On Browser Testing

Post from April 10, 2012 (↻ July 17, 2022), filed under (feed).

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved ebook: 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 include both functionality and design, the definition of “usable” is 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.

Toot or tweet about this?

About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!