Jens Oliver Meiert

On Browser Testing

Post from April 10, 2012 (↻ December 12, 2016), filed under .

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved e-book: On Web Development.

The primary goal for cross-browser testing is to make sure that documents are usable and consistent across different user agents and devices. Even if you understand this to entail both functionality and design, the definition of “usable” can be quite interesting.

Three ideas look particularly important when attempting a definition:

  1. A document should look as intended in all major user agents and devices, yet shouldn’t apply excessive force towards pixel perfection.

  2. A document should be fully functional in all major user agents and devices, yet make smart use of graceful degradation.

  3. A document should be operable within acceptable user and user agent boundaries, acknowledge that there are user preferences and device constraints outside of a developer’s control, and deem a certain degree of user engagement to be reasonable, like (vertical) scrolling, zooming, and rotating.

I’d like to probe these statements—please share your thoughts.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of September 22, 2018.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author and developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google). He plays with philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

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Last update: December 12, 2016

Awareness, honesty, responsibility.