Solving Mozilla’s Web Compatibility Woes

Mozilla’s Web Compatibility team have over the years sought to find websites that break their browser. Clearly this is a daunting task that requires as much automation as possible. Async has worked with Mozilla for the past two years to help solve a piece of this puzzle.

“The team over at Async have been very helpful exploring web compatibility testing and problem discovery.”

Hallvord R. M. Steen

Mozilla over the years have battled their browser’s compatibility with the web in various ways. As everybody client side developer knows some websites have interesting ways to implement features. Unfortunately for browsers and their maintainers these unorthodox implementations can cause issues.

It is in everybody’s interest that these websites are fixed, that it adheres by the standards set by the W3C so that users are not left wondering why their browser gets itself in a muddle when on that particular site.

Using our Cloud based browser tool Jannah we built Compatipede. The main premise behind the tool is to gather all of Mozilla’s Wecompat Github issues run them against our cloud based tool using both a Webkit and Gecko based instances to open the page and run a number of custom plugins on the page to analyse how the browser is performing with the pages and send emails with the results of such analysis.

We hope the Compatipede project has served its purpose within Mozilla, it was very much a research & development effort which has allowed us to develop further our Jannah and Boar projects while at the same time enabled Mozilla to explore further how to automate the deluge of tasks that are ever present as part of the Web compatibility team’s remit.