Archive for February, 2009

7 Ways to Test Browser Compatibility


Seven ways to test browser compatibility, without having to manage your own testing lab:

Browser compatibility testing solutions have made some progress in the last year but it’s still far from ideal. A while back, I had a dream

  • I want to screen-shot any page in my website (requires a decent, free, scripting engine that will allow me to get to the various pages in my site that can’t be accessed via a specific URL (Watir?) ).
  • I want to screen-shot my site that is not yet published for the world (requires the service to exist within my internal network).
  • Once I’ve approved an ideal layout screen-shot I want the software to determine and tell me if the other screen-shots are worth looking at (by doing a statistical image comparison with a predefined pass/fail threshold).  Maybe MeerMeer is on the right road to doing this?
  • I want to provide basic wire-frame definitions and have software determine if my screen-shots are within reason (by analyzing elements in the DOM and browser dimensions)
  • Get rid of screen-shots and do DOM to DOM element width and height comparisons between browsers (Come on, it’s a dream, standards compliance for all browsers (another dream) might make it possible?)

Do Loop Until 0, a New Software Quality Assurance Comic


Do Loop Until 0 introduction 

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since version 3.0.  Back in the day I had to to insert MANY 3.5″ floppy disks to install it on my PC (20 or more I think). Oh, the good old days… Fast forward to 2009. I use Photoshop a LOT. For all kinds of things. Web design, logo design, photography touch up, creative drawing, etc. I LOVE graphic design.

I also love software quality assurance. I’ve had a desire for nearly two years to express my quality assurance thoughts via a comic. Over those years I’ve toyed with some ideas, created a few proto-types that included monkeys as testers, and received some great “How-To” advice from Brad Fitzpatrick. Inspired by Brad Fitzpatrick, IKEA assembly instructions, Shadow Culture’s Bug Bash, and a TDD poster I think I’ve come up with something. I’m not sure that we’re dealing with a “comic”  because it’s not necessarily funny (at least not my first two strips). It’s more of an illustration of simple things that occur between a Quality Assurance Engineer and a Software Developer, and yet more complex thoughts or methodologies occurring in the industry. I suppose that it could be more of a graphic storytelling that reveals a sick truth, simple lesson, or moral? I’m a very visual person. Images stick with me better than words. I know I’m not the only one. Through these images and subtle text hints I hope to tease the QA and developer mind and invoke some QA thought.

My new comic is entitled “DO LOOP UNTIL 0”, a name that is a software defect itself… In the BASIC language, “DO LOOP UNTIL 0” causes an infinite loop. Infinite loops are just plain bad when it comes to software. 🙂

For now I’ll host it here on, you can also get to it via and Once it becomes wildly successful and crashes the server in my office closet I’ll think about giving it a real dedicated home. Until then, let me know how I’m doing. Your comments are inspiring, good or bad.

Oh, the comic… I’ll post the first in the next few days. I’m still tweaking a few brush strokes… err… pixels.

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