QuirksBlog monthlies

This is the monthly archive for March 2009.

Recent compatibility updates

Permalink | in Content
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In the past two months or so I’ve done a lot of compatibility testing, and I thought I’d give you an update.

I’m increasingly posting my real-time raw test results and announcing new versions of tables on Twitter; so if you’re interested in that data you can follow me.

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Testing mobile browsers — more problems

Permalink | in Mobile testing
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Since my previous post about mobile browser testing I’ve had four days in Düsseldorf to play with mobile phones, and I’ve once again unearthed quite a few problems that mobile browser testers will encounter. So this post is mostly about how the situation is even more complicated than we thought.

You can look over my shoulder while I’m testing, as far as I’m concerned, as long as you remember that every bit of data is provisional and may change radically without warning.

If you’re interested in real-time raw test results, follow me on Twitter. I regularly post my findings there, and it’s already delivered me some excellent feedback.

In this entry we’ll look at first-line and second-line browsers, mobile support for basic CSS, Opera’s two modes, the failure of @media handheld, Vodafone “content adaptation,” the Nokia keyCode problem, and we’ll close off with a few fun browser facts.

The crucial question of the moment is: who asserts supreme control over the way a website looks on a mobile phone? Currently I’m arguing the author should, but Opera and Vodafone assert vendor control, with Opera also giving the user a modicum of control.

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Testing mobile browser compatibility — the beginning

Permalink | in Mobile testing
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About a month ago the software department of Vodafone Internet Services, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, asked for my help in creating mobile widgets according to the W3C Widgets specification. In particular, they’d noticed there are differences between browsers even on mobile phones (imagine my surprise), and decided they needed advice from a specialist (that would be me).

Better still, it quickly turned out that they were willing to pay me for doing serious mobile browser compatibility tests and publishing them on this site. The payment thingy is quite unusual, I can tell you (though not entirely unique).

This is easily the best job offer I’ve gotten in my entire freelance career, so I hurried to accept it. Meanwhile I’ve done mobile tests for five days; enough to offer some guidance for setting up a doctrine for mobile browser testing.

As far as I’m concerned you can look over my shoulder while I’m working, but please PLEASE remember that everything I say may change radically without notice after I’ve tested the same browsers on other devices.

Right now I’ve only done a few tests of functionality that’s basic to the mobile experience, and even these basic tests will likely have to be expanded. Besides, right now getting a general feeling for mobile testing and its manifold problems is more important than running lots and lots of tests.

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See the February 2009 archive.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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