With IE7 on the verge of being pushed out to millions of PCs, system administrators are worried about the impact it will have when it appears in their organizations and is used to browse their Web sites. To help admins plan for the way IE7 might be used in their organizations, Microsoft is offering a free download called theInternet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit.
The toolkit's name is somewhat misleading. It's designed for those developing intranets or public Web sites that might be browsed by IE7, not for desktop admins. But the kit's components can help admins figure out how IE7 behaves in their environments, especially if you want to switch your organization over to it and aren't sure what other measures might need to be taken to insure it works.
The toolkit consists of an HTML guide to testing IE7 against existing content, and a bunch of standalone tools for doing this. The kit can help you look for some of the most common problems with Web sites and IE7, such as user-agent string issues, layout problems (hacks from IE6 that are no longer needed) and security issues.
One such tool in the kit is ExpressionFinder, which searches a site and looks for specified strings in the Web pages it finds. It comes pre-loaded with a list of search terms used to identify pages that were composed using CSS cross-compatibility hacks that are no longer supported in IE7.
Also included is the Fiddler tool, an HTTP proxy that logs all activity between a given browser and the network (a good way to debug conversations and see if things like user-agent strings are not reporting correctly), and the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar, an IE component for performing validation and troubleshooting for Web pages.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter, which is devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP users and administrators. He has more than 10 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.
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