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I have a question about comptability testing. Can you have versions of IE as well as AOL on the same machine, or no, do they use the same .dlls?
Does anyone have any compatibility/configuration matrices that you would recommend to get good coverage for testing? (Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, Macintosh, etc)
Re: Compatibility testing
Well, you generally cannot have any version of IE doubled up on the same system. You can, with 5.x, install a stub version of 4.x. This is becuase of the system integration with the Windows OS. With AOL, you can have IE 4.x or IE 5.x with AOL 4.0 or 5.0 because AOL uses its own engine that is based off of IE. (Currently. However, they are supposed to be moving to the Mozilla Netscape 6.0 Gecko engine if the darn thing ever ends up working right.)
As far as good testing matrices, it depends on your environment. It also depends on what browsers visit your site. If you, for some reason, have a lot of WebTV viewers then you are probably going to have to consider that. However, a quick look at server logs will tell you who is visiting you. Usually you want to be concerned with the up-to-date browsers because people are more apt, these days, to download them - especially with the increasing spread of broadband connections.
Sometimes you can use online backward compatibility checkers (or just reverse engineer their code for you own use). Check out http://www.dejavu.org/ as one example.