Testing CSS + FSS

Eli Cochran eli at media.berkeley.edu
Tue Jan 27 18:54:13 UTC 2009

I think that this is an excellent approach. It unfortunately still  
involves someone eyeballing it. (I understand that with some effort we  
could devise a system that did this auto-magically, but I'm not sure  
it is worth it.)

I have a concern.

We all know that every rendering engine has it's own quirks and while  
cross-browser pixel perfect designs are do-able, they take extra  
effort and often browser specific code or hacks. In many cases,  
especially web applications, an acceptable strategy is to accept that  
some variation will occur and as long as the page is usable and  
esthetically consistent on that browser then it's OK, even if it  
doesn't agree with some other browser.

The overlay approach should also be paired with a policy that outlines  
what is an "acceptable variation" between browsers.

<huge generalization>One of the advantage of the Web 2.0 esthetic of  
"less-visual-design" is that it has much more room for variations  
between rendering engines.</huge generalization>

- Eli

On Jan 27, 2009, at 10:31 AM, Jacob Farber wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> The past while it has become more and more pressing that FSS has  
> some form of testing. Through some research and long discussions it  
> has become evident that this is not going to be easy. Some ideas  
> bounced around were automated image comparisons and programmatic CSS  
> parsing but no solution was feasable within our time-constraints and  
> nothing completely removed the need for someone to just open a page  
> and see if it "just looked right".
> On that note, Justin and I were thinking perhaps a wireframe overlay  
> on top of special test page would suffice for now. The wireframe  
> would look something like an outline like Adobe Illustrators  
> "outline" mode, and it would layer itself on top of the test page  
> content. If the wireframe and the content beneath it didnt match up  
> perfectly, you would know something is broken right away and bug  
> could be logged. To complement this test page, a series of smaller  
> pages would be available to test very specific chunks of the FSS  
> CSS. This second part would help us pinpoint where specific problems  
> lie.
> Any thoughts or ideas?
> Thanks
> Jacob
> -- 
> Jacob Farber
> University of Toronto - ATRC
> Tel: (416) 946-3002
> www.fluidproject.org

. . . . . . . . . . .  .  .   .    .      .         .              .                     .

Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley

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