Print 71 comment(s) - last by Belard.. on Mar 13 at 12:01 AM

The reference rendering for how the Acid3 test should look.  (Source: Web Standards Project/DailyTech)

Current versions of both Internet Explorer 7 (top) and Firefox 2 (bottom) fail the Acid3 test catastrophically.  (Source: Tom Corelis/DailyTech)
Putting browser makers on notice, again

Just a few months after the announcement that Internet Explorer 8 successfully passed the Acid2 standards compliance test, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) announced last Monday that it unleashed Acid2’s successor, Acid3.

Created to identify flaws in the way a browser renders its web pages, WaSP’s Acid tests throw down the gauntlet with difficult-to-display graphics written to accentuate browsers’ quirks. When the original Acid test was released in 1998, it helped reign in browser inconsistencies and insured that Internet Explorer, Netscape, and others handled HTML code according to specification – making web designers’ lives easier and ensuring the web rendered consistently in the future.

Acid2, with its focus on Cascading Style Sheets, seems quaint in comparison to Acid3’s objectives, which target major web standards expected to see use today and in the future. Tests are derived from many of the last few years’ development in the web’s control languages, including rendering graphics embedded in HTML code, CSS3 compliance, DOM compliance, CSS2 downloadable fonts, as well as handling new graphics formats and Unicode support.

Currently, no known browser is able to correctly render the Acid3 test, which displays an animated, incrementing score counter and a series of colored boxes with some description text. Bloggers have already assembled galleries of browsers’ failing test results, with most of today’s browsers scoring between 40 and 60 on the test’s 100-point scale. The results shouldn’t be too alarming as the Acid tests have always been forward-looking in nature, and are designed to measure standards to aspire to, as opposed to what’s current. Also note that more than six months lapsed between Acid2’s release and Safari 2.02’s announcement that it was the first to pass Acid2.

Anecdotal reports around the web seem to indicate that nightly builds of the next versions of Firefox and Safari are reportedly achieving Acid3 scores in the 80-90 range.

Given the state of the web today – where web designers will often write two versions of a web site: one for Internet Explorer and one for everyone else – Microsoft’s announcement that Internet Explorer 8 passed Acid2 is all the more important. Currently, each new version of Internet Explorer keeps older versions’ flaws for compatibility, resulting in a confusing state of affairs for web developers.

The release of IE7 complicated matters further, as it shipped with both an IE6-compatibility mode and a somewhat-standards-compliant IE7 rendering mode, with an easily overlooked method for switching between the two.  As a result, Internet Explorer earned a nasty reputation among web design circles, with developers writing safe, proven websites that worked universally instead of rich websites that exercised their languages’ full features.

In time, it is hoped that Internet Explorer 8 will see the end of this rift, as it will ship with the new Acid2-passing standards-compliant mode switched on and used by default. For those that want to test Internet Explorer 8 out on your own, Microsoft already released the Beta 1 version of the browser.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By deeznuts on 3/6/2008 12:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
Now, I've never even heard of Acid until the IE8 passing Acid2 annoucement a little while ago, but why is the Web Standards Project called WASP? Just wondering, is it Web acid Standards Project?

They couldn't put the A somewhere else? :P

By TomZ on 3/6/08, Rating: 0
By Suomynona on 3/6/2008 1:25:29 AM , Rating: 5
Suggest you spend some time reading what the intention of the ACID tests are and what they actually provide. Reading the article above would be a good start ;).

By porkpie on 3/6/08, Rating: -1
By Spoelie on 3/6/2008 6:33:26 AM , Rating: 5
Except that most of the time, you're wrong.

Faulty rendering stems mostly from the fact of developers NOT reading the standard and interpreting tags, etc. their own way.

A very simple example, if you define a width of an element and a border, does that width account for the border or not? This is described in the standard but historically rendered differently in IE vs others, where IE would not adhere to what the standard said a width should be.

If your logic was correct, then their would be one browser that always gets 100%

By Alexstarfire on 3/6/2008 9:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
How did using different standards even come about? You make a valid point in that you wouldn't really know unless you read more. I believe it shouldn't count, and no I don't know if it does or not. I took one semester of web design and that's it. I don't make any web pages. Of course, I always just tested the stuff out and figured it out myself. I mean, if every browser renders the EXACT same way then you wouldn't have to go read all of the stuff. Why do browsers render stuff differently to begin with?

By BansheeX on 3/6/2008 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 5
There is only one "standard," but if IE is used by 90% of web users, and IE is written outside of the standard, guess what web developers do... they don't follow the standard, they follow IE's flawed deployment of the standard. Otherwise, 90% of the people visiting their site are going to see errors.

By thartist on 3/6/2008 1:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's what is trying to be done, thoroughly impulsed by Acid tests and with the compliance of other than MS's browser.

If EVERYONE adheres to the standards, everyone will get things right, besides what IE has already done to webpages.

It had to start sometime.

By robinthakur on 3/7/2008 5:07:28 AM , Rating: 4
Actually most web developers I know, myself included, do make two 'versions' of a site as part of their workflow. One version is for Firefox, IE7, Safari etc. which you might need to tweak and the other is for IE6. Its not quite as simple as writing two seperate style sheets either, its (sometimes) creating two different set of graphical layouts to account for the fact that you never know whether IE6 will even render the transparency properly, even with all the hacks out there (i.e. content on top of transparent CSS background etc.) plus all the issues with the box model which can be worked around with some effort. Its a complete pain and completely unecessary and those days need to end as soon as possible. In the ccontext of an individual project, you wouldn't believe how much time this takes.

While I don't hate Microsoft at all, I in fact develop in, in this situation, if you pack in a browser which 90% of the world uses with the OS, make sure that it doesn't hold back the progress and development of the internet due to not supporting the major standards properly. Considering that an internet browser is possibly the most used computer application this is inexcusable.

I would far rather people adhere to the Acid tests as gospel for CSS implementation than anything else, although they really shouldn't need to. They are built using real world standards compliant code so I don't really see why you wouldnc't want to...

Despite there being differing 'interpretations' of the rules at the end of the day they are pretty clear cut and the functionality which browsers should provide in css2 and css3 is hardly a recent thing. When you consider that virtually no serious refresh was done on the most used web browser out there (I.E.6 was released in 2001) for about 6-7 years, Microsoft opened the way for Firefox themselves and are now having to play catch up. Instead of focussing on bolt-ons like the phishing filter, just render the pages correctly, that is the whole point of a web browser.

By Screwballl on 3/7/2008 12:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
agreed.... too bad it has taken MS 10 years just to come close to standards compliant. Many deployment experts are stepping away from using hacked versions of the code just to work with Internet Explorer and suggesting that if a page doesn't work or render properly, to get Firefox or IE7.

By robinthakur on 3/10/2008 7:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, these deployment experts are unlikely to convince organisations which are heavily entrenched with Microsoft to use Firefox, despite the benefits. This also does not alter the fact that for extranets and internet pages, the major browser population is still, sadly, IE6. Therefore its simply not feasible to ignore it in all cases. A not inconsiderable number of people still avoid upgrading to IE7, not least because it messes with some games on XP. Its a chicken and egg situation really promulgated by MS's non standards compliance which is going to take a few years even after IE8 is released before we start to see partial resolution.

By jackedupandgoodtogo on 3/6/2008 10:37:50 AM , Rating: 3
Of course if they all rendered exactly the same, you're either following the standards (if all the browsers rendered per the standards) or everyone's created their own standard.

Browsers don't render exactly the same way because each development team interprets, codes, and prioritizes the features differently. The only way to have all browsers act the same is to either interpreted and implemented the rules the same or they copy each other's implementation.

By porkpie on 3/6/2008 9:49:40 AM , Rating: 1
If your logic was correct, then their would be one browser that always gets 100%
That's just silly. There's a hundred tests in Acid3, each containing several assumptions about how the standard should exactly be written. Unless a test was written specifically to a certain browser, its going to fail at least some of them.

And for you MS haters who rate down anything you think is positive about the company, I never said IE wasn't worse than other browsers, and didn't have actual coding errors. But interpretation of ambiguous standards is part of the problem and it explains why no browser will ever get 100% on a test like this unless they code specifically for it.

By jackedupandgoodtogo on 3/6/2008 10:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
You're assuming the ACID test is just another browser's interpretation of the standards, which misses the intent. If there was one "correct" interpretation of the standards, and it demonstrates the results, every real browser should strive towards the same results. If you don't believe the ACID tests reflect the standards, then you're correct that it is just another interpretation.

Given that the tests are supposed to be the benchmark for the standards, the browser dev teams can use the benchmarks as a visual goal for compatibility to the standards text, which a lot of times can be confusing and interpreted differently.

By glennpratt on 3/7/2008 10:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
Please list some assumptions made by the Acid tests that you believe are wrong. Until then you have no point.

By noirsoft on 3/6/2008 12:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
In this particular case, IE rendered in accordance with the standard established long ago for printed pages, and the clarification for web standards that dictated the opposite (and IMO wrong) behavior came out AFTER the version of IE (I think this was in the IE 5-6 timeframe)

By glennpratt on 3/7/2008 10:29:08 AM , Rating: 1
People have been making comprehensive lists of browser flaws almost since the begining of the web. It hasn't compelled browser makers to do much.

Tha ACID test on the other hand is simple and gained a big following that encouraged alot of change for the better. I know my job has been getting much easier over the past two years.

Last I recall Tom, you're a flash pusher anyway. Why don't you leave standards to the people who develop with them?

By meesohonee on 3/6/2008 12:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
Along the same lines as "MILF." It is pronounces as it is spelled, but everybody knows to throw in the "to."

ex. "MIL(to)F".....


By Flunk on 3/6/2008 1:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
You always omit prepositions from acronyms, that is not unusual.

By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 9:41:55 AM , Rating: 4

Did I miss anything?

By pxavierperez on 3/6/2008 10:30:50 AM , Rating: 2
Well, ETA omits a preposition.

By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 12:33:07 PM , Rating: 2
true. but its not "always" the case to drop prepositions...

DoB - date of birth
ToC - table of contents
VoIP - duh

By B3an on 3/7/2008 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
I've got some hot Milf on my computer.

By pauluskc on 3/7/2008 3:32:50 PM , Rating: 3
well then, tell her to get on the floor instead.

By TomCorelis on 3/6/2008 2:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
What makes for a cooler logo? WSP or WaSP?

By MMilitia on 3/6/2008 3:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
They're big 80s metal/cock-rock fans, perhaps.

By Clauzii on 3/6/2008 7:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
By spe1491 on 3/6/2008 10:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Nooo.... pretty sure he means this W.A.S.P.

By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 12:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Noooooo... these hotties:

By MAIA on 3/6/2008 6:53:54 AM , Rating: 3
3 ACID tests ?

Man .. I never thought i would see Browsers on ACID.

Anyway, the Explorer went on a Safari and found a Firefox. He became a Konqueror and came back to the Opera. And no, I'm not on ACID ...

By killerroach on 3/6/2008 8:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
And no, I'm not on ACID ...

Then turn around and stop talking to the cactus :)

Yeah, I have been hearing that ACID 3 is, to put it mildly, brutal on browsers, with some taking it squarely on the chin (I've heard that the most recent official release of Opera only scores slightly higher than the NetFront-based browser in the PS3, which is to say, awful). But this is par for the course, and we'll probably see a browser that passes ACID 3 in almost no time.

By thartist on 3/6/2008 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 1
If you've never HEARD of Acid2 before, then start READING.


Safari Nightly
By dagamer34 on 3/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Safari Nightly
By Brandon Hill on 3/6/2008 12:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't consider a nightly build as release software either...

AFAICT, the browsers that failed Acid3 were release versions.

RE: Safari Nightly
By Targon on 3/6/2008 7:22:14 AM , Rating: 2
Notice the article says that the BETA versions are doing better. There is nothing to imply that the release versions are doing well at this point. The beta versions are currently at 80 to 90 percent correct for ACID 3, which is a good improvement from the current release versions.

Of course, the whole point of a major version number change SHOULD be that there is a significant improvement in how things work. Just because AOL does nothing but minor changes and adding a few features when they release a new version does not mean that the entire industry should follow that example. Firefox is going to version 3.0, a major version change. IE for a change of pace is getting a significant overhaul in the rendering engine as well.

RE: Safari Nightly
By Benji XVI on 3/6/2008 10:17:04 AM , Rating: 3
Currently released Safari gets 39.

One good thing about the faster development/release cycles of Firefox & Safari is we can expect them to get the issues that Acid3 raises fixed fairly rapidly.

I keep realising just how nice it is to have competition in the browser space again.

RE: Safari Nightly
By s3th2000 on 3/6/2008 5:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
well i wont say what my IE7 got, simply because i cant even read the score... My IE and Firefox looks exactly the same as the dailytech pictures

RE: Safari Nightly
By kattanna on 3/6/2008 9:47:42 AM , Rating: 5
safari is not a real browser, LOL

RE: Safari Nightly
By MrBungle on 3/6/2008 3:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
IE6 is a moot point since it's not a current browser. Of course it's going to fail this test.

What's sad is that IE8 will likely fail this test to a large degree, and that's the weakest link in the chain, the lowest common denominator. Regardless of what Safari is getting, since it has such a minuscule market share, we're going to have to continue to spend most of our development time compensating for IE8's shortcomings.

RE: Safari Nightly
By peritusONE on 3/6/2008 6:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you could atleast wait for IE8 to get close to release before dogging it. I know you Microsoft bashers are always out in full force, but damn, the first beta just released yesterday. Give it a few months and a few betas before you start claiming it's horrible.

RE: Safari Nightly
By MrBungle on 3/7/2008 6:50:25 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know how you could extrapolate that I'm a "Microsoft basher" based on my few comments about IE8.

Point is, as a web developer, I've wasted many hours of my life tweaking markup to comply with Microsoft's ass-backward browser. Some of that time is billable, yes, but I'm sure my clients wouldn't appreciate MS any more knowing that their money is not going toward anything but troubleshooting and workarounds.

Forgive me, but if I've used a product for many, many hours, and that product sucks, yet I'm forced to continue using it to make a living, do I not have a right to complain? Would I be stupid to assume that, based on past experience, some research and a little deductive reasoning, MS's future browser versions might not be so great either?

If you like Microsoft, great, sorry I pissed on your cereal. I don't like Internet Explorer. Shoot me.

how do they know?
By johnsonx on 3/6/2008 12:12:49 AM , Rating: 4
Currently, no known browser is able to correctly render the Acid3 test

Then how do they know what it's supposed to look like?

RE: how do they know?
By glenn8 on 3/6/2008 2:40:20 AM , Rating: 3
From the reference rendering?

RE: how do they know?
By jtesoro on 3/6/2008 5:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
One can think of it as if it's some sort of development project with formal programming practices. One creates Test Data which is processed by a program to deliver the Expected Results. Test data for an online screen (for example) could be product description, picture and price. The expected results could be painted using Photoshop showing that the product description should be here, the picture should be here, the price should be here, etc.

In Acid's case, the Test Data is the HTML script, the program is the browser, and the Expected Results is that image with the boxes and the score.

RE: how do they know?
By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 9:45:46 AM , Rating: 3
Because they took the time to read and fully understand the standards. So they can translate that into what its supposed to look like.

Aparently the concept worked for acid2.

RE: how do they know?
By johnsonx on 3/6/2008 2:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Just so everyone knows, I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek of course. I get the idea that you can craft code using nothing but a standards manual. I once wrote some clever C code 'from the book' that just wouldn't actually work when compiled... after a day of banging my head, not willing to give up the clever way I did it, I switched compilers... voila, it worked perfectly.

Still one does wonder how they can be 100% certain their code is correct until at least one browser can render it properly (and even then, is it REALLY correct, or just correct for that browser?). In my example above about my C code, if I tried my code on 5 different compilers and it never worked, no matter how perfectly I followed proper syntax, etc., would I really have been so sure to say the compilers were all wrong?

RE: how do they know?
By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 2:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
What? HUMOR????

That just doesn't compute.

By BladeVenom on 3/6/2008 12:22:40 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like:
1. Firefox 3
2. Firefox 2
3. Camino 1.51
4. Opera 9.24
5. Safari
6. Internet Explorer 7
7. Internet Explorer 6

RE: Ranking
By piroroadkill on 3/6/2008 2:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
I thought latest builds of webkit were way in front

RE: Ranking
By Zurtex on 3/6/2008 5:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, way way in front. And Opera 9.5 Beta is about the same as Firefox 3 Beta / Nightly.

Here's the Firefox tracking bug:

Here's the webkit tracking bug:

I don't know about webkit, but Firefox has no plans to finish the Acid test for version 3, will probably try and make it for Firefox

RE: Ranking
By killerroach on 3/6/2008 10:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
That being said, the most recent Firefox 3 nightly does score better than the Beta 3 of Firefox 3... (66 versus 58, and looks halfway resembling intelligent output, albeit still in black and white).

RE: Ranking
RE: Ranking
By smitty3268 on 3/6/2008 2:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
WebKit (Nightly - rev. 30790) 90
Firefox 3b4 67
Opera 9.50 65
Konqueror 4 63
Firefox 3b3 59
Firefox 2 50
Konqueror 3.5.8 ~50
Opera 9.26 46
Safari 3.0.4 39
IE 8b1 17
IE 7 6-12 depending on installed plugins

RE: Ranking
By neunon on 3/7/2008 2:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
Internet Explorer 5.5 manages to pull a 14 out of its hat. It beats both IE7 and IE6 (which both get 12s).

My personal wish...
By JS on 3/6/2008 12:20:13 AM , Rating: 3
Focus on web standards compliance is great.

For the time being it would be enough for me if IE6 became obsolete, though. I am truly fed up with always having to take its horrible rendering problems into consideration.

RE: My personal wish...
By Targon on 3/6/2008 7:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
I am tired of web sites that focus on IE and are not tested with other browsers.

RE: My personal wish...
By JS on 3/6/2008 8:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly agree. Once IE6 disappears this will be less of a problem though, since IE7 generally renders acceptably and does not need workarounds/optimizations in the same way.

By MScrip on 3/6/2008 3:55:08 AM , Rating: 1
So... the Acid people make a new test at the same time a new browser is announced? Isn't that a little too late?

Assuming IE 8 has been in development for a while... now Microsoft has to go back a fix IE because Acid3 came out last week?

IE 8 finally passed Acid2... so why did they make a new test?

RE: So...
By JSK on 3/6/2008 4:27:49 AM , Rating: 3
You aren't really getting it.

It is like 3D Mark of the browser world. No hardware out, or pending shortly after a new 3D Mark release aces 3D Mark in benchmarks. It takes a while for the hardware OEM's to improve their cards, and reach the acceptable performance standards that Futuremark demands with their tests.

ANSI Creators in Demand
By Capsaicin on 3/6/2008 8:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
... is what I always think of when I see acid. :P

RE: ANSI Creators in Demand
By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 9:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
HELL Yeah. They were the best!

ACiD all the way ...

And some other blah blah.

By BigToque on 3/6/2008 9:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
I just ran the test under IE7 and if you click on the gray background close to the bottom (the cursor turns to a question mark) you'll see this:

By pauluskc on 3/6/2008 10:27:52 AM , Rating: 2
How cool is that? Unauthorized referred! IE7 is totally whack now man!!

Try a better webserver, or allow to be a referrer.

IE8 Beta Score
By SocrPlyr on 3/6/2008 9:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
I just installed the IE8 Beta to see its score.
I got a 17.
FF2 got a 50 as reported by others.


RE: IE8 Beta Score
By SocrPlyr on 3/6/2008 9:42:20 AM , Rating: 2
So I got bored and threw IE8 into IE7 mode and got a 14, which is higher than IE7 can do itself apparently. So clearly IE8 isn't actually rendering like IE7. I guess it is encouraging that IE8 should definitely be more standards compliant. Just so you know I ran the Acid2 test for both modes, the IE7 mode was horrible, but the IE8 mode did it mostly correct (still not perfect).

sounds like politics
By blackseed on 3/6/2008 10:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
Who controls the web? Does the 90% ruling IE or the web developers that creates standards.

To me they both are at fault here. IE swingwing their "I RULE" stick and developers with "Web developers unite!"

My 2cp

RE: sounds like politics
By Jellodyne on 3/6/2008 2:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
The web developers that create the standards. Period. The web works because of standards.

Now, if this were the MSN network things would be different.

Acid Test 3
By vailr on 3/6/2008 1:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
Acid Test 3: Opera 9.50 beta build 9815 shows a score of (65), which is best among: IE 8 beta 1 (17), Safari for Windows 3.04 (39), Firefox (50), or Seamonkey 1.1.8 (50).

RE: Acid Test 3
By Belard on 3/13/2008 12:01:53 AM , Rating: 2
People should give Opera a try... I could never get into FireFox. Its not as user friendly and doesn't save pages correctly.

IE 7.... well, I never could stand its interface, lets see - let stick the MENU bar in the MIDDLE?!

Opera is very customizable, super easy to skin to look like anything, and it works. The Speed dial rocks, and tab management smokes IE7 and IE8. Its Zoom scaling function has been around for about 10years - with IE7 just getting there... but do a side by side comparison, Opera's Zoom scaling looks better. The download manager is easily better than firefox and IE. But it defaults to its own Firefox directory rather than the DESKTOP thou.

Opera is a 4.0~4.8mb download, its small, compact and reliable... I never got into Opera in the past because it wasn't FREE, version 7~8 were free with ADvertising, but that ruined the experince or a lot of people just hacked it..

By logaldinho on 3/6/2008 12:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
someone got a D- thats passing, D MINUS BABY.

By Obsoleet on 3/9/2008 10:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you are experiencing issues with your internets, simply use IE7. It works, every page displays properly for me. Problems solved unless you are looking to buck MS's de facto standard setting browser.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
Related Articles

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki