Today Adobe released BrowserLab, an online service and Dreamweaver plug-in that allows Web developers to test their websites on popular browsers and across multiple operating systems.
I’m loving this.
Basically, you put in a Web address, collect a browser ‘set’ of those supported (currently, Firefox 2.0 & 3.0 on both XP and OS X, IE 6 & 7 for XP and Safari 3.0 for OS X) and screenshots of actual browser renderings are generated in real time.
Not only that, but there is a side-by-side ’2-up’ comparison view to see overall differences – and even better, an onion skin (and zoom!) view can be used to measure discrepancies to the pixel.
More info and an FAQ is on the Adobe Labs page.
Back in December at the Adobe MAX Sneak Peeks session, I saw a demo of ‘Meer Meer’, which has now fully evolved to become this.
I’m not sure about the Web version, but I think the Dreamweaver CS4 plug-in stores all the popular webkits and browser engines, rendering them in real-time like a highly enhanced version of the ‘design view’ that we’ve always been familiar with. My download is halfway through now.
I’ve written posts about hacking your operating system to run multiple versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, and recommended virtual machines for cross-platform testing - all that seems so over-complicated and completely redundant now.
There’s also a lot of talk on Twitter about it, I think a lot of people share my feelings.