Category Archives: testing

Firebug Lite!

I found a new tool yesterday that I hope solves a lot of my issues!  Firebug Lite! If you are a developer, you are probably familiar with firebug for firefox already.  It is a great tool for debugging just about all aspects of a web page.

I work a lot with JSF pages created using Java Pure Faces, so I do a lot of my CSS tweaking after the fact.  We create web applications that will be used by just about anyone, and unfortunately, people still use IE6 (or IE at all).  Firebug Lite allows you to add a debugging tool very similar to the Firefox Firebug tool into any browser by simply adding a <script> tag like:

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

This is great!  I just had an issue last week where I needed this, but I only discovered yesterday in a tweet on twitter (follow my tweets – @mpickell).  The tweet directed me to tutorial9 where there is a nice write-up.

I’m really looking forward to using this tool, but I have found some issues with already.  I haven’t seen these documented, and I am not sure if they are problems with my configuration, so I am interested if anyone else sees the same thing.

  • I wasn’t able to get firebug lite working in IE6, and the CSS window on the right hand side didn’t work for IE7.  These are probably my fault, because I tested them through IETester, and not real installs.
  • I also tested in a full, normal install of Opera and had some issues.
  • I still need to test Chrome and Safari, but i’ll post that when i do.

So this is a great tool to have available, and I’m sure upcoming revisions will fix the issues I saw.  It is going to make life a lot easier.

Testing web pages in multiple browsers

Like most other people, I need to test my web designs on multiple browsers because of the inconsistencies between all of them regarding javascript and CSS.  Mainly CSS.  The worst offender, of course, is Internet Explorer, and I have been having a lot of trouble figuring out how to test the different versions.


The first software I tried was MultipleIE.  This software worked great when i was set up with MultipleIE running IE 5, IE 5.5, and IE 6, and the normal Microsoft installation of IE 7.  After installing IE 8 b2, which required installing MultipleIE’s version of standalone IE 7, everything blew up.  IE 7 and below would no longer allow me to select any input text boxes.  IE 7 and IE 8 wouldn’t let me use combo boxes because of the pop-up blocker.

IE Tester

Since that stopped working and I could not find any information online, I tried another application called IE Tester.  I’m not sure how this one works, it seems to be encapsulated all within one application.  The install package is around 120 megs, so maybe all of the IE applications are in there.  I haven’t use it that long, but it seems pretty good.  It reflects all of the IE errors I expected my application to have based on what MultipleIE seemed to be telling me.


I then went on and asked a very knowledgeable friend for his opinion, and his exact tweet was:

VMware ESXi server (free), and lots of VMs. The run MultipleIE/FF/Safari on those VMs with different versions of Java, Flash, etc

which would be the ideal solution since you could run dedicated versions of everything.  But the logistics seem like they would be a nightmare.

So my search goes on.  I am trying to determine how others do this.


VM: I started using an application called VirtualBox (I found it here), owned by Sun now.  It seems to be a nice windows-based application that will allow me easy connect to my network and load a single browser.  I’m still testing, and i need to see how easy it is to clone the machine once I get a clean install.

javascript testing

I have been messing around with javascript testing lately and i’ve had some issues.  I have been attempting to incorporate jsunit into JUnit (per the minimal instructions on the website) and have been unsuccessful.  emails to the site owner go unanswered.

The usage seems to be directed towards building via ANT/XML in something like CruiseControl, but I am trying to put it directly into a JUnit testcase that can be part of all of the other tests I run.

Here’s a summary of what i’m doing right now, and the problems i’m having:

  1. Create an instance of StandaloneTest, and supplying it with an implementation of ConfigurationSource
  2. Set up the test to be one that comes with the jsunit package… so that i KNOW it is formatting correctly.  (This is the html file with the javascript tests and asserts in it)
  3. run the unit test.

Step 3, of course, is what fails.  The browser I selected launches, and the java console says the everything is running and that it is waiting for a response.

Then it times out… I’m not sure what is going on here, but it seems that either the browsers are not sending a response, or JUnit is not able to catch it.

Any ideas?