Why do web designers test with multiple browsers?

Programming, Tech, Web No Comments

Related to my post yesterday, friends and family members often ask me why I recommend Firefox as their primary browser. I am frequently asked questions like, “What’s wrong with Internet Explorer?” Despite the fact that alternative browsers are gaining market share, the vast majority of users still use IE, simply because they don’t feel they are advanced enough to use something else.

In addition to the added security and features, I use Firefox for one other very important reason. Believe it or not, other programmers have actually asked me why I test webpages in multiple browsers! I know this is hard to believe, but the logic is that since the overwhelming majority still uses Internet Explorer, why worry about the last 10%. Obviously there are flaws in this logic which brings me to the other important reason I use Firefox. Standards Compliance.

While, no browser is fully standard compliant, Firefox and Opera are much closer than IE6. Microsoft promises that IE7 will be more standards compliant, actually stating that some pages hacked to work with IE6 will have to be rewritten/fixed to work with IE7. Thankfully, as an ASP.NET developer, I was delighted to hear that ASP.NET 2.0 produces standards compliant code!

The problem is, writing code for IE6 is a bit like Black Magic. It will cause a programmer to rip their hair out, which I will use as an excuse for my receding hairline :). Therefore supporting standards compliance is the battle cry of most web designers.

This brings me to this hilarious, yet truthful graph from Poisoned Minds which shows how web designers divide their time.

Web Design Time Pie Chart

*Note: I have slightly modified the image to keep the site family-friendly.

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 for Windows XP & Opera 9 Now Available

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Firefox, Internet Explorer, OperaAlthough I primarily use and recommend Mozilla Firefox due to its wonderful extension support, I thought I would take a moment to discuss other browsers.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Team has officially released Internet Explorer Beta 3 for Windows XP.
If you refuse to use any browser other than IE, or if you absolutely need IE specific technologies such as ActiveX, I highly recommend giving IE7 Beta 3 a try. Security has been greatly improved, and the interface is growing on me, although slowly. The tab support works well, and the browser seems quite speedy and responsive.

In other news Opera has released Version 9 of their web browser. I must say, I am really impressed with the newest version of Opera. Although it lacks the vast extension support of Firefox, the browser it self is very, very, good. It is speedy, lightweight, and stable. Version 9 sports an impressive list of features including support for the holy grail of CSS compliance: Acid2.

Although I will likely stick with Firefox on the desktop because of its extension and plug-in support, I think Opera is an excellent browser for alternative platforms. Opera Mini and Opera Mobile are available for mobile phones and PDAs. If you are still using Pocket Internet Explorer, give Opera a try. Also, Opera and Nintendo have announced that the Nintendo DS and the next-generation Nintendo Wii Console will use the Opera Web browser. I think this is an excellent move for both companies. Nintendo will get a very functional, light weight browser. Opera will gain a large chunk of market share. This is a win-win for not only the companies, but standards compliance and webpage compatibility.

Of course, I suggest all web developers have Opera, Internet Explorer 6 and 7, and Firefox installed for testing purposes.

I’m BACK!

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After a few small issues, PiRootOfPi.com has now been successfully moved to the new Web Host.
All pages should now be working.
The page is now hosted by WebHost4Life.
They offer affordable prices and so far have given me wonderful customer service moving the site.
Anyone looking for affordable Windows Hosting with great service should check out WebHost4Life.
If you decide to use WebHost4Life for your pages, and would like to thank me, simply sign up using one of the links in the post. WebHost4Life will give me credit off of my hosting bill for each signup.

Thanks,
Dave

Update Jan 10, 2008: I am no longer with WebHost4Life. I have now moved my blog to another host.

Still working on a few more issues.

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Still working with the webhost to resolve a few quirky issues from the server move.
The Gallery and homepage will be up shortly.

Thanks for your patience.

Dave

Server Move Complete!

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I appologize to anyone trying to access the site this weekend. I was in the process of moving the server to its new location.

The move is now complete and the page should not experience any more significant outages.
Thank you for your patience.