Thursday, February 18, 2010

Updates to the Browserscope Security Tests

Since the launch of the security test suite on Browserscope, the team who owns those tests have been busy taking in feedback and deciding what to change and what their criteria should be for those changes. Security is a loaded term, and Browserscope aims to be a particular sort of resource - part benchmark, part feature-checker, and part-resource. Collin Jackson has written a great explanation, titled What Makes A Good Browserscope Security Test? His post provides details about all the new changes to the security tests that went live with today's Browserscope push as well as provide some context for how the team made choices about what to change. 

From his post:

Our goal for the Browserscope security suite is to encourage openness and innovation in browser security. Here are some of the essential elements of a good Browserscope security test:
  1. The test should check for a behavior that makes the web a safer platform for developing web applications.
  2. The test needs to be able to run without user interaction.
  3. The behavior should not yet have universal adoption among popular browsers at the time it's added to Browserscope.
  4. The test should be applicable and realistically attainable for all major browser vendors.

With the exception of rule #1, the last three are right in line with the conversations that the Browserscope team has had about what sort of categories we want to have tests for. I think every category owner should be able to come up with their own rule #1 as the description and justification for their category.

Big congratulations go out to Collin Jackson, Adam Barth, Mustafa Acer, and David Lin-Shung Huang for translating their thoughtfulness into code which should help inform users and developers when making choices about which browsers to use and which browsers are more secure.

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