Browser testing & multi browser versions

First up a great overview of the current browsers to test against: Everything you need to know about browser testing by Dave Woods.

And now some notes on running concurrent versions of browsers under Windows & OS X for testing purposes (some of these were covered in the previously linked article).



Older versions of Safari (1.x, 2.x, 3.x) are available as stand-alone packages courtesy Michel Fortin: Multi-Safari


As Dave Woods mentions in his article linked above, you can run different versions of Firefox by following the instructions at Running multiple Firefox versions concurrently by Jeroen Coumans. It’s also worth taking note of Chad Plummer’s comment which mentions using Platypus to launch these differant versions – I installed FF2 at /Applications/Firefox2 and made a new profile named ‘Firefox2’ as detailed in Jeroen’s article and used the shell script:

# Start Firefox 2 with the Firefox2 profile

/Applications/ -P Firefox2 & in Platypus to make a ‘Firefox 2 Launcher’ app – makes starting up alternate versions a lot simpler.

You can grab older versions of Firefox at Firefox Older releases (back to Firefox 2 so based on the major versions 2.x, 3.x and 3.5.x)


At the time of writing Chrome is unreleased on OS X (or Linux), you can sign up to be informed when it is released or if you are interested you can grab the latest build (of which the Mac one seems pretty stable – but as always take care with pre-release stuff).


Internet Explorer

At the time of writing the latest release version of IE is 8 – so upgrade to that and then install standalone IE7 and Multiple IE – both free from Tredosoft.

It’s worth at this point testing that conditional comments are working for your various installed versions of IE – I use the following ‘testIE.html’ page:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />
<title>Which Internet Explorer Test Page</title>
<!--[if IE]>
<p>Internet Explorer</p>

<!--[if IE 8]>
<p>Internet Explorer 8</p>

<!--[if IE 7]>
<p>Internet Explorer 7</p>

<!--[if IE 6]>
<p>Internet Explorer 6</p>

which should correctly report the version number running in each of the versions of IE – if it doesn’t then revisit the standalone IE7 page and check out the section ‘To enable conditional CSS support…’ for instructions which should get it working properly.


Lifehacker have an article detailing Manage multiple Firefox profiles which shows how to do exactly the same thing as shown above in the OS X/FF section for creating multiple profiles to start different versions of Firefox.

Written by , Friday 17th July 2009



October 5, 2009

Any more posts coming soon? I’m getting bored!

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