DOM Level 2 Conformance Tests Have Moved

Wednesday November 29th, 2000

Bob Clary writes, "The W3C DOM Core Level 2 Conformance Test is available again here. Thanks to Ian (Hixie) Hickson for hosting the site as well as the other generous people who offered to host the site as well."

#7 Why limit the tests to certain browsers...

by rdc

Friday December 1st, 2000 12:49 PM

You are replying to this message

That is a good question.

Originally, these tests were part of a site where a dynamic pull down menu was use to navigate the site. It was implemented using the W3C DOM and could not be handled at all by legacy browsers such as Netscape 4.x or IE 4.x. In addition, some of the code in the site used (uses) try catch blocks which gives 3.x browsers fits. So I limited the kinds of browsers that could enter the site at all.

In an effort to broaden the audience I was reaching, I removed the dynamic menu code and replaced it with frames based navigation. This left most of the site accessible to any browser. But I left the Browser checks in for the remainder of the site where Javascript is used. I did this primarily because I have limited resources to test with and could not imagine how my code would act under arbitrary browsers. Rather than risk the bad press I might get if my code failed on Platform X, I just limited the code to those platforms I could test.

Hopefully as more and more people get involved in the project, it will be possible to test other platforms and make sure that the code operates correctly on those platforms. That is why I asked for information about the kind of browser you wish to use. With your help, I can extend the number of browsers supported by the test.

But why limit the browsers at all? Frankly, I don't want to get in the situation where someone who decides that Navigator 3.01 should be able to run the tests and then flames me endlessly for the numerous errors he detected. I made a conscious decision some time ago that I would not waste any more of my time on the older legacy browsers.

That does not mean that I am not interested in the other modern browsers such as Opera that may be able to take the tests. It only means I have no way of testing them currently and will not release the Conformance tests to browsers that have not been determined to support the minimal requirements of the code.

What has this got to do with you, you may ask. You are interested primarily in the Conformance tests. I believe that any browser that supported at least Javascript 1.2 could have at least attempted the Conformance test. Unfortunately a scroll bar bug in Mozilla forced me to temporarily use a proprietrary feature (innerHTML) that is available in Internet Explorer and Mozilla, but not anywhere else as far as I know. This use of innerHTML is only for outputing the test results and is not used during the actual conformance tests. Once the scroll bar bug in Mozilla is fixed, I intend to replace innerHTML with a more portable means of outputing the results. It would then be possible to relax the browser requirements.

If you want me to extend the range of browsers supported by the Conformance Tests, I will be happy to do so. But you must help me make sure that the tests are properly written for the platform/browser you wish to test.

You can:

1) help test the code on your platform

2) donate machines and software so that I may develop and test the code on the platform of your choice.