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
(200803004) received scores of 69% in Mac OS X 10.5.2 and CentOS 5 (Linux,
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.