On Browser Testing
Post from April 10, 2012 (↻ June 1, 2020), filed under Web Development.
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 entail both functionality and design, the definition of “usable” can be quite interesting.
Three ideas look particularly important when attempting a definition:
A document should look as intended in all major user agents and devices, yet shouldn’t apply excessive force towards pixel perfection.
A document should be fully functional in all major user agents and devices, yet make smart use of graceful degradation.
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.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m a web developer (engineering manager) and author. 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.
Have a look at the most popular posts, possibly including:
Perhaps my most relevant book: CSS Optimization Basics (2018). Writing CSS is a craft. As craftspeople we strive to write high quality CSS. In CSS Optimization Basics I lay out some of the most important aspects of such CSS. (Also available in a bundle with Upgrade Your HTML and The Web Development Glossary.)
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