology, like Softricity's SoftGrid (now Microsoft's App-V), or VMware's ThinApp, or Citrix's XenApp. Of course, those wrappers also come with their own set of unique, difficult-to-research bugs, so as always YMMV.

    • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RichardJenkins (1362463) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:50PM (#27373885)

      Layout should be identical amongst media types. Rendering differences (think: fonts available, widgets, text-only workstations etc.) are possible with two different systems adhering perfectly to standards.

      Try telling that to a non-technical designer though :(

      • Try telling that to a non-technical designer though :(

        • uninstall internet explorer
        • uninstall firefox
        • install lynx

        "What, your browsers are all gone? Can't handle that right now, please put it in the ticket system..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Literaphile (927079)
      Try telling that to a client who demands that her website "just works on my screen". Yes, every web developer wishes that IE would just go away, but it's a moot point. As long as 'normal' users continue to use IE because it's all they know - most clients I've dealt with just call it 'the internet', they don't even know what a browser is - we just have to pander. That's life.
    • by abigsmurf (919188)

      No browser conforms 100% to specifications. There's plenty of valid code with will look different, perhaps to the extent of being broken, in Safari, Opera and Mozilla.

      For example I've had major annoyances in the past with Firefox not supporting Negative Z-indexes and it needs its own Mozilla specific command to change the box model (I hate the W3C's choice of default box model) whereas all the other browsers use the proper syntax.

    • It absolutely would. Speaking as someone who's spent many hours debugging problems that only appear in webkit-based browsers, not Firefox or IE, I can safely say that multiple browser testing would be necessary anyway.
    • by benwaggoner (513209)

      Perhaps this is more an issue about Windows' dominance on managed corporate desktops.

      IE6 is the version that gets most of the ire about compatibility. But the current version is IE8, which is quite standards compliant, and IE7 was much better in that regard than IE6.

      Looking at the browser history timeline:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org]

      IE6 came out October 2001, the same month as Netscape 6.2, and the better part of a year before Mozilla 1.0 was released. Would Netscape 6.2 offer tha

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Nobody uses Netscape 6 these days. They never did, as it was a pretty useless browser. But lots of people still use ie6.

        • by benwaggoner (513209) <<moc.tfosorcim> <ta> <renoggaw.neb>> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:31PM (#27374579) Homepage

          Exactly. The problem isn't that IE6 was a bad browser for its era. The problem is that lots of people haven't upgraded to a more recent version, which is typical of the corporate managed desktop market.

          IE7's been on the market for, what 2.5 years now? How many people are still running 2.5 year old versions of Firefox or Safari on thier personal desktops? Not many. And that's not something about IE in particular, but of some markets where IE is dominant. I don't imagine many avid gamers on Windows are running IE6, as a counterexample.

          Had Windows bundled Netscape instead of IE, it'd be Netscape we'd be griping about today. But the real issue is how slow corporate desktops are to get updated for ANYTHING not required for security or line-of-business.

          Windows Media Player 9, which was released back in 2003, has only become standard in corporate America in the last year or so, and there are some holdouts even there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by amorsen (7485)

        Would Netscape 6.2 offer that much a better browsing experience for today's internet?

        Probably not, because today's internet tests for IE6 and hand feeds it something it can handle. The same isn't done for Netscape 6.2. However, if you removed the hand feeding and fed Netscape 6.2 what you feed Firefox, it would do vastly better than IE6.

        Also, Firefox 1 arrived less than a year after IE6, and its standard support is probably on par with IE7.

        • by anss123 (985305)

          Also, Firefox 1 arrived less than a year after IE6, and its standard support is probably on par with IE7.

          IE6: 27 August 2001
          Firefox 1.0: November 9, 2004

          Wow, the years really are getting shorter :-)

    • Re:Web standards (Score:4, Informative)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:02PM (#27373997) Journal

      Web pages should render the same in any browser, on any OS. The only difference should be in resolution.

      Not really. HTML/CSS is not designed for pixel-perfect rendering, so you cannot reasonably expect that - for example, things such as word and line breaks, and word wrapping in general, are up to the user agent. Then, of course, you cannot guarantee that the user will have a specific font family installed, and CSS generic families are called "generic" for a reason. And so on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pete-classic (75983)

      Web pages should render the same in any browser, on any OS.

      Your heart is firmly in the right place, but you're conclusions are faulty.

      No version of HTML as ever been intended to be a page description language. If you want things to look a certain way use PostScript, PDF, or another language that is intended to give a specific layout.

      HTML is intended to allow you to describe your content so that an agent can display it in accordance with the viewer's preferences.

      The fundamental problem, even bigger than IE'

      • by coryking (104614) *

        You know I find it moderately amusing how everybody who makes arguments like yours has a horribly bland looking website [hutnick.com].

        Pro Tip: Presentation matters as much as the content. In fact, presentation *is* part of the content.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rdebath (884132)

          Pro Tip: Presentation matters as much as the content. In fact, presentation *is* part of the content.

          Yup, spend too much time on the fluff and there's no content left for the meat.

          As for Hutnick's site it's definitely a case in point. He's using (almost) plain HTML and what should have happened was that your browser would supply your favourite style sheet so that it doesn't look ugly and bland to you. That way the web is an information source and nobody needs to create the fluff.

          Of course, then Microsoft declared the browser wars and everybody started bastardising HTML. Some people who understood the

        • I got an iPhone on release day. My page looked "right" the first time I loaded it. So did the PDF on my site. Nearly ever other site I visited looked broken.

          I fail to see how I'm the one with the problem.

          The fact that you describe my vanity page as "horribly bland" says as much about you as it does about it. I'd be more inclined to call it "perfectly functional", or, if I was feeling generous, "delightfully austere".

          Presentation certainly can be part of the content. But if I can't get to your content b

      • Hmmm. Then maybe "Web Pages" shouldn't be written in HTML.

        Speaking as an html/css/javascript writing maniac.

      • Your t-shirt feed is offline:
        "Error establishing a database connection"

        Don't fix it 'cause I complained, though... I'd never heard of it until three minutes ago.

  • Is anyone surprised that it has a terrible name like that? I'm actually glad they didn't call it "Livesearch Expression Web SuperPreview Pro. For windows"
    • by abigsmurf (919188)

      Yeah, it's so much worse than GIMP or Firefox for hinting at what it's function is!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Actually, GNU Image Manipulation Program is quite an apt name.
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Yeah, it's so much worse than GIMP or Firefox for hinting at what it's function is!

        Why? Doesn't your operating system categorize it under graphical programs and then give a informative tip next to the name saying that it's a image manipulation program?

    • TheseCamelCaseBuzzWordsAreSo90's!

  • IETester (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2009 @06:45PM (#27373839)

    IETester ( http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage ) will let you test rendering in IE5.5, IE6, IE7 and IE8 on the same machine - you're not limited to whichever of IE7 and 8 is installed.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Who still uses IE 5.5? I think even Windows 95 could be upgraded to IE6.

      • by rdebath (884132)

        Horrifyingly about a quarter of a percent are still using IE5. I really, really, hope they are faking their UA string ... please.

  • Safari but no Chrome or Opera?

  • The OP mentions that this is not available for the Mac version of the Expression suite.

    This is because that doesn't exist. The Expression Media product is cross-platform, as it is a new version of iView, a cross-platform product Microsoft purchased.

    http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/overview.aspx?key=media [microsoft.com]

    The other products in Expression Studio began life as Windows-only products, and remain so.

    That said, The Expression Professional Subscription does include a license for Parallels, so I suppose it's supported on Mac in that sense :).

    http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/ProfessionalSubscription.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • by tb3 (313150)

      Interesting that it includes Parallels. When Microsoft bought Connectix they had a perfectly good virtualization program in the form of Virtual PC. But they promptly axed the Mac version of the program, and Parallels and VMWare filled the void. Microsoft really seems to have a thing for killing Mac versions of the products they buy. There doesn't seem to be anything left but Office, and yet the Mac is thriving.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:20PM (#27374117)
    Isn't it great how modern technology can do things like this? Back in the old days, we had to make do with defining a standard and ensuring that everything displayed things according to it. But now, we don't need the stifling constraints of consistency; browsers can be creative in their interpretation, and every developer can use a tool like this to see the amount of expression browsers put into rendering. I foresee a future where this innovation will be carried to things like simple desk calculators, where 2+2 is no longer shackled to equal 4, where one will have a "multi-calculator" that gives a range of results. I can't wait!
    • by qw0ntum (831414) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @07:46PM (#27374243) Journal
      Every browser has quirks. Things render differently even between Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. As long as the rendering engine's source code is different and people are running the browser on different platforms, you're going to have differences in the way that pages are rendered, and that's just a fact of life. This tool makes it easier to spot differences in the way your code renders on different browsers. I'm not sure what your sarcasm is adding (dystopian future of calculators?) but given that differences will always exist between browsers this tool seems well-designed and helpful.
    • > I foresee a future where this innovation will be carried to things like simple desk calculators, where 2+2 is no longer shackled to equal 4, where one will have a "multi-calculator" that gives a range of results. I can't wait!

      Sweet! I could really use a calculator that does mod 3 arithmetic! That will show those people who don't believe me when I tell them that 2+2 == 1!

    • by pyrbrand (939860)
      What is this "old days" you speak of? The "old days" I remember was the one where each website said "best viewed at 800x600 in Netscape Navigator 3.5". Or if you were lucky "800x600 in Netscape Navigator 4 or IE 5.5".
    • by prockcore (543967)

      Even in the old days, there were competing standards.

      EBC-DIC versus ASCII for example. Hell, there were even variants of that. The Apple II used ASCII, but unless you wanted inverse or flashing text, you had to set the MSB.

  • However, the current build only has support for IE â" it will compare rendering in IE6 with either IE7 or IE8, whichever is installed.

    Well, that's not too bad, at least. Webkit and firefox seem to render the pages I design just as I expect. It's almost always IE6 that has the issues, so if I could pick one...

  • Dreamweaver (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PktLoss (647983) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:05PM (#27374861) Homepage Journal

    Adobe did a demo of their next Dreamweaver release last fall at their Adobe Max conference. Similar feature there, except a bit better. Using a render farm your page is rendered in pretty much every browser, on each OS (rather than just what you have installed), including the "Onion Skin" feature shown in Expression Web. They even used the same name for the feature.

    • by pyrbrand (939860)
      The Expression feature renders on whichever browsers you have installed locally, plus a cloud based service for rendering on other OSes as you describe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by indi0144 (1264518)

      I have to admit I was tempted and looked for the Expresion Studio product page, once there, any demo obviously require Silverlight. since I'm on the Linux machine and Silverlight will not touch the windows machine EVER. I clicked on the install and prompt me to the Moonlight page. I have to admit again that I was waiting for the "zomg you're using Linux what the hell are you doing here? chu chu" but no. I'm confused == Microsoft delivered. Bah I did not install Moonligh.

      I'm not a big fan of Dreamweaver, I d

  • Microsoft is getting desperate in its failed attempts to keep Windows relevant as a development environment.
    .

    When Microsoft ports a tool like this to Linux, then and only then will Microsoft be viewed as anything but a company that is trying to take over the computing world.

  • I remember that we used an online service that did this in 2003. We also had Photoshop overlay scripts. A layer for every version, colorize them, and then substract them from each other. Or something like that.

    As always, Microsoft tries to sell us something as their great new "invention", that was already old before they found it in the products of their concurrents.

    (Mind you, that I am no Microsoft basher, and give credit where credit is deserved. As with having the most successful OS in history (by being

  • I prefer to use Xenocode's Browser appliances. With them I can compare IE6, IE7, and IE8. They also have FireFox, Safari, and Google Chrome. (I don't use these though. I have FireFox installed and the others have too small market share to really spend time testing against.)

    http://www.xenocode.com/browsers/ [xenocode.com]

  • by nysus (162232) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:39AM (#27376709)

    This is a lot like someone kneecapping you and then expecting you to be thankful when they offer you crutches.

  • First we invented the cross-browser compatibility problem. Then we worked hard and spent millions of dollars to make sure it persisted for more than a decade. Now we have the ultimate solution!!!
  • I installed it on XP, 3200 MHz. Firstly, it was 250 MB download, then it asked to install .Net 3.5 SP1, it was 74 MB download, then after clicking about 10 times on OK of different questions, it finally installed.

    I started it from Start menu, it crashed. I rebooted PC, started it again, it crashed again. I uninstalled it. 1 hour of my time lost on this thing.

    Did you MS people go insane? Why just not let me download a file of 300 MB, if you need this size, and let me start it? Like, say, Mozilla or Gimp

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

Working...