Internet Explorer 10

I’ve been an avid user of Internet Explorer for some time now due to the nature of my job. Throughout my travels as a test engineer, I’ve learned that testing cross-browser and cross-platform meant testing on Internet Explorer 6 and 8 on XP, Internet Explorer 7 on Vista, and Internet Explorer 8 and 9 on Windows 7. I’ve found that this combination works pretty effectively if you are trying to find all bugs, including exceptions within Internet Explorer across multiple platforms. 

This coming 2012, Microsoft will be releasing Internet Explorer 10 which will more than likely will be shipped with Windows 8. As of October 2011, Internet Explorer accounts for about 21% of overall use, if you factor Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera into that mix. Drilling down a little further, Windows Vista accounts for 5.5% of that entire OS market and ships with Internet Explorer 7. So it’s not surprising that Internet Explorer 7 numbers are also extremely low at 3.5% of all IE version currently on the market. 

So what does this mean for testers who have to thoroughly test websites across these multiple browsers and platforms? Given the fact, that Internet Explorer 7 will not work at all with Windows 8 and even the developer preview is compatible, it proves that Microsoft is finally unwilling to cater for the “lowest common denominator” when developing their future browsers. This may also mean when Windows 8 comes out, we more or likely will see an almost near-death in the case of Internet Explorer 7, while Microsoft will continue to support Internet Explorer 6, regardless of the numerous on-line campaigns to finally put this browser to bed, because it ships with Microsoft XP which accounts for 33.7% of Microsoft’s OS market share at the current moment. Due to the ever-rising statistics of Apple’s OS and main browser, it’s safe to say that numbers for Window 8may not be that impressive, since users are pretty satisfied with Windows 7 and the moment and there may have to be more bang for your buck, to warrant an upgrade to Windows 8.

Concurrently, there may be some truth in Microsoft supporting Internet Explorer 6 until 2014, and this may the first case in which testers have skipped over an entire OS [Window Vista] and browser [IE 7]for testing purposes, while still testing an older version of that browser [IE 6], on an even older OS [Window XP]. Only time will tell. 


QA is Exciting

I can’t really tell if this software tester is being serious or not, or if she just needs a vacation. However, I do believe QA can be exciting. If you liked breaking your toys as a kid, you’ll probably enjoy breaking applications as well.

But just between you and me, I think I only broke them when I wanted new ones. I do vaguely remember that there was some enjoyment while committing the act.

Siri criticized for revealing the location of…

Applications do not have minds of their own. Well, at least not yet, so let’s call a bug a bug.

Siri, the iPhone 4S’s voice assistant app, has been criticized by bloggers for failing to reveal the location of abortion clinics. But the abortion snafu is just a glitch, the tech behemoth claimed on Wednesday.

“These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the New York Times.

“It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better, and we will in the coming weeks.”

Read more here after the jump.

Patron trailblazing the way for drunken mobile device charging in a bar

I live in NYC and am glad to find out that mobile device owners in New York City can now charge their phones in over 50 bars across the city. Patron has partnered with goCharge, the nation’s leading manufacturer and distributor of Mobile Device Charging Kiosks, to provide 50 New York bars with phone charging kiosks to charge their dying phones while they drown their sorrows away or create new ones by trying to pick up women in bars.

These kiosks can simultaneously charge up to 16 mobile devices at one, including nearly all models of smartphones, mp3 devices; and cell phones as well. I do however see a pecking order here as I never see any real reason to ever charge my mp3 player if it runs out. Yes, I do have both a smart phone and an mp3 player separately as I highly value my previous limited battery life.

You can even locate a kiosk with you iphone, granted it still has it’s charge. I do see a lot of potential for all the stakeholders here as you can view brand specific content as you recharge you phone.. I wonder if you actually have to order some Patron to use the kiosk, but I have not tried this use case. I do see one downside however. If people get too wasted, they may start kicking the kiosk and asking where is the plastic toy guns to shoot the non-existent virtual deer. If you are seeing deer on the large digital touchscreen at this point, maybe it’s time to head home.


Device Anywhere Tips and Tricks

Devices that have large screens and a high resolution can appear quite large in your computer screen. This is because DeviceAnywhere Studio renders the device pixel-for-pixel, so a device with a higher screen resolution than your computer will appear larger than its actual size.

You can easily change the size of the device in Studio by right-clicking on it and selecting Zoom > Medium Size or Small Size. Alternatively, to zoom in to see a section of the device screen more closely, you can select Super Size.

Note that Studio remembers the most recent zoom setting for each device you acquire. For example, if you change a device’s zoom setting to Medium Size, the next time you launch Studio and acquire that same device, it automatically appears at Medium size.

Email Testing Tips and Tricks

QA resources are frequently tasked with some kind of email tesing. Usually this consists of making sure that all the links in the emails work, the Subject lines and content is correct, and most importantly the most neglectful aspect of testing, mail client/cross-browser testing.

I’ll limit this discussion to testing emails in Outlook because this is usually where UAT happens with you clients viewing this email. For those that are new to email testing with Outlook, the latest version of Outlook, 2010, similar to Outlook 2007, uses Microsoft Word’s rendering engine to display emails, impacting the appearance of emails.

Microsoft again, is relying on Word rather than Internet Explorer in part for security issues. Thanks to the Component Object Model relationship between Office components, the tool to write formatted emails arrives to Outlook through Word. And it remains unchanged with Outlook 2010.

So what does this mean, when you’re dealing with testing emails that may have to display properly in Outlook 03,07,and 2010 you only have one machine at your disposal to accomplish this goal, You’re best best would be to have Microsoft Office 2003 installed on your machine. But why?

Well, Outlook 2003 uses Hotmail’s rendering engine to display emails, so how can you see how it would in that application. But what about the display in 2007 and 2010?

Try this:

1. Open the email that has arrived in your inbox in Outlook 2003.
2. Save the email as an html file.
3. Open up Microsoft Word 2003 and open up the html file.

What you will see is exactly how that email would display in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 because you are actually using Word’s rendering engine to see the email. The same engine that shows you how crappy the email looks because of a lack of css support.

So there you have it. I know 2003 is quite old, but surprisingly trying to explain to one of your clients who uses Microsoft 2003 to look at emails, why the email looks pretty crappy, may just save you some unnecessary back-and-forth. This is especially important because you can’t actually use Hotmail to see the display for a 2003 mail client anymore, since Hotmail is now Windows Live Mail and they’ve dropped support for a number of properties and a number of key CSS selectors.

So there you have it. Happy Testing!