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January 31, 2005

Mixed Feelings Over Firefox

Let me just begin by stating that I use Firefox as my principal browser on each machine (iMac, Laptop/Windows XP, PC/Fedora Core 2) in my home network and think it's a fabulous piece of software and demonstrably better quality than the "market leading" browser. That's my personal option/preference.

My professional preference is somewhat different - for different reasons...

As a software developer who tends to end up writing/maintaining large-scale Web-based Internet/Intranet applications, I quite like the browser monopoly currently held by Micro$oft. Why? Because with every new browser on the market, the testing of such applications becomes correspondingly more difficult.

Yes, it is possible to minimize the amount of client-side code these applications contain, but I've yet to meet an environment when such code has been completely eradicated and, until that time, multiple browsers in the audience means more complicated testing.

Thankfully, things have improved from my first internet application involving large applets which caused no end of pain from a testing perspective, but unless I can fast forward time to when Firefox has 90+% of the browser market, I'm happier developing to a (more-or-less) single browser, thank you very much.

Posted by Andy Marks at January 31, 2005 02:33 PM



Have you tried using Selenium (selenium.thoughtworks.com) yet ?

I'm not sure what you know about it, but it drives the browser, and is easy to test Javascript, so you can simply test multiple browsers by running the same tests in each browser.

Only supports IE6.0, Mozilla, Firefox at the moment, but more to come. And it's still in development of course !

I'm using it on my current project to replace JWebUnit tests and had a lot of success. I'd be interested on seeing how compatibile it is with your current client's site.

Oh, and congratulations, BTW :-)


Posted by: Darren at February 1, 2005 01:34 PM

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