Difftron

Published 2016 July 20

Started 2014 January, released 2014 June, shut down 2014 October.

The concept was “Image diffing as a service”: Programs with visual output (e.g., user interfaces, charting libraries) could be “integration tested” by uploading screenshots and implementors emailed images with highlighted differences for manual review. This would help prevent regressions from, e.g., CSS or template changes. Large coverage would be relatively straightforward to setup via a list of URLs or other covering set of inputs, as outputs would not need to be manually specified.

The primary interface with the product was via email:

Example email from the Difftron

No marketing was done to promote this as a product beyond putting it online with a price tag for the summer. It was quite useful during the development of Variance, and I’m surprised that none of the hosted-browser-testing services (Browserstack, Browserling) have made a take-and-diff-screenshots simplified offering.