Testing is good. It's the sign of a thorough workman. Working on the web, we should strive to be thorough workmen. Many are familiar with the idea and practice of developing a site and testing it in multiple browsers, platforms, and settings. And yet, there's still one thing we can't test for backward and forward compatibility: the Flash player.
Maybe we can, and I just don't know about it. I'll gladly be wrong about this one.
But, as far as I know, there's no way to test older versions of the Flash player in other different browsers to test for compatibility bugs. And therein lies the challenge: what would be really useful is a tool that allows you to toggle between Flash player versions in a browser on the fly. If a client is experiencing a bug in Windows SP2 with Internet Explorer 3 and Flash player 6, you'd be able to reproduce and debug it.
Flash player 8.5 allows users to use the uninstallers/installers to switch versions as stated in their Flash Player 8.5 FAQ, but it's not nearly as streamlined as a tool designed specifically for this purpose could be.
How could it work? It could be implemented in a number of ways. Maybe it could be implemented into Firefox's Web Developer Extension. Maybe it's a bookmarklet. Maybe it gets added to a right-click context menu. I'm not exactly sure what would be best; otherwise, I'd probably try and build it myself, so it’s better for everyone if I stayed in the dark about this one. I'll leave the work for the pros.
The floor is open… Any takers?