Adding Firefox 3 To Your Browser Compatibility Testing

As of Monday, the Mozilla organization released Firefox 3 to the world. If your organization build Web sites or applications, you’re going to want to download it posthaste and add it to your browser compatibility tests.
Based on a couple of go-rounds with new browser releases, here are a couple of bullet point hints to help you accommodate this release in your plans:

  • Firefox, unlike Internet Explorer, will have a rapid adoption curve. People who use Firefox tend to lean to the technically savvy, and businesses who let their users install their own browsers won’t block the upgrade. That means you won’t have to test side by side Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 for as long as you would IE. I’d recommend planning on a couple of months anyway and reviewing the Web traffic numbers after that.
  • It never hurts to keep the installer for Firefox 2 around or a machine running Firefox 2 just for investigations into what the problem is when users complain.
  • Once you’ve installed Firefox 3, test your already completed Web sites and applications in it to keep ahead of any problems users might see when they adopt it.
  • If your organization has ongoing maintenance contracts with clients, make sure the maintenance includes time to run through the site with new browsers and fixing issues that might occur in the future.
  • For fun, don’t forget the Firefox on Macintosh and Linux.

Good luck.

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