Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Comments for The Virtual Life: IE At Arms Length

I am literally in the process of doing this myself; bought a MacBook Pro last week, and I've been setting up my Parallel installs, including an Ubuntu Linux one to test on Linux. I wasn't planning to have as many versions of the VM as you do though; just a Windows XP + SP2 + IE 6, and another one with Windows XP + IE 7. Do you really think it's necessary to have more fine grained versions than that?

It was great hanging out with you in Europe at EuroOSCON by the way!

Best,   Brad

Damn. I thought I was a browser geek :s
by manuel at

Whether or not your need all those snapshots is kinda your call. I'm a bit lazy in places, but generally I have at least the pristine OS versions and the major browser revs available. Having more snapshots just saves you time when you're in the thick of debugging things. There is some overhead for keeping VMs up to date with your virtualization software, so having too many snapshots can be a pain. I think at a minimum, you should at least have the pristine OS revs stored. It'll at least save you the time to run a full install when the shit hits the fan.


by alex at
Hey Alex, I posted this on Ajaxian,  This may help.

How to run IE V7 RC1 in standalone mode.

How to install multilple version of IE ( IE3, IE4.01, IE5, IE 5.5 and IE6 )

Tom Trenka from dojotoolkit said the following:

Scott, you missed the point: it’s not enough to run multiple versions of IE in the same OS, since a lot of the functionality in IE is based on standalone COM+ objects. How would you, for instance, test against different versions of the MSXML component with that setup (bearing in mind that that’s where XMLHTTP actually lives)?
Here is my response:
Tom, The suggestion isn’t perfect and does have it’s inherent problems but for the most part it should work as the installations are in separate directories containing the required DLL’s. The individual browser version work due to DLL redirection which was introduced with Win 2000.

For reference: IE4 had the first version of the MSXML Parser (1.0). IE5 had the next version (2.0). From then until Version 3.0 you had to have IE5 to install those MSXML versions. From MSXML 3.0 forward the license doesn’t require IE5 for installation.

by Scott at