Pete’s Guide to Technology and Everything Else Pete’s Guide to Technology and Everything Else

Pete’s Web Browser Tests

The pages below are designed to be torture tests of browsers, mainly to demonstrate advanced HTML, XHTML, and XML markup that is desperately needed to work well and consistently, but which breaks on many browsers, and is not adequately highlighted elsewhere. Afew of the examples also show bugs caused by incorrect coding practices.

HTML 4.01 Entity Test Tables
This set of three tables shows all of the entities defined in the HTML specification, along with the whole numeric range from 0 to 255 of ANSI to demonstrate how browsers act when presented with characters that are not defined by the specification. Most browsers fail at least some part of this test.
Expert Character Set
Although it is not obvious to even many Web experts, the HTML and XHTML specifications indicate that browsers are supposed to support all of Unicode, not just those characters that have entity names defined (see the above test). The result is that many typesetting, technical, and mathematical characters are not widely displayed by browsers. This page includes most of the characters I think browsers and fonts should support.
object Tag Test Suite
The Object tag is supposed to be capable of several more things than are actually supported by most browsers, including the placement of images (instead of <img>), the embedding of external files (instead of <iframe> or server-side-includes), and the display of alternate content in case the browser is not capable of rendering the content specified by the object tag. It is also intended to replace both the <applet> and <embed< tags for the inclusion of Java applets and browser plug-ins.
Full PNG Image Support Tests
As the replacement for the problematic GIF image format (no true-color, a patent that prevents free tools, and limited transparency features), PNG should be more widely used than it is. One major reason why it is not is because Internet Explorer fails to properly support it. PNG was introduce in 1996—more than enough time for Microsoft to learn how to do it right.
So you think your browser supports tables completely. Wrong!—I have yet to find one that does. The pages in this section are designed to show browser developers what else they need to support, and Web authors aspects they may not be aware of.
Tooltip Torture Test
Not many Web authors put an alt attribute on every image (as is required by HTML 4 and accessibility guidelines), and fewer still make use of the title attribute in link tags. When you actually start using these attributes with large amounts of text, the browsers start having trouble.
Style Sheet with Unicode Byte Order Mark/Signature Test
Seemingly a related bug to the above case, this demonstrates that a BOM at the beginning of an external style sheet will cause problems as well.
Typesetting Characters Missing From Common Fonts
Very few fonts (the notable exception being Arial Unicode MS) not include all the key characters that are important for improving the visual appearance of type, both onscreen and in print. This table tests your browser by attempting to display these characters (some of which are part of HTML, though most are not) in a variety of common fonts.
This table tests your browser using characters I have noticed missing, and attempts to display each of them in a number of common fonts. If any of the cells in this table show an empty box, question mark, other strange character, or anything other than the character shown in the image (except for the fractions built using the slash-like characters, to demonstrate the kerning), then your browser is doing something wrong. Better browsers, such as Netscape 6, apparently include glyphs for all HTML characters and insert the appropriate character when using a font that is missing it.
The HTML language was defined to be served using the MIME type text/HTML, and that practice continues to be appropriate. But the XHTML refinement of the Web language is supposed to be served using the MIME type application/xhtml+xml If your browser tries to download this page, then your browser has a problem.
Integrated Math Expressions and SVG Graphics(XHTML + MathML + SVG)
This page demonstrates how it should be possible to include mathematical expressions and vector graphics in a Web page. However, the only browser that can render this page is a development version of Mozilla.

Invalid Tests

These test pages are actually invalid, but browser vendors should be aware that such pages may exist due to authors saving text files with improper settings, and are advised to report a warning that the page is invalid when encountered.

Unicode Line Separator and style sheet import
If you save your HTML or XHTML document with the unambiguious Line Separator character used to separate lines instead of the UNIX LF or DOS CR/LF pair, strange things will happen. One such problem is that its use in this file causes the external style sheet reference to be ignored.
XHTML Page with Unicode BOM and LSEP test
This is an extreme case test, and one that is slightly, and debatedly, breaking the rules. It contains a BOM mark, and uses the LSEP character as a line break. Even though this case is rare, and is not completely following the rules, it will be increasingly encountered as more Web authors start using Unicode-enabled tools.

Valid XHTML 1.1! Valid CSS!

Other Test Suites