Site Specific Browser
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I can definitely see uses for this, including having one browser running for the project site I’m working on (from Fluid):

Using Fluid, you can create [site specific browsers] to run each of your favorite WebApps as a separate desktop application. Fluid gives any WebApp a home on your Mac OS X desktop complete with Dock icon, standard menu bar, logical separation from your other web browsing activity, and many other goodies.

Everything Changes
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I’m about a month overdue on this, but I have to take a moment and outline the many changes I’ve made in the last month. First, I changed jobs. For the last two years I worked with Jeevan Nomula over at GCA in New Tampa, FL. We were a group of about 10 contractors working for Intercontinental Hotels based out of Atlanta. I served as a Team Lead and Designer for a Java ESB for the company’s reservation and availability apis. It was a great team to work with and Jeevan was a fantastic boss. But as you may know from following my blog, I have really fallen in love with Rails over the last year, and I really wanted to spend some time working in that full time, so I took a new position with Interactive Media Marketing. They are based five minutes from my house and develop Miley Cyrus’s official web site and fan club.

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Running Multiple Browsers for Testing
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As web developers we know all to well the challenges of getting our web sites to look and function the same across browsers. I use Browsershots to grab visual snapshots of a page in multiple browsers, but this doesn’t help test functionality, or view a screen that occurs after a user has caused an event.

There’s no getting around needing to test in multiple browsers. Thankfully, you can do this on your computer fairly easily. I am currently able to test, on my MacBook Pro, with the following browsers:

  • Firefox 2 and 3 on Win and Mac
  • Safari on Win and Mac
  • IE 5.5, 6 and 7 on Win

This gives me a good percentage of the browsers in use out there. I do my Windows testing by running VMWare Fusion, and installing IE 5.5 – 7, Firefox and Safari on there.

You’ll need a little help with running multiple Internet Explorer versions and Firefox versions.

Running Multiple Internet Explorers
To run multiple version of Internet Explorers there is a nice installer to help you out. I upgraded my IE to 7, and then ran this installer, which can install any IEs you want from 3 to 6.

Running Firefox 2 and 3
Chu Yeow has posted a nice tutorial on running Firefox 2 and 3. You first need to create a new Firefox profile to ensure that when you run Firefox 3 it doesn’t overwrite your default profile. The mozilla web site has some information on Managing Your Firefox Profiles. Now you can download and install Firefox three and follow Chu’s instructions for running it. If you are on a Mac, Andy Croll describes how to use AppleScript for easy launching.

Now you have no excuse for not testing in multiple browsers. Happy testing!

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