However, it doesn't always work the way we intended. When sites suggest things to you, they can make mistakes. Therefore, I have a heuristic that I follow which says always go where the software suggests I go. Here's an example...
Last week while playing around with the new mint data website, I was greeted with the "City not found" page several times.
A feature of this page is that it suggests a page for your to visit next. Often, it's a state. However at point point I was able to get the site to suggest I view spending for the entire USA. Using my heuristic, I followed the link and was greeted with an excellent java exception.
Rewarded with this exception, I was able to determine that the site is written using Java (sprint and hibernate), runs on Apache (and the version of Apache). I also have suspicion of what to do next. After seeing this issue I started trying custom URLs and was able to get several different exceptions. Some of which gave me additional insight into the site structure and possible test ideas.
Total Validator provides the following main features:
- A parser that validates the basic construction of your pages
- True HTML validation against the W3C Markup Specifications or ISO/IEC definition using the published DTDs and standards: (2.0, 3.2, 4.0, 4.01, 5, ISO/IEC, XHTML 1.0, 1.1 and 5, XHTML Basic 1.0, 1.1, (X)HTML+RDFa, XHTML-Print)
- An accessibility validator that validates against the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines (1.0 and 2.0) and US Section 508 Standard
- A broken links validator that checks each page for broken links
- A spelling validator that spell checks the content of your pages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, German)
- Snapshots (screenshots) of your pages in different browsers, on different platforms, at different resolutions
- A desktop tool so you can validate pages before you publish, and pages behind firewalls
Here are results generated after our home page validation.
What is unusual - none of those browsers was actually installed on test machine.
This is a free service by Spoon: you can invoke multiple copies of different versions of different browsers without having them on your machine.
What's currently provided
- Microsoft Internet Explorer (versions 6, 7, 8, 9 Preview)
- Mozilla Firefox (versions 2, 3, 3.5, 3.6, 4 Beta)
- Google Chrome (versions 5, 6 Beta)
- Apple Safari (versions 3, 4, 5)
- Opera (versions 9, 10)