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SoftwareMedia Blog | April 21, 2014

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Microsoft Offers Tips To Combat Compatibility Issues

Microsoft Offers Tips To Combat Compatibility Issues

The good old days of the browser wars when Netscape and Internet Explorer were the big contenders fighting for dominance are long gone. Now there is a proliferation of web browsers that developers have to consider. To make matters even worse, there are many older versions of these browsers still in use so software testing is that much harder. As a representative from Microsoft put it, “For developers, testing can take up to 30 to 40 percent of their time.” Microsoft aims to help alleviate this problem with modern.IE, a new online resource for web developers.

What is modern.IE?

Microsoft’s modern.IE was designed to help developers test for compatibility issues with Internet Explorer 10 and older versions. Just like there are a wide variety of Windows operating systems in use, there are many older versions of Internet Explorer that are still very popular. This creates headaches for web developers who want to use cutting-edge technology like HTML 5 and CSS 3 that may not be supported in older version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft’s modern.IE helps simplify the testing and debugging processes without requiring that developers have multiple version of Internet Explorer running on their computers.

Virtual Test Tools

Microsoft offers a plug-in called BrowserStack that allows for testing Internet Explorer compatibility from within other popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. This is very convenient for developers who may prefer to develop on another computer platform such as Apple’s Macintosh OSX, but still need to check that their websites are compatible with Internet Explorer. Developers can use the plug-in to check IE compatibility without even having the program loaded on their PCs.

Scan a Webpage

This tool allows developers to find common coding problems just by entering the URL of the webpage. Users can access this tool using any software browser they choose and the results are very comprehensive. The Scan a Webpage feature does test compatibility issues with versions of Internet Explorer, but it does much more than that as well. The modern.IE website’s software tool also checks for problems with the HTML, CSS, web standards and even how accessible the website’s design is on mobile web browsers.

Code with Standards

In addition to their robust tools, Microsoft also offers a link on the modern.IE home page to an article that provides, “20 tips for building modern sites while supporting old versions of IE.” This helps save developers time by teaching them better coding processes while building their websites so they can spend less time testing them and troubleshooting problems after the site is live. The article provides solid advice for cross-browser compatibility in general, HTML and CSS.

Microsoft’s new website is a great tool for web developers and a useful resource. There are links to other web sites like Windows Dev Center and HTML5 Labs that web developers will find convenient as well. While it is not a complete one-stop shop for testing for all compatibility issues, modern.IE does help save developers some headache, especially when it comes to Internet Explorer compatibility.

About the Author: Antoine Swensson works in software development and no matter what type of platform he is working on he always recommends his clients use Alliance Global Services to ensure their finished products work properly.

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