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Microsoft Makes Testing IE6 and 7 Easier

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the was-keeping-me-up-at-night dept.

Windows 167

davidmcg writes "Finally, Microsoft has made steps to make testing IE6 and IE7 easier for Windows users. Previously, you had to pay for an additional Windows license to legally run both versions of IE for testing purposes. Now Microsoft is making available free Windows XP/IE6 images available for VirtualPC (also free as MS is competing with VMWare). This means that you can run IE6 in a virtual machine while running IE7 on your host machine. The drawback is that the download is set to expire April 2007 ... although we are promised new versions will be released. What Microsoft doesn't mention is that Virtual PC also runs on Windows 2000 (and IE7 doesn't). Therefore it's possible to install this Windows XP VPC image on your Win2k machine. You can then update IE6 on the XP image to IE7, testing IE7 without upgrading from Win2k. This is all-around excellent news for web developers."

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167 comments

:C (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17066744)

By making them just crash when you start them up, instead of making you wait for 30 seconds!

::ducks::

Helping check compatibility is the right idea (5, Insightful)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066756)

What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

That being said, reaching out a hand to the web development community like this is a great move on Microsoft's part. It will encourage developers to test for both IE6 and IE7 even if they couldn't normally run both (or either). I would imagine this would be enormously useful for Mac developers who don't want to buy a PC (as I imagine it would work for Mac Virtual PC).

On that subject, I've been wondering why Apple doesn't release a test kit for Safari. I would test against Safari even though it doesn't have a large market share. I test against Opera. I even make sure my pages degrade gracefully in Netscape 4 and IE and Netscape 3. But I'm not going to buy a Mac just to make sure my pages look okay to Mac users. I know 98% of the time Safari will display like Firefox or Opera, but there are noticeable exceptions (especially in styling forms). Wouldn't helping people verify web page compatibility be an opportunity for Apple to ensure the compatibility of their platform?

I think Microsoft has the right idea here.

As long as it's not an Intel Mac... (1)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067008)

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has announced that they have no plans to bring Virtual PC to the Intel-based Mac, so I don't imagine there would be a way to run this image on them.

Owners of shiny and semi-new G5s might still be in luck though...

Boot Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067112)

You could, of course, use Apple's Boot Camp to install XP and then install Virtual PC onto XP.

Re:Boot Camp (3, Insightful)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067228)

You could, of course, use Apple's Boot Camp to install XP and then install Virtual PC onto XP.

And pull the XP license for the main XP install from magical fairy land?

Doing so would totally void the point of the package, which is to provide a free, licensed XP install in Virtual PC for web development.

Re:Boot Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067344)

Considering that downloading and installing these images will almost certainly require WGA validation (like most Microsoft 'free' downloadables) I think it's safe to assume that they're 'free' as long as you already have a valid XP licence.

Re:Boot Camp (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067498)

downloading and installing these images will almost certainly require WGA validation

... Which, of course, doesn't mean a damn thing to those of us who were smart enough to stick with W2K for our legacy not-*nix-compatible-software needs. : )

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067014)

I also wondering why Apple doesn't release mac osx for all pcs

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067078)

If you want to test for compatibility with Safari, then you may want to try Konquerer. They have the same code base AFAIK. However, I've found a few differences between the two browsers, but it's probably about as close as you're going to get to Safari without buying a Mac. If you have a team of developers, and the all need access to one MAC, you can have multiple users logged into a single computer, each with their own VNC session, which means that multiple developers can use the same computer at the same time. Basically you log in each user with fast user switching, and each user starts a VNC Process on a different port. The only downside is that the users have to be logged in again and the VNC process restarted each time the computer is restarted. But I find that if you're just testing Websites, you don't need to restart your computer very much.

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067436)

If you have a team of developers, and the all need access to one MAC, you can have multiple users logged into a single computer, each with their own VNC session, which means that multiple developers can use the same computer at the same time. Basically you log in each user with fast user switching, and each user starts a VNC Process on a different port. The only downside is that the users have to be logged in again and the VNC process restarted each time the computer is restarted. But I find that if you're just testing Websites, you don't need to restart your computer very much.
That's what a Mac Mini is very useful for. It's a nice relatively cheap way to ensure that an office has a mac to test websites on.

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067930)

Konqi and safari are different enough that you can't be sure about it. I've personally seen javascript that ran fine on konqi (and FF, Opera and IE) but failed on safari. And for a smaller shop (or someone just making a personal site in his spare time) its hard to justify the purshase of even a mac mini for just 2% of your site's visitors.

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067404)

There's always Gtk+ WebCore [sourceforge.net] , which renders pages exactly like WebCore, the renderer used in Safari. The rendering engine works great, but the rest of the thing is somehwat unstable.

Just download a Linux distro, install it in VMWare or QEMU, and there you have it.

Re:Helping check compatibility is the right idea (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068726)

What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

And even better if they hadn't broken IE7's CSS in a DIFFERENT WAY from IE6. On our client sites we're now serving out a different set of bugfixes to IE6 and IE7 users because unbelievably IE7 is still broken. I only make cursory tests on Safari, KHTML and Opera because I know those will just work the same way as Firefox. WTF not IE???

Rich.

web developers? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17066766)

This is all-around excellent news for web developers.


For WINDOWS web developers, that is. Still no way to run IE7 in wine, AFAIK

Re:web developers? (1, Informative)

derubergeek (594673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067342)

Mod parent up! I have to wonder if some of the mods even have a basic understanding of English. Pointing out that this wonderful IE6 & IE7 testing system that is such a boon to "web developers" is actually only good for web developers who have Windows is stunningly on-topic.

Personally, I make sure my sites work in Firefox and then field any complaints I might get from the minority of IE6 people I have to deal with by encouraging them to install Firefox. If that's a no go, then I'll actually bother to track down a winbox and hack it to work with IE6 (as I'm really in no mood to shell out $200 to MS just to muck with their subpar browser).

So far, that's been working well. I suspect that the FF installed base is larger than the numbers would indicate... obviously that's at least the case for the base I deal with.

Re:web developers? (0)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068012)

First of all, it would be a waste to mod AC up. Secondly, you're far more likely to see a company code for IE first and then make Firefox 'work' than the other way around. Just because your company, or maybe it's just you, is backwards from the rest of the industry doesn't mean you deserve the same level of fanfare. Unless of course you subscribe to the 'I use linux therefore I am superior to all' theorem of development. In which case, I'm sorry to have wasted my time.

Re:web developers? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068540)

you're far more likely to see a company code for IE first and then make Firefox 'work'

That used to be true a few years ago. I'm seeing a lot code now starting in Firefox, then being tweaked for IE. It makes sense since if it works in FF, odds are it will work in IE, the inverse not being so cut and dry. The reason is simple, FF is far stricter about standards than IE. On that note, I'll give MS props for moving towards more standards compliance in IE7. If IE6 could just die, life would be much easier for web devs.

Re:web developers? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068182)

Personally, I make sure my sites work in Firefox and then field any complaints I might get from the minority of IE6 people I have to deal with by encouraging them to install Firefox.

Well, that's great for your personal site, but for those of us who actually have to make a living from the web, this is very useful.

Re:web developers? (1)

Daath (225404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068060)

Borrow a Windows machine, download the image, use VMWare Workstation and download the Virtual Machine Importer tool to convert the image to VMWare - If you're lucky it doesn't invalidate the activation and you can run VMWare under linux...

I'm confused... (4, Funny)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066770)

I can't seem to come up with a way to apply "It's a trap!", the borg, or a chair reference to this story.

I know...ITSAHOAX!

It must be...

Re:I'm confused... (1)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066886)

Perhaps at first glance, but it could still easily be a trap. The IE6 might, say, render webpages purposely incorrectly so that when viewed in IE6 in reality they look quite different, forcing people to still upgrade to IE7 and thereby install WGA-SuperSpywareDeluxeCeilingKitten edition.


The Borg is tougher to apply, but perhaps the IE6 has linking capabilities to connect with other VirtualPC's running the version and create a control network across...ok, so maybe that one's a bit of a stretch.

The chair-throwing could be Ballmer violently opposing to certain sites [uncyclopedia.org] being rendered properly in IE6 and IE7.

IE6 Via FF Extensions? (2, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066822)

If you have IE7 and FF2, can you test for IE6 through a Firefox extension. I know it is possible with just FF2 and IE6, but I am not sure if the extension uses whatever version of IE you have installed or if is made to be IE6. Thanks for any input

Re:IE6 Via FF Extensions? (4, Informative)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066898)

No the IE tab extension is not specific to IE6 and will therefore run IE7 in a Firefox tab if IE6 is installed. There's various hacks to run IE6 and IE7 side by side and they're not approved by MS so it's possible that you could be running IE6 with some IE7 libraries and then the result would not be a perfect IE6 install and some things may differ.

Re:IE6 Via FF Extensions? (2, Informative)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067080)

Oh well that would have been nice would it not? Generally speaking, I still develop for FF and IE6 with compliant code and I have yet to have a problem in IE7 when I do that. It seems like IE7 pretty much renders the same as FF2 on all of the major CSS classes. When you get into some of the crazier things then you need to be looking much more carefully. By the look of all my sites stats though, we will all be developing for IE6 for at least 2 years and even then a safari-esque %age will still be using IE6.

Re:IE6 Via FF Extensions? (1)

bryxal (933863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068080)

Haha IE6 standards compliant mode.... thats funny... ouf let me catch my breath

Careful... (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068368)

I've had some issues with position relative, though most have been resolved since beta, I've still had a few problems. Other than that - it renders everything similar to Firefox 2.0.

Re:IE6 Via FF Extensions? (3, Informative)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067654)

You must be confused...

There is a Firefox extension (maybe more) called IE Tab that will allow Firefox to use IE rendering engine in one tab. Pretty cool for testing.

However, as far as I know, IE Tab and all other similar extensions, will use whatever IE engine is available on the system (mshtml.dll I think). It's precisely because of the way IE works and it's integrated in the OS that you can't have multiple versions of IE installed at once.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:IE6 Via FF Extensions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068722)

If you don't want to use a virtual machine, what I did was upgrade to IE7 and use
a stand-alone version of IE6, I believe the version I use I got from:
http://browsers.evolt.org/?ie/32bit/standalone [evolt.org]

IE6 stand-alone is a little buggy, but I find this works fine for testing rendering..

Why would I want to do this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17066938)

so I can verify I'm pwned in both IE6 and IE7?

More of a move against VMWare (3, Interesting)

unPlugged-2.0 (947200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066976)

I think this is more of a move towards VMWare than it is for helping out Web Developers.

Let's look at why? The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways. I don't see why Microsoft would really care so much about this niche crowd who always beat up on MS. No - What this does is it gives them an opportunity to gain some favor in the community and also push another product which microsoft is so good at doing.

Not being paranoid but I am just thinking about what makes sense for Microsoft as a business. They really want to push VirtualPC and you can see this in their partnerships with Xen and the feeling that they are loosing massive market share to VMWare (which they are btw).

So this is more of a counter with the guise of backward compatibility.

If they really wanted to help out Web Developers they would have simply included a IE6 mode in IE7 as an update that lets you switch between the rendering engines. I am sure this would be possible and also much easier to a web developer.

Re:More of a move against VMWare (1)

davidmcg (796487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067190)

I have no doubt whatsoever that one of the reasons for this move was to help push Virtual PC, although VirtualPC has been free for a while you've always needed to pay for an OS for it. This time limited XP image is also a good way to give people a chance to try out the potential of Virtual PC. However, whatever Microsoft's motives are, it's still a good news for Windows web devs particularly those on Win2k [browserden.co.uk] as long as MS haven't done anything to stop this image working on that platform.

Of course if the main purpose was to ensure as many people could test IE7 as possible they'd also make a VMWare compatible image so Mac and Linux users could test. However, ultimately that probably is too much to ask as it'd give Linux and Mac users a free time limited licence for XP, they ultimately want people to develop primarily on Windows so that'd never happen.

Re:More of a move against VMWare (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067760)

Of course if the main purpose was to ensure as many people could test IE7 as possible they'd also make a VMWare compatible image so Mac and Linux users could test. However, ultimately that probably is too much to ask as it'd give Linux and Mac users a free time limited licence for XP, they ultimately want people to develop primarily on Windows so that'd never happen.


Isn't the Virtual PC hard drive image format open (really open - royalty free, do-anything-you-want)? In which case, all VMWare has to do is really just support .vhd files in their drive emulation (and every other piece of software that wants to run the image, e.g., bochs, qemu, plex86, etc). Just like VMWare opened their disk image format, Virtual PC has as well (and I believe the image formats are derived from the original VirtualPC (MacOS) version... so while Virtual PC/Windows and Virtual PC/MacOS (PowerPC) are completely different products, they use compatible formats).

Re:More of a move against VMWare (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067366)

The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways.

Huh? Don't they have to test their stuff to see if it works for the other 96% of the world? And, how do you develop things like .Net on a Mac?

Re:More of a move against VMWare (1)

gordyf (23004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068288)

I develop web apps on a Mac. I use Parallels [parallels.com] to test in IE6 and IE7. I also don't develop in .Net, so that's not really a concern for me.

It's way easier (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17066978)

I just learnt this from the German IT news site heise.de http://www.heise.de/newsticker/foren/go.shtml?read =1&msg_id=11722667&forum_id=109109 [heise.de]

On following sites you can test your webpage via an online renderer

For IE 6 and 7: http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/ [ipinfo.info]
For Safari: http://www.danvine.com/icapture/ [danvine.com]
For Firefox and many others: http://browsershots.org/ [browsershots.org]

hth

Re:It's way easier (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067450)

That is increadible. I never even thought to ask if something like this exists. I've been so tiered of logging out of OS-X, logging into Bootcamp and trying to see how badly I misinterpreted IE's rendering. Thank you for the links.

Re:It's way easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067620)

You could always use Parallels instead of Bootcamp.

Re:It's way easier (1)

tb3 (313150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068716)

Bootcamp? Good grief! Go download the Crossover Mac [codeweavers.com] beta, and install IE 6 from inside. Crossover does all the work to download and install IE, and even simulates a reboot when finished. Now, just run IE from your desktop.

Re:It's way easier (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067646)

This is not very useful. Not only is it incredibly slow, but also you cannot test anything related to :hover, for example a menu system.

I know, because I wanted to test the site at work for IE7 compatability and we do not have XP.

IE4Linux (1)

Seb C. (5555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17066994)

Now you can also get your vista/XP whatever with IE7 , and have a virtual PC (vmware or whatever MS calls their stuff) runinng an linux image, that have ie4linux installed ...
Then you have IE7 on your main windows machines (god.. did i say windows is your primary OS ?) and test backward compatibility with IE 6, IE5.5 and another i don't remember the number within your neat little Linux image through wine...
May be easier than having a win2k computer somewhere...

Check it here :
http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Main_Page [tatanka.com.br]

MS doesn't even test its own apps with IE7 (1)

pupstah (78267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067018)

Their very widely used retail software was just found to have a strong compatibility issue with IE7. Processing credit cards no less. Way to catch that on the way out.

Re:MS doesn't even test its own apps with IE7 (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067524)

The other big one, Quickbooks Point of Sale, is having the same problem. I have no idea what the specific problem is. It must have something to do with the gateway software.

Firefox is simpler (4, Informative)

davidmcg (796487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067040)

A few people have asked me if Firefox needs to be run in a virtual machine to test different versions. The answer to that is no, so I wrote a quick guide [browserden.co.uk] to how I run multiple versions of Firefox on the same machine.

Prior to the release by Microsoft of this VM image I got round the legal requirement to buy an extra XP licence by running XP with IE6 and running the free to download (at the time) betas of Vista in a virtual machine for IE7 testing.

Re:Firefox is simpler (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067274)

Most development places are going to have valid licenses and media for 2000. The easiest way to get around buying another version of windows would be to use that in a VM to test your page in IE 6 (and 5 if you want to install another instance) and use XP or Vista on your desktop, or throw it in a VM, and use it to test with IE 7. That definitely seems easier then downloading this VPC image every 4-6 months or whatever it seems that MS is doing here.

Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox instead (3, Insightful)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067156)

Maybe MS is somehow is benefiting from the endless cycles of MSIE-based spyware, viruses, and general security problems. If not, then it (and we) would be much better off if MS should drop MSIE completely [pcmag.com] . Where does MS come out ahead financially? MSIE is probably the largest single public relations problem as well as one of largest security and productivity problems that MS produces these days.

The Netscape/DOJ v MS has been over for years. MSIE wastes our time, it wastes MS time. There's simply no need for anyone, even MS, to be wasting resources with MSIE. The public certainly has no reason to let MS foist on them such low quality security hole masquerading as a useful application. Drop MSIE or let users uninstall it completely.

Firefox [mozilla.com] and Opera [opera.com] are what people are using anyway [informationweek.com] . Go with the flow and invest the resources that would have gone into trying to keep life in MSIE go somewhere they'll actually have a chance of doing good.

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067328)

Just to get msn as the default search tool...(and some other 'quick link')
Simple as that.

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067354)

The corporate intranet is obviously something you have never heard of.

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068020)

We have a corporate intranet, but it runs on Apache rather than IIS.
Could that be the crucial difference?

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068156)

What's your point? Corporations could write intranet browser-based apps just as easily for Firefox -- and even get a better result, since they could make superior GUIs with XUL!

And before you start talking about preexisting apps, note that IE6 would still be around for legacy compatibility. Furthermore, MS doesn't seem to have a problem with changing toolkits (see: Win32 -> MFC -> WinForms), so why would it have a problem with changing the browser too?

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067502)

Maybe MS is somehow is benefiting from the endless cycles of MSIE-based spyware, viruses, and general security problems. If not, then it (and we) would be much better off if MS should drop MSIE completely.

MS really wasn't lying when they said IE was now part of the OS (or at least the shell). For example, if you open "My Computer" and type something like "www.microsoft.com" into its address bar, you'll get essentially the same result as if you had started by opening a window that openly stated it was IE.

Much of what a typical user sees as "Windows" is really IE. You might easily be right that MS and their customers would be better off without it, but MS would have to do a fair amount of work on a new shell to get rid of it entirely, at least from XP. I'm not sure about the shell in Vista, but I doubt it's changed drastically in this respect.

Re:Why bother? MS should use Opera or Firefox inst (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067516)

Firefox and Opera are what people are using anyway.

If by "using" you mean "in a small minority of the traffic that I see on the many sites I track," then, sure, I guess you're right. But you're not, of course. About 90% of the traffic I see, and about 94% of the revenue I see created, comes from people using MSIE - typically v6+. Wishful thinking doesn't make it otherwise.

so microsoft is providing a free XP image? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067278)

Doesn't this invalidate WPA and all other copy protection crap with XP?

For all the MS apologists... (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067280)

... who keep saying IE doesn't have its hooks buried deep in Windows: this is pretty much proof, is it not? I've got several versions of Photoshop, from 3 to CS, on my W2K box at home. I've also got several versions of Firefox (and Firebird, and Phoenix) as well. Plus Netscape 3.* And a few Acrobat Readers. I've even got MSIE2--back when it was a *gasp* standalone app. And a bunch more apps I could list if I cared to. My XP box at work has Office 2003 and the beta of 2007.

So: MS has to go out of their way to "let" people run more than one instance of Internet Explorer?** Two conclusions: a) why would this be so hard, if IE weren't so ingrained in the OS? b) And is this the "innovation" Scoble was talking about? [slashdot.org] "Letting" me run programs?

* I remember an old trick from back when NS3 was new: I knew it would crash sometimes, so if I had a lot of windows open, instead of opening another, I'd launch another instance of the app. One instance could crash, taking its windows with it, but the other would be fine, as if nothing ever happened. Now *that's* programming!

** Besides all the technical issues--they don't even charge for the fscking thing! It's not like you bought the "upgrade" version at a discount, compared to buying a full copy of the new version at full retail price. I understand if they don't want me running Win95 anymore if I bought the upgrade version of Win98. But if I buy the full versions of both, shouldn't I be able to run them both? This is like saying if I get the CD, I can't listen to the tape any more. And the tape and CD were both free to begin with.

Oh, wait, let me guess--since I didn't pay for them, I have no right to decide how I want to use them?

Re:For all the MS apologists... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067372)

who keep saying IE doesn't have its hooks buried deep in Windows: this is pretty much proof, is it not?
No it is not. IE will install to one place only. If an older version is there it will upgrade it, if a newer version is there, the installer exits telling you you already have a newer version.

Re:For all the MS apologists... (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067590)

IE5.00 would look for older versions of IE, and had an option to preserve them in a runnable state. Doubtless useful for web developers, tho it escapes me why anyone would run IE3/IE4 when the far-better IE5.00 was available, and even ran better on the same setups. Unlike earlier/later versions, IE5.00 wasn't crashy, nor a resource or memory hog.

By preference, I still use old NS3, partly because of flexibility such as you describe. Install and run as many versions and copies of versions as you like, and even make them all share the same cache and mail files, no problem! Or don't even properly install them, but drag installed copies around on a CD and dump 'em onto any machine, and everything still works.

unprecedented evile never sleeps/forgets... or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067326)

becomes easier?

as opposed to becoming a member of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate? really no contest/question?

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

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Don't test sites on browsers (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067332)

Test your sites on the W3C's validators [w3.org] . That's the only testing you should EVER do.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (2, Insightful)

gsnedders (928327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067494)

The validator isn't perfect. Checking it manually against the specifications used is the only way to ensure compliance.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17067684)

Test your sites on the W3C's validators . That's the only testing you should EVER do.

Yes, but in the real world, explaining to your website visitors that microsoft doesn't follow web standards and that is why the website looks crappy to them doesn't go over very well with senior management.

If you're running a business, you need to test your website with browsers that have a large market share.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (3, Informative)

Shohat (959481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067878)

Too bad W3C Validators dont work correctly.
And unlike some imaginary world you wish us to build websites for, in this world most users use IE. Websites are built for users, not webmasters. So a webmaster must make sure that his website is rendered correctly on the user's computer and keep the ideology to himself or find another job.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1, Redundant)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067884)

I wish the real world was that easy.

Have you ever designed something for a major company?

You can't get away with designing for standards and ignoring everything else.

Case in point, I maintain the site for a health insurance provider. One of their customer (also a major corporation) was having troubles managing their account online. They sent a screenshot. It was a javascript error; the browser was IE4 running in 16bit color. The error was due to the fact that one of the programmers had used getElementById() without checking first if it's supported; he thought since 99% use IE6 or firefox or opera, who cares about IE4?

Usually I make sure everything I do works in IE7, IE6, IE5, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067902)

No, it isn't. It's the first thing to do, certainly, but not the only test. No browser is 100% standards compliant, and knowing which bits of the standards you can safely use is a nightmare.

Now, if people are finding new browsers frequently break their sites, I'd suggest they have some serious robustness issues (I work on a 300 page web application, which had only cosmetic issues on IE7, and required under an hour to correct). People seem concerningly unwilling to compromise between stability, future safety, and appearance.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (2, Interesting)

traindirector (1001483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067948)

Test your sites on the W3C's validators . That's the only testing you should EVER do.

I'm hoping the parent was aiming to be modded Funny. Writing HTML and CSS that complies with web standards is easy. Making sites that render correctly in the browsers that 98% of Internet users is wherein comes one of the major challenges in web design.

My general strategy is to spend a certain amount of time writing compliant XHTML 1.1, then spending 5 times that amount of time making it work in IE. This is not atypical.

Unless you're doing a really simple site, browser checks are the mark of success. Passing the W3C validation at the end is like a ticker tape parade celebrating the fact that you complied to web standards while somehow getting it to render correctly in IE.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067980)

All the W3C validator can do is point out syntax errors in HTML or CSS. It can't point out semantic errors, or show which JavaScript or DOM code won't work in one browser or another. Validating is a great thing to do, but you really do need to test your site in multiple browsers to ensure it does work in those browsers.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068092)

WOW, I sure as hell wouldn't want to touch your C code. You only check wether it compiles there too?

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068266)


Cool. And when web application doesn't work for my client, and they complain that AOL users, IE6 users, and Mac users are unable to purchase products from their website, I'll just tell them that it's not my problem because a W3C validator says so. While we're at it, I'll use the same argument during my exit interview.

Welcome to the real world. The W3C doesn't pay me, so occasionally I'll need to concede a few idiological points to the folks that do.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1)

HammerHead2000 (898900) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068402)

That's the sort of head in the sand approach that gets you sacked. I'm all for encouraging Microsoft to support standards properly, but lets face it, for every site that's broken on IE there will be 1000 others that work just fine and your site will lose traffic and business because users see your site as broken.

I want my site to conform to standards, and look right in all major browsers. Contrary to popular belief, this is perfectly possible giving the best of all worlds.

Re:Don't test sites on browsers (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068470)

That is like saying that you should validate your C programs using gcc -Wall and then, when they are syntactically correct, do not need to test them for correct functionality.

Write code for standards not for Virtual Machine (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067376)

I am a web developer and I write pages to follow the W3 and other standards. If it follows the standards and looks right in one IE and looks right in the standards-compliant browsers, then I'm done quite frankly.

Running a virtual Windows is pointless and a load of hassle, for what benefit exactly? Just have one old box with IE6 still on.

So "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

Re:Write code for standards not for Virtual Machin (1)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068234)

Running an entire separat machine to test on is less hassle than having a few VMs running? What world are you living in? Personally I develop on a Linux box with Windows 2000/XP/Vista (IE5.5/6/7) running in VMWare. This allows me to code in Linux, and test in just about any browser in existance, on several different platforms. All on the same box. (With the exception of Mac-based browsers of course, since I haven't been able to get Tiger to run in VMWare.)

Re:Write code for standards not for Virtual Machin (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068936)

>Running an entire separat machine to test on is less hassle than having a few VMs running? What world are you living in?

One with an abundant supply of supply of crap Windows boxes. Just learn over and there is one.

>Personally I develop on a Linux box

Me too, would not pollute my beautiful new dual core machine with proprietary software (Well I need to have Java but that has become GPL).

Re:Write code for standards not for Virtual Machin (0, Redundant)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068342)

Running an entire separat machine to test on is less hassle than having a few VMs running? What world are you living in?

Personally I develop on a Linux box with Windows 2000/XP/Vista (IE5.5/6/7 + different versions of other browsers on Windows) running in VMWare. This allows me to code in my environment of choice (Linux), and test in just about any browser in existance, on several different platforms. All on the same box. (With the exception of Mac-based browsers of course, since I haven't been able to get Tiger to run in VMWare.)

great (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067454)

So now I can keep coding for the badly broken IE6 as well as the less broken IE7.. Happy happy joy joy.
Hey everyone that can not update to IE7 please download Firefox and or Opera NOW.

What would be nicer (1)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067562)

Would be for the browser in Windows to be self-contained enough to run as an application. Then you could have multiple versions because they wouldn't all be reliant on things like msie.dll in the OS layer.

Microsoft could easily achieve that by unbundling the web browser from the OS.

What, did I just say something stupid?

Re:What would be nicer (0)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068028)

What, did I just say something stupid?

Well, kinda'. The browser being tied closely with the OS is part of what makes Windows development so simple. For example, I just got finished with a custom app for my own business that uses IE very heavily. I'm not aware that there's even a COM object for Firefox or Mozilla. There are tons and tons of apps that use IE very heavily because it's integrated so well.

People (like myself) like Windows precisely because everything is integrated and fits together relatively nicely.

Re:What would be nicer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068636)

It is also the reason that there are so many security flaws in Windows. Everything is integrated too much.

Re:What would be nicer (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068800)

True. It's a tradeoff. Nothing's perfect. Most business owners that I know personally know that it's a tradeoff, and stick with Winders because in many cases, running with potential security problems is better than not running at all.

*Free* XP images? (2, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067574)

So wait... if I'm understanding this correctly, the idea here is free images of XP. Sure, they probably won't work in anything except VirtualPC, but they are still free copies of XP! I thought the whole rationale behind making VPC free was to drive adoption of virtualization, resulting in more Windows licenses sold...

Are they *fully functional* versions? I.E. can you install other software (there's a decent supply of XP-only software that won't even run in W2K)? The summary suggests you can upgrade the browser, which is a big step by itself... but I have a few friends who haven't upgraded to W2K for various reasons, and still run W2K. Does this new download mean they would be able to use XP (within W2K) without needing to buy an XP license?

Multiple IE Installs on a single machine (2, Informative)

rainer3 (517427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067616)

Without having to use a virtual machine, here's how to install multiple versions of IE on a single machine: Multiple IE [tredosoft.com] .

why a virtual machine? (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067644)

Help out a poor non-Windows user: why on earth do you need an entirely separate copy of the OS to run a different version of IE? Why can't you run the two side-by-side under one OS?

Re:why a virtual machine? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068090)

Basic interfaces and integration. There are so many apps that use IE embedded in them, that if they were different (different interfaces), you'd end up with a real mess.

Re:why a virtual machine? (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068776)

There are so many apps that use IE embedded in them, that if they were different (different interfaces), you'd end up with a real mess.

Surely this mess should be trivial to sort out--give one of the two installations a different name, make sure it doesn't overwrite any of the other's shared libraries, whatever. It doesn't seem that different from having multiple browsers (IE, firefox, opera...) installed side-by-side.

Re:why a virtual machine? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068874)

Well, not really. Since they designed it for interoprability, I can embed any IE functions I want to in my own applications and not have to worry about which version of IE the user will be using. The .dll has the same name, the same interface, etc, so if I'm developing an app, it's all seamless to me.

Not only that, but you'd have a mess at the desktop level because so much of the desktop is rendered using IE (everything is a web browser).

Why go through all the trouble? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067668)

Seriously.

Code for standards, tweak for IE6 should be sufficient. Once IE7 hits over the 70% mark, then it's moot anyway.

Corporate needs are different but they'll code for a specific browser anyway.

If the site breaks for IE6 - which shouldn't, just display funky, then the user can download Opera or Firefox for free.
Likewise when there is yet another vulnerability for IE6, the user shouldn't be using IE anyway.

Microsoft is "supporting" web developers? (1)

codemaster2b (901536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17067688)

Listen, if Microsoft wanted to support web developers they would let IE6 and IE7 be installed in parallel on the same OS. Forget the virtual PC business. I'm not even sure Microsoft can because they have so integrated IE into the operating system!

Shouldn't need a VM (1)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068132)

The fundamental question is: why can't I install two different versions of IE in the same windows installation?

the original version of this was a corp version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068190)

and the key was a valid key, it passed the WGA check.

IEs4Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17068226)

Mwa-ha-ha-ha. IEs4Linux [tatanka.com.br] is my answer! =)

Now just admit that it's NOT part of the OS... (2, Insightful)

bADlOGIN (133391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068314)

(since it isn't) and make it so you don't have to do stupid crap like this.

Lessie... memory management, process scheduling, storage, parsing & rendering HTML.

Which of these doesn't fit again?

In the words of Shenia Twain... (1)

dcam (615646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17068762)

...that doesn't impress me much.

As a web developer, this doesn't really do anything for me because:
1. Virtual PC was already free
2. An XP license is a negligable cost (if you don't already have an MSDN subscription)
3. This does nothing for IE 5 & 5.5

Maybe IE 5 & 5.5 are so long ago inside the Microsoft campus that they can be forgotten, however in the real world people still use them.

In addition Virtual PC is a headache because:
1. You need to boot the machine up which takes a while
2. You can't hit a local IP address
3. It is noticably slower than running natively (Core duo2 6400, 2Gb RAM)

When you compare this with how say firefox works, the Microsoft solution just doesn't compare well. With firefox I can install multiple versions and run them side by side.

In addition, this still doesn't answer why Microsoft chose to sic the lawyers onto the much more useful solution [skyzyx.com] , which is closer to the Firefox style.

Full credit to Microsoft for the attempt, but it is a pretty half assed one at that.
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