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Which one is correct: "test in/on/against this preview server", or do they all have valid different meanings?

What about when including something additional, such as a browser? For example:

test in/on/against this server in/on/against Chrome

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"Test on this preview server" is most correct. "In" sounds weird.

"Against" would be strange here, since "test against" is usually used when there are multiple platforms that a piece of software supports, and it needs to be tested on (or "against") each of them. That's probably not what's going on when you're testing on a preview server.

Overall, the sentence would sound more natural by talking about testing something on the preview server rather than just testing on the preview server. "To test" is usually not intransitive.*

What about when including something additional, such as a browser? For example:

test in/on/against this server in/on/against Chrome

Firstly, without any other context, it's more natural to use "site" or "website" in this sentence rather than "server." The server itself is not in Chrome, but the content it's serving (the website) is.**

You can say "test this website in/on/against Chrome" and all three are fine. "In" and "on" are always fine, while "against" has the same nuance as before. It's worth noting that because websites are often tested to make sure they run correctly on multiple browsers, "against" may be fairly common.

There should be no preposition on server/website, since the server/website is the thing being tested.


*"To test" can be intransitive, though there is a subtle shift in its meaning. For example:

  • A: Where should I run my tests?
  • B: You can test on the preview server.

In this situation, the fact that the server is a preview server is less important than the fact that it is a server that you can run tests on.


**Sometimes what vocabulary feels natural can change depending on the preceding conversation. For example, in this conversation "server" might be used instead of "website" to be consistent with what was previously said:

  • A: Hey, did you fix the bug?
  • B: Yeah, I just pushed the changes to the preview server. I'm gonna go on my lunch break now though.
  • A: Okay. When you get back, can you test the server on Chrome?
  • B: Sure.

But in the absence of context like that, I would prefer "website."

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    You sort of eluded to it, but it may be helpful to explicitly add that "test" can be intransitive, in casual speech, when the context is strongly there. Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 0:02
  • Thank you very much! Your answer was very detailed and you also provided suggestions on how to make it sound more natural. I really appreciate it!
    – Pepis
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 4:33

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