Web designers are usually pretty much in tune about this: the number one most painful aspect of designing a Web site is getting it to function and display the same way on multiple browsers.
Microsoft Internet Explorer, particularly, is legendary for the leviathan problems it poses for coders. Worse yet, this troubled browser is still in use by the majority, purely because it has always been pre-packaged onto Windows systems.
Google today is introducing to Web developers an early version of a new open source plug-in called Google Chrome Frame, which updates the old browser with HTML5 functionality and other key technologies.
By adding a single tag to their code (“<meta equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">”), developers can switch on Google Chrome Frame, enabling Internet Explorer to take advantage of the best new technologies, like offline capabilities and the latest CSS support. The Frame works with Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8 on any Windows computer.
Mozilla Labs launched a tool last month called TestSwarm, which had similar aims to Google’s latest. TestSwarm uses a swarm of volunteers running a wide variety of computers and browsers to provide Web developers with an always-available testing ground for their latest designs.
With TestSwarm and Chrome Frame, Mozilla and Google really went the extra mile to make other browsers, especially Internet Explorer, more functional. Of course, Google clearly wants attention for Chrome Frame. It wants developers to have messages on their sites urging users to switch to a better browser. Let's see if these tactics contribute further to Internet Explorer loss of market share.