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The reference rendering for how the Acid3 test should look -- aka the page you aren't going to see on your browser.  (Source: Web Standards Project/DailyTech)
Firefox 3 in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 8 still receiving failing grades in Acid3

When the Acid3 test came out, most expected it to deal a serious blow to modern browsers, with its array of advanced graphics and compatibility tests.  With a focus on rendering graphics embedded in HTML code, CSS3 compliance, DOM compliance, CSS2 downloadable fonts, as well as handling new graphics formats and Unicode support, Acid3 challenged modern browsers with the web's bleeding edge technology.

It turned out they were even more woefully unprepared then expected for the task.  Now one blog site, Anomalous Anomaly, is taking up the challenge of scoring and compiling scores for all widely available browsers.  The list, which can be viewed here, paints an interesting picture of web compliance.

Contrary to previous reports, the site finds that Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 in their current Windows Vista builds both receive failing marks.  The site notes the OS that the test was performed under, for helpful reference in the case of multi-OS browsers like Firefox.

For the record Firefox 3.0 definitely comes out ahead of IE8 in the Acid 3 tests, for what it’s worth.  Granted, Firefox is in its third beta, while IE 8 is in its first.  Currently the best
IE 8.0.6001.17184 (Beta) could muster up was a lowly 17%.  Firefox's 3.0b3 (2008020514) hit a slightly better, but still substandard 58% running in Windows Vista.  The best results for Firefox (and the only passing results for the browser) came with the pre-release of its fifth beta.  Firefox 3.0b5pre nightly (2008030[89]04) received scores of 69% in Mac OS X 10.5.2 and CentOS 5 (Linux, RHEL-based).

Opera 9.5 (beta) leads the browsers running in Windows Vista, providing a score of 60% -- just passing in grade-school terms.  Just ahead of Opera are SeaMonkey for Mac OS X 10.5.2 and Konqueror for Ubuntu 7.10, at 69% and 62% respectively.  Interestingly, IE 5.5 beats the oft maligned IE 6 as well as the better-received IE 7.

The relatively unknown Camino browser for Mac OS X 10.5.2 scored a surprising 69% with its 2.0a1pre nightly (1.9b5pre 2008030800) release, the alpha candidate for its Camino 2 browser.  By far the best scores, though, belong to Apple's Safari browser.  Safari 3.1 scores 74%, while a tuned-up WebKit Nightly (r30881) edition of Safari scored a current record mark of 90%.

Some may perceive the Acid3 test as biased against Linux and especially Windows browsers, after viewing the current marks for the browsers.  Indeed, OS X browsers virtually own all the top marks, with only one Vista browser even passing, and no XP browsers passing.  Others will likely discredit the importance of Acid's testing.  After all, very few pages implement the advanced features found in the test, yet.  Most major pages go to great pains to provide compatibility with Firefox and Internet Explorer, so these browsers' failings in Acid3 have less to do with customer impact and more to do with a critique from a technical standpoint.

Still, the Acid3 test provides an interesting look at the future of web standards.  It also provides another amusing chapter in the battle for browser supremacy between Mozilla and Microsoft.  And to the chagrin of many, it provides Apple users with something more to feel smug about.



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I question the relevance of this
By SeeManRun on 3/10/2008 11:57:53 AM , Rating: 3
It is great to adhere to standards, but these tests seem nearly meaningless considering all the browsers do fairly lousy (60% is crap), yet all webpages in the world are rendered on these browsers, so what good is this test? If a devices fails a test of a feature that is never used, is it a bad test or a bad device? I say bad test.




RE: I question the relevance of this
By wien on 3/10/2008 12:02:01 PM , Rating: 5
The test is constructed specifically to fail in all popular browsers. The purpose of this is providing a goal developers can shoot for on their way to complete standards compliance. Once everyone passes ACID 3, number 4 will surely come along and we'll do this dance all over again.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By Christopher1 on 3/10/2008 12:02:32 PM , Rating: 5
They are trying to make the point that in order to render most webpages, webpage designers have to use 'tweaks' even for Firefox because of them not implementing some web standards correctly.

Most of these things that the ACID3 test checks are used in browsers today to some extent, and the newer ones are in the HTTP standards but are marked for 'future use'.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By Hare on 3/10/2008 12:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
newer ones are in the (X)HTML/CSS standards but are marked for 'future use'.

Small fix above :)


RE: I question the relevance of this
By walk2k on 3/10/2008 1:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
Have they fixed the font rendering? I tried the beta when it came out but it made everything look blurry.. out of focus. Major eye strain..


RE: I question the relevance of this
By walk2k on 3/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: I question the relevance of this
By kextyn on 3/10/2008 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call them "obscuro-browsers-of-the-week." It is true that they have very little market share. But it is also true that they have been around for years. Firefox forked from Mozilla, which forked from Netscape, which came before IE. Opera was released less than a year after IE. If it wasn't for MS integrated IE in Windows you wouldn't be saying IE is the standard.


By Spivonious on 3/10/2008 1:55:13 PM , Rating: 4
Last I checked, Firefox had roughly 40% of the browser market. Quite a bit more than 0.2%.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By kelmon on 3/10/2008 1:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They code for IE since it's the standard and maybe if they care about the other 0.2% they run it thru those obscuro-browsers-of-the-week if they really care.


If a business cares about customers then you make damned sure that your site works in at least IE and Firefox. I'm not a Firefox user (I side with Safari) but given that customers complain if your web site doesn't work in their browser then you ensure that it does else you'll lose them. Firefox is hardly an obscure browser so don't code for it at your peril.

IE is probably still the standard in companies but it's definitely not a standard on the Web in general.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By omnicronx on 3/10/2008 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but these tests seem nearly meaningless considering all the browsers do fairly lousy (60% is crap),
These tests are suppose to push the browsers to their limit. What I do not understand is the variance between OS's. I've looked over the Test and I can not seem to find anything that is really OS reliant, that would change scores by up to 10%. Unless i get an answer to this, these tests to me mean little or nothing to me, unless you want to test on an per OS basis as the playing field does not seem to be level.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By prenox on 3/10/2008 5:34:01 PM , Rating: 5
I have to agree that trying to bring OS into this is really not that relevant. Using nightly builds only leads me to say that the tester was showing bias


RE: I question the relevance of this
By Domicinator on 3/10/2008 4:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
The relevance of the article is that Jason Mick has to push Apple products at least three times a week, and this is one of those times.


By mankopi on 3/10/2008 6:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
Thank goodness, I thought I was the only who noticed how much Jason Mick pushes apple.


RE: I question the relevance of this
By B3an on 3/10/2008 7:30:50 PM , Rating: 1
"It is great to adhere to standards, but these tests seem nearly meaningless considering all the browsers do fairly lousy (60% is crap)"

Most bizarre logic ever. Because the Browsers do bad, the tests are meaningless?

"yet all webpages in the world are rendered on these browsers, so what good is this test?"

Whats that got to do with anything? Wouldn't it just make it more important that they pass these standards? Standards are there for a reason.

"If a devices fails a test of a feature that is never used, is it a bad test or a bad device? I say bad test."

If i make a website that uses a feature which is part of a STANDARD i expact a web browser to be able to make use of it.

It's just as disappointing to see your comment has actually been rated up at time of posting this. WTF is all i have to say at your way of thinking.


The Real Question
By Goty on 3/10/2008 1:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares if the browsers can correctly render a single webpage if they're slower and generally less pleasant to use than other widely available browsers? (I'm looking at you, Safari)




RE: The Real Question
By heffeque on 3/10/2008 1:55:38 PM , Rating: 1
I guess you didn't read the article about Safari's nightly builds being faster than Firefox's nightly builds.


RE: The Real Question
By Runiteshark on 3/10/2008 4:02:01 PM , Rating: 1
It don't suprise me, Firefox went from wicked awesome and fast to suck pretty quickly.

I love it when flash randomly gets uninstalled for no reason.


RE: The Real Question
By kelmon on 3/10/2008 1:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who cares if the browsers can correctly render a single webpage(?)


Isn't that the whole point of a web browser? A browser can be slow but it's a better browser if the content is displayed correctly. At the end of the day, I want to see the page as the web developer intended it to be seen.


RE: The Real Question
By Goty on 3/10/2008 7:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but as stated in the article, most developers go for compatibility with the most popular browsers, not those that conform best to standards.


RE: The Real Question
By kelmon on 3/11/2008 3:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, but that's different to the point that you were making that speed and pleasure of use is more important than the ability to render a web page correctly. It's subjective, of course, but I don't think many people would argue that IE is a faster or more pleasurable browser if they took the time to compare it with the competition but clearly this is the one that is coded for the most. Regardless, this is an important subject and it is not as though these standards do not exist - there is no excuse for not conforming to them and we certainly shouldn't defend a browser because it is faster. The sooner designers can write code that displays a page the same in all browsers without having to write various workarounds the better.


different OS
By PookyBoy on 3/10/2008 1:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
Does the OS make a difference? Like Vista vs XP?




RE: different OS
By JoshuaBuss on 3/10/2008 2:11:06 PM , Rating: 3
sometimes, it does. webpages can find out what OS you have and code differently if they deem it important to do so. (why i have no idea)


RE: different OS
By xRyanCat on 3/10/2008 6:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe you can currently do this with CSS.
It would most likely require a server-side/client-side implementation. This could always change. The features Internet Explorer implements could vary well vary across Operating Systems. But as for Webkit and Firefox (Gecko), they are intended to run the exact same across platforms.


RE: different OS
By omnicronx on 3/10/2008 7:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
*points to W3C* CSS should run the same across all platforms.
Although your browser does know what OS you are running and what version, not that this would be a CSS test. Could come into play somewhere else though, maybe one of the reasons Firefox is 10% better in a non windows environment.


Own research?
By Zurtex on 3/10/2008 4:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
This is a pretty poor article, even by DailyTech standards (not that they're usually too bad, just there's never been anything fantastic about them).

You've reworded a blog post and added some pointless words in to it.Why have you done none of your own testing? It's not like it would be hard. There are many mistakes in your article, the least one which is an actual mistake but the one that bugs me the most, your opening paragraph:

"Firefox 3 in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 8 still receiving failing grades in Acid3"

Every browser receives failing grades, that's the point of coming up with the test. You don't receive anything but a pass grade till you pass every test perfectly. Why these 2 browsers? Their scores are miles apart and you don't even mention which version of Firefox 3.

Here's one that's blatantly wrong:

"Opera 9.5 (beta) leads the browsers running in Windows Vista, providing a score of 60%"

You've talked about both Firefox and Webkit nightlies in this article, and given their scores, why don't you think either of those work on Vista? And have at least similar scores (to my knowledge the nightly builds of Firefox 3 score 69 on every OS)




RE: Own research?
By Zurtex on 3/10/2008 4:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
To add to what I just said, I've just tested the Webkit nightly on XP x64, once has to assume that it doesn't have any serious problems on Vista and it scored 90/100.


RE: Own research?
By Zurtex on 3/10/2008 5:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not wanting to go through every sentence in my original post that didn't make sense as not too make it too long, but:

"Some may perceive the Acid3 test as biased against Linux and especially Windows browsers, after viewing the current marks for the browsers. Indeed, OS X browsers virtually own all the top marks, with only one Vista browser even passing, and no XP browsers passing."

Makes no sense what so ever... What do you even consider passing? Firefox Nightlies score the same on Mac, Vista, XP and Linux and are ahead of all but Webkit nightlies, which get the same score on Mac, Vista and XP...

Did the author of this article even understand what they were writing about?


RE: Own research?
By wien on 3/10/2008 9:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did the author of this article even understand what they were writing about?
Most likely not. Sure as hell doesn't look like it.

Isn't that what Dailytech has become about lately though? Hordes of uninformed people having holy flamewars over techincal issues they don't understand fully. It's just downright depressing to look at the state of this place some times.


Link?
By Etsp on 3/10/2008 12:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
Could we possibly get a link to the acid3 test? Sure I can google it, but it would make sense to have a link...




RE: Link?
By Benji XVI on 3/10/2008 1:10:28 PM , Rating: 3
Why Criticize Beta?
By pauldovi on 3/10/2008 1:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you compare beta browsers against release browsers?




RE: Why Criticize Beta?
By saiga6360 on 3/10/2008 1:28:41 PM , Rating: 3
You must have missed the past story where they announced the release browsers failed miserably.

To criticize the betas now would hopefully mean they patch it up before release. Makes sense to me.


Hyatt's Comments
By kelmon on 3/10/2008 1:50:30 PM , Rating: 4
Dave Hyatt is the WebKit (i.e. the rendering engine of Safari) Architect and he posted a relatively interesting article on the Acid 3 test (http://webkit.org/blog/158/the-acid-3-test/). Part of the upshot is this - the test results distort the true performance of the browser so bad results aren't necessarily as bad in reality. Each mark of the 100 the browser is aiming for is comprised of a number of sub-tests that must be completed in order to earn the mark. Given this you could potentially pass 90% of all tests but still get a 0/100 result. As he notes, achieving the high score that the current WebKit Nightly Build has was the result of just nuking a few bugs that prevented the complete set of sub-tests for a mark being passed. This could well apply to Firefox and IE - a few tweaks and they too could have the high marks.

Interesting to hear that Camino is coming up to a v2.0 release - I'll have to tryout the latest beta and see what's there.




Hmm
By nidhoggr on 3/10/2008 1:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox 3.0b3 on Vista says 58%, but i get 60%.

Vista Home Premium 64, Firefox 3.0b3

Maybe its the 32 extra bit scoring 2% more haha!

IE7 64bit and 32bit completely screw the test, there isnt even a number to recognize.




RE: Hmm
By killerroach on 3/10/2008 2:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Just ran Acid3 on the most recent Minefield build of Firefox, and it tallies 68 out of 100 on XP. The nightly WebKit build, at 90 of 100, is just phenomenal.

Haven't tried IE8 Beta 1, but IE7, at 12/100 in XP, is atrocious. Hurts the eyes to even look at.


By kattanna on 3/10/2008 3:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
scores high on some test. big deal




By xti on 3/10/2008 6:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
like in Rain man where that Australian airline had the lease number of crashes.

counting cards!


Not a very informed article
By smitty3268 on 3/10/2008 4:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I just know a lot more about this topic than most others, but this article didn't seem up to the usual standards of DailyTech.

First, why so surprised by Camino? It uses the exact same Gecko rendering engine that Firefox uses, so it's not exactly a shock that they score identically.

Second, saying that both IE8 and FF3 fail and making it seem like they are nearly on par with each other is grossly misleading. FF2 scored 50 points, 3 times that which the IE8 Beta scored. FF3 extends that to 4 times. This isn't a Pass/Fail system, it's a 0-100 score, and each point is worth as much as the others.

Third, how is the test biased for OSX? Linux browsers actually have the highest scores of released browsers. When you move to betas, Firefox runs the test equally well in all operating systems, and is near the top of the scores, with Opera (also cross platform) just behind. Safari has a nice score, but that's just due to using a better browser engine, not OSX. And Webkit will be used in Linux by July and Windows by the end of the year, meaning those Safari scores will show up on the other operating systems as well.




RE: Not a very informed article
By Zurtex on 3/10/2008 5:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I have to agree it's a very weak article, relying solely on a few select tests off someones blog. With no extra research in to what browser on what platform scores what.

It's possible to use the Webkit nightly builds now on Windows. And Safari has nothing to boast about in terms of score in it's latest released version.


Konqueror
By Kougar on 3/10/2008 12:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't mention it, but something I thought interesting was the older version of Konqueror tested simply crashed. 3.5.8 verses 4.0.2




Firefox trunk vs branch
By MaestroQuark on 3/10/2008 12:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox trunk isn't listed there, and that's where much of the work would be done on this. If it's a low risk bugfix it'll go into the 3.0 branch and get fixed with 3.0, but otherwise it'll wait until the post-3.0 world.

For what it's worth, Firefox 3 Beta 3 gets 61% on my XP machine.




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