Quiet day at work today – I spent a good chunk of it decommissioning my collection of Windows XP virtual machines and setting up a series of Windows 7 virtuals to replace them.
Why do I need so many, I hear you ask? Well, if you want to test a website properly, you need multiple versions of Internet Explorer, and that means multiple systems. So now I have a system with IE 8 (third largest slice of the employer’s customer base), one with IE 9, and one with IE 10. My machine is now on IE 11 (largest slice of the customer base), and also runs Firefox and Chrome. Then there’s the Macbook that lives on my desk to test Safari. Chrome/Safari is the second biggest slice of the customer base, so Chrome and Safari need to get tested as well.
It’s quite remarkable how many bugs are specific to one or two browsers. Even more fun are the “bugs” which are actually the browser working as designed, but our software exploits a fault in the IE family…
Oh, yes. Browser compatibility testing is fun. I am so grateful I don’t have to test for IE 7 compatibility as well. And I am terrified by the users who are still running with Windows 2000 and IE 6. If they ever report a bug they’re probably in for a very nasty shock.