Debugging in old browsers hurts. Here are some tips I use to ease the pain.
Use virtual machines
Instead of having to keep old, rusty Windows XP/Vista/whatever laying around
with specific versions of Internet Explorer, just use virtual machines.
It’s remarkably painless with VirtualBox
and a fantastic script called
ievms sets up VirtualBox with machines pre-installed with whichever versions
of Internet Explorer you choose. Fair warning: It takes a solid amount of time
to download and install everything.
Run a local server, access it from your virtual machines
The real power of virtual machines comes from creating pathways between them and the physical machine running them. To run a Python web server (from the command line):
Your content will be server at http://0.0.0.0:8000.
Bonus tip: Devices on the same network can access what you’re
serving, too, making mobile debugging equally easy (read: still not that easy).
Find your IP address (on OS X, it’s shown under
System Preferences ->
Network), and visit
http://your.ip.address.here:8000 from your
When things hopelessly break, use Depict
A lot of new techniques for data visualization simply do not work in old
versions of Internet Explorer. If all else fails,
depict makes it easy to generate
fallback images to replace the “broken” content.
depict takes a screenshot of a given HTML element. It can be used quite
creatively, but in it’s simplest form looks something like this:
Those are all of my IE-debugging secrets. I’d love to hear yours.