Archive for January, 2008


More on Standards Compliance in Internet Explorer 8

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After the IE Team posted their intent and work on compliance to standards the debates have begun. Revelations have shown that the standards compliance is really an an option that would be invoked by a developer with a META tag or header using the value of  ‘X-UA-Compatible’. Now, IE 8 will have 3 modes:


  1. “Quirks mode” remains the same, and compatible with current content.
  2. “Standards mode” remains the same as IE7, and compatible with current content.
  3. If you (the page developer) really want the best standards support IE8 can give, you can get it by inserting a simple <meta> element. Aaron gives more details on this in his article.

There is much debate on how this will impact the Web, user experience, as well as how developers will program. There are interesting thoughts around all of them. What is most intriguing to me is that IE 8 is going to be standards compatible. With news like this, I can now test that a Web application conforms to a standard. The standard is now my guideline for my set of test cases. But really will it be a “set of test cases”? Quite possibly it could be only one: Load the page and validate that the page is rendered using “Best standards mode”. But hopefully the test wouldn’t even be of my concern, with the right Content Management System, the code will be compiled by a developer and the check will be done by the CMS before release to QA. Either way, conforming to standard lowers the risk of a browser compatibility dramatically.

Another interesting feature in IE 8 is the idea of “Version Targeting”. In other words

“The idea is that when IE10 loads up my IE7 page, it rewinds itself to act like IE7 did, all those years ago—no matter what changed in the meantime.”

What will “Version Targeting”, do to my browser compatibility testing list when IE 8 is released? My first impression is that it won’t slim my test list at all. For example, if you have a page that is coded for IE 8 and X-UA-Compatible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will look good in IE 7 or in IE 6 since the code is targeted for IE 8. Using that same Web page (IE 8 and X-UA-Compatible), will the testing list shrink with the release of IE 9? It depends… Will the standards and the compliance to those standards change between IE 8 & 9? How many compliance to standard defects were in IE 8 and fixed in IE 9. If their were few defects and the standards didn’t change then the risk is low and you probably wouldn’t need to test both IE 8 and 9, just 9.

It’s too early to speculate and come up with concrete answers. The IE Team is still working through this stuff with themselves and the active community. But I’m happy to see their attention on the matter.


Browser Archive

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I swear I put all my browser archive links into one blog post before, but a search tonight proved me wrong. So here they are… These are the sites I’ve used for years to download old browsers:


FireFox (official)
http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/


Netscape (official)
http://http.netscape.com.edgesuite.net/pub/


Internet Explorer and MANY others (unofficial)
http://browsers.evolt.org/


You and the Internet are "The End of the World"

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3D Map of the World Wide WebWay back in the day we only knew people from personal recognition after seeing that person.

There was a time when an event could only be experienced by witnessing it. If you missed the event you were left with little to go by.

There once was a generation that spread knowledge and commodities by foot.

Those days are long gone, time has passed and we have evolved:

Seeing a person, turned into a description of a person, descriptions turned into drawings of a person, drawings turned into pictures, and pictures turned into computer bytes.

Experienced events turned into word of mouth, word of mouth turned to hieroglyphics, hieroglyphics turned to scrolls, scrolls turned to books, and then books turned to computer bytes.

Traveling by foot on a weak path turned into traveling by animals on a beaten path, animals turned to engines on paved roads, and engines turned into computer bytes via the Internet (in some cases).

You, my digital friend, have become a digital signature in this world. LIKE IT OR NOT. Much of what you see, say and do is digitized and stored. Storage creates historical record, historical records can be analyzed for events, paths, and patterns. YOU ARE MAKING HISTORY. Consider yourself a star! Paul Revere and the midnight ride? BAH! You are the new history.

Just for the record “you” digitally is: 101110010110101 (rough estimate… geeks don’t correct me, I don’t care). Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me either, but somehow or other this fabulous computer brought that definition to you (101110010110101).

Where was I? Oh yeah…

Here you were worrying and waiting for the mark of the beast to be forced on you:

“He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead.” Revelation 13:16″

Hehe… You fool! The mark is your forehead and right hand, and now it’s digitized and posted on the Internet (remember that picture you took with Grandma last Christmas that clearly showed your forehead and right hand, and then posted to your MySpace?). Yes, you’ve been marked, and oddly enough, you are the one that published your mark to the world. Sucks for you. Dang… Me too.

Scary huh? Oh, don’t be afraid. Everybody is in the same boat as you. The wonderful part is that when the boat sinks we’ll all be going down together.

YOU and the INTERNET are the end of the world. The Internet is the fast track to spreading the digital blasphemy we’ve created.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet. It puts food on my table.

I just wanted to let you know. I hope I didn’t ruin your day, it wasn’t my intent. I just wanted to make you aware. I’m going to go check my email now.


MSDN Tester Center

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I noticed the other day that MSDN has a testing section entitled Testing Center. It appears its been out there a while and I somehow missed it (which is amazing when I consider the amount of time I spend on MSDN).


Anyway, there are some interesting things going on out there:


Whiteboard Videos: Decent, short topics. It’s hard to read the white board though, which I found really annoying.


Technical Articles: Not too many articles out here, but a good start?

Tester Center Downloads: Three testing tools. Again, a good start.


As an automation engineer that lives mostly in a .NET testing framework I really appreciate MSDN and I’m happy to see a section dedicated to testing. Having MSDN and its abundance of resources as well as video training really makes my job easier. Having these resources available to me also gives me great comfort in my choice to use .NET as the platform for automated testing.


Microsoft, Visual Studio, and MSDN have come a long way over the years. Kudos to Microsoft for making my job easier.


I’ll get off my Microsoft soapbox now.


Testing Job: Automation Test Engineer

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TestingJobs

Company: GoDaddy
Job Title: Automation Test Engineer
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Description
We are currently seeking to hire an Automation Test Engineer. We are looking for an entry to mid level Test Engineer with a foundation in software engineering and the ability to think through moderate to complex problems. If you thrive in a dynamic environment and enjoy working with cutting edge technology working to define and deliver complete solutions, then we want to see your resume.”

Get the complete job description here.


Screencast: Clearly Display Javascript Errors in IE and Firefox

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Overview
This screencast demonstrates how to setup Internet Explorer and Firefox so that Javascript errors can be easily viewed and not missed while testing Web applications (duration: 3 min 02 secs).

Download
WMV
Zune
iPod/iTunes

Associated Posts
Did you forget something? Viewing Javascript errors in the browser
How to view javascript errors in Internet Explorer 7


Internet Explorer 8: A Step Closer to Standards

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Last month the IE team mentioned that their latest Internet Explorer code (to be IE 8 sometime in the future) renders the “Acid2 Face” tests correctly. This is a large achievement for the team and developers around the world. Browser compatibility testing is going to get easier for us testers (once developers shake their old habits of coding workarounds for browser quirks)! Read the post here.


More training from MSDN: Ramp Up

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MSDN in offering more free training! Their new program titled Ramp Up will teach you Visual Studio 2005, C#, and .NET 2.0  after you choose a route based on your current status of Aspiring Developer, Java Developer, Visual Basic 6.0 Developer, or Microsoft Visual Studio 2002/2003 Developer. The online courses and tests are free. Course graduation awards you with major discounts on Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) exams, E-Learning, and Self-Paced Training kits.

If you choose the path of certification or not,  this and other types of training has made becoming a software tester with .NET development skills (SDET) so easy. Being a tester with development skills is the way of the new testing world. Do it.

DO IT.

DO IT!!


Success From the Trenches

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I ran into this quote from Albert Einstein today:

In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.


I have personally lived this many times over the years in my various careers. I’m going to venture out and say that I’ve been pretty successful at working my way up to an immaculate member in few cases. I chalk my success up to what I call “working in, and reporting from the trenches”, and also, not to ever remove myself from the trenches. I believe that your success amongst your sheep/peers is highly dependant on staying extremely in tune with the trenches, and most importantly the people in the trenches. Once you remove yourself from those trenches, you are not eating the same sheep food, and I consider you a shepherd. Don’t get me wrong, shepherds are a good thing, and  shepherds do tune in to the trenches. But they don’t always spend 8 hours a day in them because they have shepherd things to do! I try my best to walk the fine line between sheep and shepherd. Am I shepherd in sheep’s clothing?


Shepherd, how do you stay in tune with your trenches to gain or maintain an immaculate sheep status?


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