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On Testing IE7 beta 2

Sent by Eric A. Meyer on 1 February 2006 19:07


Hey all,

    As I expected, the IE7 traffic is taking over.  This is not 
something that I think can be avoided, and it's hardly off-topic so 
long as what we're talking about is CSS support in IE7 beta 2.
    HOWEVER... let's please agree on a few ground rules before things 
get too far out of hand.

1. Make absolutely certain you're testing IE7 beta 2.  IE7b1, which 
is available for download on various sites, had no known CSS 
enhancements.  It did not support CSS2.1 selectors, or fix any bugs 
on which CSS hacks depend, or just about anything else.  If you test 
with IE7b1, you're wasting your time; and if you post results of 
IE7b1 testing, you're wasting our time.  Again, be SURE you're 
testing with IE7b2.

2. If you're testing property, value, or behavioral support in IE7, 
make absolutely certain that your test case uses no hacks, filters, 
conditional comments, or other measures.  If you're testing float 
margin-doubling, for example, but you still have in a CSS hack 
targeted at IE6, you might get completely spurious results.

3. If you're testing support for hacks, filters, or conditional 
comments in IE7, try to make sure you're testing using simple effect. 
For example, here's how I'd test for IE7 support of a child 
combinator:

   p {color: red; font-style: italic; font-weight: normal; 
text-transform: none;}
   div>p {color: green;}
   div > p {font-style: normal;}
   #test>p {font-weight: bold;}
   #test > p {text-transform: uppercase;}

   <div id="test"><p>Bold uppercase green</p></div>
   <p>Italic normal case red</p>

This approach uses property/value combinations that we all know 
IE/Win has supported for a long, long time.  If I tried to test with 
widths and margins and padding, I'd be concerned that a box model bug 
was sneaking in and making me think there was a selection bug.  With 
the color-font-text approach, this is far less likely.  (Not 
non-zero, but close.)
    Similarly, to test arbitrary-element hover, I'd do nothing more 
exciting than:

    p:hover {color: green; background: cyan;}

4. If you find a new bug, as Al Sparber has with the a:hover/@import 
problem (see http://www.projectseven.com/csslab/ie7/import.htm), 
absolutely document it with a basic test case and feel free to ask 
others for confirmation.  But remember the previous points.  These 
will be invaluable for bug reporting to Microsoft.

5. Report any CSS bugs you find to Microsoft, whether they're 
brand-new or long-standing old ones.  (Heck, report ANY bugs you 
find, but for the purposes of this list I'll stick to the CSS ones.) 
Just because a long-known bug hasn't been fixed, that doesn't mean 
there's no hope of it ever being fixed.  It may be that a large 
number of reports of a given bug will raise its priority enough to 
get it fixed.  Yes, this is true even of bugs we've known about for 
half a decade.  REPORT THEM ANYWAY.

And overall, using http://css-discuss.incutio.com/?page=IE7 as a 
dumping ground for links to test cases is close to the best thing you 
can do there, at least right now.  This is true whether you have a 
test case that shows an old bug is fixed, or an old bug still needs 
to be fixed, or a new bug, or whatever.  It would probably even be 
useful to the IE team at Microsoft.

-- 
Eric A. Meyer  [EMAIL-REMOVED])
Principal, Complex Spiral Consulting   http://complexspiral.com/
"CSS: The Definitive Guide," "CSS2.0 Programmer's Reference,"
"Eric Meyer on CSS," and more    http://meyerweb.com/eric/books/
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