Jan 28 2007

Browsers and standards

Opera 9 Safari 2.0 Konqueror 3.5 Firefox 2 Internet Explorer 7
Opera 9 Safari 2.0 Konqueror 3.5 Firefox 2 Internet Explorer 7

Those are the results of running the Acid2 test against the most popular browsers.

The results are eloquent, but just in case, I’m going to clarify it: it should be a yellow smiley face over a white background that when you pass the mouse over or near the nose, it becomes blue.

Opera 9 passes the Acid 2 test, making it the second browser to do so, and the first browser for Windows or Linux/UNIX to pass. It is the only current browser available for download for all of Windows, Linux/UNIX and Mac, that passes Acid 2.

The most worrying is that the two most popular browsers give the worst restults, forcing
webmasters to optimize webpages for MSIE and Gecko, sometimes even breaking the compatibility with the standard, which causes problems to other minority browsers that follow the W3C rules, causing users to migrate to majority browsers thinking they interpret better the code (when in fact it’s the opposite).

It is somewhat worrying that IE 6 renders Acid 2 very similarly to Opera 3.6, and the hyped IE 7 renders it about as well as Opera 4 in terms of number of mistakes (which was released in 2000, 6 years before the release date of IE 7).

Yes, it’s somewhat worrying that by far the most used browser is also by far (six years more far than one minority browser) the worst interpreting the code. In the Firefox case, it could be because of their obstinate interest in adding eye candy features (in spite of its deficient configuration interface) and release new versions or because of a bigger direction towards security (factors in which Opera doesn’t remain either back, or even goes more ahead, and even so it’s able to pass the test), but in the IE case I can’t think in any excuse, since neither it is nice nor comfortable nor safe nor innovative.

I know, I can only expect a holy war and I may deserve it, but with this panorama we are going to finish doing different versions of webpages for each browser.

I think that all this endorses to me if I decide not to go on applying fixes and workaraounds for IE and Gecko in this webpage.

2 comments on “Browsers and standards

  1. White Eagle on said:

    Opera is one of the most feature packed and standard compliant browser out there. Firefox may have started on good note but has gone IE way slow, bloated, foregtting standards

    • I agree with you, White Eagle. Nevertheless, it’s worthy of note that Firefox 3 will pass Acid2 test and they will take care of resources eating. Anyway, I think I’ll stay with Opera 😉

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