View Full Version : Major versions of Firefox to install for testing

Feb 8th, 2010, 10:56 AM
I'm planning to set up a computer just for testing different browser compatibilities and I was wondering which versions of Firefox I should install on the computer. The computer will be set up to dual boot, meaning I can install 2 versions of Firefox on it (since it will have XP and Vista installed). I am testing for Javascript/Ajax compatibility and also HTML/CSS standards support.

I was thinking of installing Firefox 2.0 and Firefox 3.0 and use those as 2 major iterations of Firefox. Is that a good idea? Or should I install Firefox 1.5 as well? Does anyone still use Firefox 1.5?

Of course, the main computer I'm working on will have the latest ver of Firefox (3.5 or 3.6 and maybe 4.0 in the future), so I don't have to worry about that version.

Feb 8th, 2010, 11:58 AM
usually Firefox is very quick with version change. FF 2.0 you only need for backward compatibility, but its usage already dropped below 2% (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_firefox.asp) and FF 3.0 is already below 20%*.

(similar figures apply for Safari)

so it’s up to you to decide, whether this is really necessary

* - relatively to all FF versions

Feb 9th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Those stats are only from the w3c site and they only base their stats from the visitors who visit their site. This control group is not very reliable since most visitors who visit the w3c are web designers or are individuals who have something to do with web designing, so it is very plausible to assume they will update to the most current browser.

However, the average user is usually very lazy to update their browser.

Feb 9th, 2010, 02:16 PM
for such a lazy user group, 2 out of 3 are using FF 3.5+ (stats from my website (Jan ’10), and that one ain’t tech related), and FF 2 was hardly present.

Feb 9th, 2010, 03:27 PM
Most Fx users will update as soon as they can, likewise chrome, opera and safari. This is because these people are at least intelligent enough to realise what a browser is.

A large portion of the IE users don't update because they are given IE with their operating system and they assume it is what they should use.

IE6 is still used by everyone who is still running windows 2000 or below because they cannot upgrade even if they wanted too.

I test in IE6 to 8 and the latest version of everything else, I think testing in older versions of Fx is pointless.

Feb 9th, 2010, 03:31 PM
Most Fx users will update as soon as they can,
additionally, it is hard to miss an FF update, when you’re constantly reminded and updating is just one click.

Feb 9th, 2010, 04:00 PM
I see, so I suppose I shouldn't test legacy versions of Firefox such as 2.0 and below?
I usually only test in IE6, 7, and 8 and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome. But I was thinking of making more thorough testing for Firefox. I guess I should just abandon this idea then?

I know testing for IE6 is extremely important because it still has a very large user base.

Feb 9th, 2010, 04:06 PM
yepp, I don’t see any need to test older versions (i.e. if FF 3.6 is out, FF 3.5 could be worth trying, IF you’re programming with newly incorporated stuff (e.g. DOM Traversal, CSS3 and the like)

Feb 9th, 2010, 05:01 PM
Surely this simply depends on a couple of things:

a). How wide an audience you actually want to support. (For example, if you are merely focussing on a developer community, the latest of everything would suffice)
2). How much work you actually want to do, as making sure it works for everything is a lot of work, especially when your audience ain't that great, and
iii). What you can realistically test on. If you don't have a Mac, testing on a Mac is a little more difficult. If you are corporate, you may want to even consider Lynx.

There are a number of things to decide before deciding where to test. It's easy for my corporate work, I get told who needs to see it!

Feb 10th, 2010, 03:52 AM
Google will drop support for IE6 next month. Three European countries already have and England has it up for a vote.

Feb 10th, 2010, 10:33 AM
I wrote an article about IE6 a while ago:

Microsoft To Support IE6 Until 2014 (http://www.devseo.co.uk/blog/view/microsoft-to-support-ie6-until-2014)

So some major businesses have, I think YouTube have too, but until Microsoft do I'm afraid it's still going to be used corporately.

Feb 11th, 2010, 11:42 PM
IE -especially IE6 - is a pain for web developers. The lack of web standard support and rendering inconsistencies just further proves the fact that Microsoft products are not worth their price. Even the ASP.net page renders have CSS issues.