Today is a historic day in the world of web design and development because our jobs just got a lot easier with the preview release of BrowserLab, a future web-based service from Adobe, now available on Adobe Labs. BrowserLab takes the drudgery out of finding the bugs and differences in your pages between the different browsers and browser versions.
Of course, the idea of a service like this is not new – but BrowserLab offers a unique feature called “onion skin view”, which allows you to overlay the view from the selected browsers on top of each other. This way it’s easy to see the differences between the browser renderings. And if you are a Dreamweaver CS4 user, it gets even better – there is a new extension which will add BrowserLab to your Preview in Browser list. This means that you don’t even have to upload your pages to your site to have BrowserLab show you “what’s up”.
In fact, I’ve been using BrowserLab quite a bit and it even helped me discover a “bug” right here in my blog when it was viewed in Internet Explorer 6 (and no, you can’t see it – because I fixed it immediately). As a Mac user, I keep VMWare running all the time (our corporate email is run off of an Exchange server, if you must know) and that means that I have IE available – but only as IE 8. And the idea of firing up another instance just to check IE 6 pains me to no end. So, of course, BrowserLab has got me (virtually) jumping up and down! I hope you’ll find it as usual as I already have. And be sure to post your comments and suggestions – afterall, that’s the reason that we put this stuff out there early. We want your feedback!