Netscape Communications Position Paper

W3C Workshop on Quality Assurance


Christine Hoffman (
Gerardo Kvaternik (
Netscape Communications
AOL Time Warner

Date Created: 3/14/01
Last Updated: 3/16/01

Netscape's latest client software provides broad and deep support for W3C standards.  We view standardization, and compliance of our products with such standards, as a way to ensure that users have a consistent Web experience regardless of the operating system or hardware platform they use to access the Web.


Netscape Quality Assurance ensures the quality and compliance with Web standards of the Netscape browser, which is based on the open source browser development of  Netscape Quality Assurance tests browser conformance with HTML, CSS, DOM, JavaScript, XML, RDF, HTTP, FTP, and other increasingly important technologies for the Web, as defined by W3C, IETF, ECMA, and other standardization organizations.

The Quality Assurance activities performed at Netscape include:

Our testing methodology includes manual and automated testing.  To that end, Netscape has developed several test tools to improve the productivity and reliability of our testing processes.  We have also developed test harnesses for automation that feature queuing and execution of test cases on a fault tolerant test environment, as well as logging and processing test results.


We are most interested in the W3C QA working group accomplishing the following tasks:
  1. Defining test outlines/matrices for Web standards conformance testing.
  2. Creating test suites for complex functional testing.
  3. Hosting test case repositories that would enable submission and exchanging of test cases for each standard.
  4. Developing common test harnesses for running tests.


We expect that Netscape Quality Assurance will become more deeply involved in the W3C QA activities.  This is a great opportunity for us to share our understanding of the state of affairs for Web QA tools, technical and business practices and conformance activities at the W3C or related to W3C specifications.  For example, sharing with other groups what test suites they might have that would be of use to us, and so on.

Furthermore, as the W3C is planning the start of the W3C QA activity, we would be able to give feedback on the course of action within the W3C that would best benefit Web developers, in general, and, in particular.

Potential Contributions

By centralizing quality assurance knowledge, testing methodologies, and tools for testing Web standards compliance in the W3C, Netscape, together with other companies who need to test Web standards compliance, and organizations such as NIST, could leverage work of other members to improve the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of Web standards compliance testing.

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