Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Browser Compatibility Testing Online

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= breakthrough tool
Online Service
Free to try (8 hours) - $ 39.95/month

I still cannot believe my eyes.

I have been staring at it for 5 minutes without blinking. My lower jaw was in the same position I left it the other night when Roma (the soccer team) got the fourth goal scored against itself for a memorable loss of the Italy's Cup.

That facial expression can be translated easily in most languages into a simple: "I cannot believe it!"

But yet, it is true, it has finally happened.

A simple, reliable, straightforward way to test your browser compatibility across the whole spectrum of possibilities. Win, Mac, Linux, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla, version 4, version 5, version 6, at 640*480, at 800*600 and so on.

YES. It is possible.

I think I have been dreaming and discussing about the potential of creating such a tool many times over many years. I mean, we have been needing so badly such a tool that its arrival it's so good it's hard to believe.

Not that there haven't been other attempts or ways to get at this. NetMechaninc BrowserPhoto has been there for a quite a while and I can certainly recommend it as a good and cost-effective tool.

But this new service is several orders of magnitude better than BrowserPhoto.

At IKONOS, where I run a Communication Agency specializing in projects for international organizations, we have been holding a biopark of computer relics happily running their original operating systems just for this purpose.

We have a nice 486 running Win 3.1 for Workgroups, a Pentium I with Windows 95, a PowerMac with System 8.x, and even an 286s and Mac IIxs for things that run only on those machines.

We keep also a good assortments of monitors of different sizes and capabilities, but still, all of this, is a far cry from being able to do browser compatibility testing as we have always wanted to. There are just too many variables out there. On the PC side in particular, certain combinations are just not installable, making it altogether impossible to have all IE versions running together on the same machine.

Not more than two weeks ago, pressed by the request of my webmaster (virtual, and working at a distance) to provide him with Mac screenshots of the new site pages we had just developed, I spent some time researching solutions that would have allowed him to log into one of my PCs remotely and then from there to take control of the Mac we have here to take, at a distance the screenshots he needed. I did find that Timbuktu claims to be the best solution to control Macs remotely from PCs, and as I write I do recall having done this successfully before with a remote server inside a client organization.

I don't know if Timbuktu would allow me to take control of the Mac and take screenshots remotely as I have yet not found the time to fully test this out.

And now that Browsercam is out, I am obviously much less motivated than ever to search for any other solution.

Browsercam offers the first, truly effective online browser compatibility testing service you will ever need.

With Browsercam you can select the full personalized set of operating systems, browsers, and resolutions to test out one or up to 100 Web pages across all those browser setting combinations.

The results are available for you online within a few minutes from your request and you can see the work in progress of the screenshots being created.

The number of complementary additional features is absolutely amazing and worth of the best wish list a webmaster could have ever asked for.
You can:

1) Select the format in which screenshots of your Web pages will be saved:
.BMP (full color 1.5 MB files) or .JPG (250 KB). You can also select Photoshop .PSD file with layers containing all of the different browsers screenshots for easy comparison and check.

2) Make the set of screenshots accessible to selected teammates or customers, or you can make the whole gallery publicly accessible.

3) Capture the entire desktop or just the browser window.

4) Add a time delay to the screenshot operation so that splash pages or other initial components can be skipped.

5) Save the set of screenshots you produce in a separate project folders.

6) Organize screenshots by browser, operating system, page or version.

7) Automatically crawl domains or sub-paths and automatically grab testing screenshots of all the pages encountered.

8) Capture pop-ups.

9) See how your site looks to visitors who don't have Flash installed.

10) Generate thumbnails for each and every screenshot produced.

11) Provide specific rights to the users accessing the projects online.

See an example of a site displayed in six different browsers at:

Pricing for this great service is only USD $ 39.95/month for unlimited use!
An alternative option offers to capture 10 URLs in as many browsers as you like for a one time job. Cost is USD $ 10.

You can't beat these prices and the quality of this service.

An 8-hour free fully functional try-out is accessible at:

M most sincere congratulations go to Dmitry Chekalin. Dmitry is the Project Manager of highly skilled team of programmers, database specialist and designers, that has churned out one of the most useful services the Web publishing community has seen in a while.

I can only say: thank you Browsercam.

Highly recommended.

Readers' Comments    
2007-09-04 00:34:28


Essentia's BCT tool is currently getting popular and it provides the result comparison and archiving facilities.

2007-04-26 07:47:18


I find or do the job nicely for free.

2003-08-06 17:18:17


Browser Cam is very helpful. Nevertheless, the results are not alyways trusty.

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, May 22 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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