I just read an article on ZDNet that mentioned a recent “showing off” of Expression Web SuperPreview by Microsoft. SuperPreview allows web developers to view and debug web output and rendering as it would appear in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8. And I can’t help but wonder… why would we need a tool to check rendering if Microsoft actually handled rendering properly to begin with?
I am glad they have introduced this tool. Before this you had to install an application that would literally install multiple versions of IE on your machine. Then you would need to load your page in a new instance of whatever version you wanted to test. That really sucked. So having the option to inspect your rendering in one app across multiple versions of IE is definitely a boon. But still, why should you have to do that?
And speaking of browsers, a friend of mine the a few weeks back brought up a point that I still enjoy… why are we still coding for browser based output anyway? The web as we know it is totally breaking out of the browser. Why are there still cross-browser compatibility issues and rendering problems?
While I applaud Microsoft on their efforts to help developers code for their broken, crappy, waste-of-software browser, I think I am leaning more towards my friend’s way of thinking. Maybe it is time to start thinking outside the browser box?
Regardless, if you are a developer developing on Windows and you need a tool that will help you see how things are going to work for you in IE 6, 7 and 8, this might be the tool for you.