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Acid3 Race In Full Swing, Opera Overtakes Safari 261

Posted by Zonk
from the going-for-the-gold dept.
enemi writes "Just a few days after Safari released version 3.1, Opera employee David Storey writes on his blog that they've overtaken Apple's browser in the Acid3 test. In the race to be the first to reach the reference rendering, Opera's software leads now with 98%, closely following by Safari with 96% and Firefox 3 beta 4 with 71%. He also noted the implemented features will not make a public appearance in the following weeks, because they are getting close to releasing Opera 9.5. That version has been under public testing since September and the new CSS3 color modes and font rendering features might further delay this. They will probably show the score in a preview build soon and wait for a post 9.5 stable build to release the new features to the public." Update: 03/26 21:21 GMT by Z : Opera is now at 100%, apparently, with Safari close behind at 98%. Update: 03/27 by J : Public build r31356 of WebKit (Safari's rendering engine) is at 100%.
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Acid3 Race In Full Swing, Opera Overtakes Safari

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  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:46PM (#22873842) Homepage
    'nuff said.
    • by hackstraw (262471) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @07:09PM (#22876200)

      Remember the days when websites would yell at you telling you that you needed to use a certain version of an OS, with a certain version of a certain browser, with the latest pre-alpha VRML plugin and 1024x768 resolution?

      Now, you don't even need a computer to browse the web.

      That is progress.

      I use Safari at home and Firefox at work (both with flash blockers), and I can do anything.

      Back when Microsoft tried to take over the web, I had many issues with many sites. I don't remember the last problem I've had viewing a website.

      And this is without government regulation or anything.

      Next up, standards for multimedia on the web.

  • too late (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbreckman (917963) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:46PM (#22873846)
    • Re:too late (Score:4, Informative)

      by Carthag (643047) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:51PM (#22873924) Homepage
      Webkit is also up to 98/100 now. It'll probably be there within a day.

      http://webkit.org/blog/ [webkit.org]
    • Re:too late (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Ancients (626689) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:52PM (#22873944) Homepage

      Until I can browse and see 100/100 on my screen, I don't see it as too late. 98/100 is the highest I've seen when browsing http://acid3.acidtests.org/ [acidtests.org]

      Apparently Duke Nukem Forever is a great game, too...

      • Re:too late (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:23PM (#22874326)
        Yeah, Opera can do it, but isn't going to release the capability -- wonderful.

        Safari 3.1 is a full release, and Firefox is a publicly available beta release. In my book Opera is losing the race. The race is silly, but Opera is still losing.
        • Re:too late (Score:4, Informative)

          by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:25PM (#22874352)
          Last time I checked Internet Explorer was losing. :P
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hkmwbz (531650)

          Yeah, Opera can do it, but isn't going to release the capability
          RTFA. They will, shortly.

          In my book Opera is losing the race.
          How so? Opera is ahead of Firefox. Heck Firefox hasn't even passed Acid2 yet!
          • Firefox passes ACID2 since years. Just like with ACID2, the gecko development period finished when acid3 was released. Right now the firefox developers are not wasting time with ACID3, but preparing the release. If acid3 would have been published just after releasing firefox 3, you probably would see a lot of acid3 improvements in the firefox 4 trunk, but right now there're even patches that are not being merged due to being too complicated at this stage of the development.
            • by hkmwbz (531650)
              Please pay attention :)

              I was respoding to the claim that "Opera is losing the race", which is completely false since it passed Acid2 before Firefox and has a better Acid3 score. Firefox is losing compared to Opera, so claiming that Opera is losing is nothing but anti-Opera FUD.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by hedwards (940851)
                But, Opera is losing the more important race for market share.

                A lot of the things that the Acid tests check for aren't necessary for day to day web browsing. And some of them like the 3d aren't used at all for simple things like email, and basic dynamic content.

                Sure, I'd rather have a browser that supports all of the standards, but realistically if the browser supports things that I don't need, it's unlikely that I'll ever notice.
    • The test criteria:

      To pass the test, a browser must use its default settings, the animation has to be smooth, the score has to end on 100/100, and the final page has to look exactly, pixel for pixel, like this reference rendering.

      The reports [timaltman.com] from Opera indicate that they've got all 100 subtests, but still have additional issues with the remaining criteria:

      Our latest internal build (screenshot below) scores 100/100 and renders the test almost perfectly! We have some work to do still, but we expect to have that taking care of shortly

    • by AvitarX (172628)
      Don't we need a video, not a screenshot?

      I though the animation was part of passing.
  • Safari gets 96%? (Score:2, Interesting)

    My just-updated Safari (3.1) keels over at 77%.

    What version is getting 96%?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Update your WebKit. You can get nightly builds from the webkit site that include a script to launch an existing install of safari using the new version.
    • Re:Safari gets 96%? (Score:5, Informative)

      by n8_f (85799) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:15PM (#22874960) Homepage
      What version is getting 96%?

      WebKit nightly builds. Just go to http://nightly.webkit.org/ [webkit.org], download, and run. It currently gets 96%, tomorrow's will get 98% or better.
  • Old News :) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by niXcamiC (835033) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:48PM (#22873868)
    • Re:Old News :) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by umrain (698867) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:16PM (#22874240) Homepage Journal

      Just to be clear, reaching 100/100 is not equal to passing Acid 3.

      To pass the test,a browser must use its default settings, the animation has to be smooth, the score has to end on 100/100, and the final page has to look exactly, pixel for pixel, like this reference rendering.

      Opera has not currently made any claims about the animation smoothness that i have seen, and the screenshot is still missing a space after the first comma. Obviously reaching the 100/100 goal is great progress but they are not quite across the finish line yet.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:47PM (#22874656)

      The problem with races is that the teams do almost anything just to cross the finish line faster. The speed at which the browsers seem to be gaining acid3 compatibility is frankly worrying me. Any developer worth his salt knows that browsers are huge and complex applications and every change must be discussed, designed and implemented properly as to not impact something else and be modular, be properly commented and be clean and well written code.

      Also, Acid3 is just about the corner cases, and might not reflect the full standard completely. So a browser can pass the test and still suck at implementing standards, though passing the test is good step. It's just that the high speed of the compatibility improvements for ACID3 in almost all the mainstream browsers screams of hackathon coding sessions to get those few points a day till 100 so that there can be a marketing and PR blitz rather than properly planned programming. I think there is a very good chance of the code containing hacks and workarounds and also tons of security loopholes because of the insane speed at which features are being thrown into the code.

      I think there is a very good chance of the new code containing hacks and workarounds and also tons of security loopholes because of the insane speed at which 'features' are being thrown into the code just to make headlines. Being a programmer, I am sure that non-trivial portions of the code will have to be rewritten later. Haste makes waste.

      • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:00PM (#22874806)
        Bad form to reply to myself, but just wanted to add that this reminds me of the days of Netscape in which features were adding in a slapdash manner and with hardly any design or planning, which lead of the extreme bloat and memory leaks which the Firefox developers are still trying to get rid of to this very day(have you checked out Firefox's source code? Believe me, it's not pretty). I bet IE's code was as bad or worse because of the browser wars and was riddled with tons of security vulnerabilities which seem to have lessened only over the past few years. KHTML and Opera on the other hand seem to have developed and maintained a lean codebase(Opera had a total rewrite for version 7 IIRC).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bluephone (200451)
          You're on crack. Firefox is based on Gecko, the ground-up new engine started in late 1998. What you remember from the Netscape 4.x days is gone, dead, history. Very very very little original code from those days is left. 98% of Firefox code is new compared to Netscape 4.x. The entire architecture of the app is radically different than 4.x in that's it's relatively sane. Huge and complex, but sane. the Mozilla platform implements a lot more basic structures than NS4 did, to implement things like XPCOM, XUL,
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        http://trac.webkit.org/projects/webkit/changeset/31322 [webkit.org]

        Like this?

        . // Workaround for strange CG antialiasing of the Ahem font. Limit to the Web font version.
        261 if (isCustomFont()) {
        262 RetainPtr fullName(AdoptCF, CGFontCopyFullName(m_font.cgFont()));
        263 String nameStr(fullName.get());
        264 m_allowFontSmoothing = (nameStr != "Ahe
        • Can't really comment on that snippet of code without knowing a ton of details. As a side note, I can't understand programmers tend to use code like

          m_allowFontSmoothing = (nameStr != "Ahem");

          instead of

          if(nameStr == "Ahem")
          m_allowFontSmoothing = false;
          else
          m_allowFontSmoothing = true;

          Sure, it will take a few seconds more to type, but you write code only once but it's read many times by different people who don't have to solve a mini-puzzle in their head before understanding what it does. Same with folks who think that writing things like while(--

          • by Zebra_X (13249) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @06:22PM (#22875706)
            I don't agree that this is not clear.

            you know the right side is a boolean expression, and that you are assigning the result of the expression to the left.

            in fact, it is actually more clear, and less error prone to do it the first way - there is never an opportinity to "accidently" assign the wrong boolean value to the variable where as in the second case it is up to the programmer to properly interpret the boolean comparison and assign the proper outcome to the variable.
          • Well, if you're used to evaluating functions in your head, the former style is actually far more readable and quicker to understand than the latter imperative version. It really does depend on what you're used to. Again, I find while(--i) totally intuitive - I can see all the information I need on one line and understand what it means, whereas --i; while (i>=0) could get split across a page and I have to scan across two lines to see what's going on.
          • by Durandal64 (658649) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @11:15PM (#22878206)
            No, you don't write code only once. You revise it, over and over again. If you suddenly changed your mind and wanted the opposite behavior (like, if you changed m_allowFontSmoothing to m_disableFontSmoothing), you'd have to change two lines and two constants instead of just replacing an exclamation mark with an equal sign. Generally, the fewer places you manipulate a variable, the better. And avoiding unneeded branching is generally a good thing, too.

            In the first example, you're expressing a relationship between two variables in one line, containing one assignment and one comparison. In the second, you are using one comparison, two assignments and branch. It's less efficient, and the relationship isn't as explicit.
        • shameful (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by HeroreV (869368)
          Wow, the Safari team should be ashamed. Instead of specifically testing for the Acid 3 test, they are specifically testing for a webfont that Acid 3 uses.

          I've seen a lot of people make jokes about (usually IE) behaving differently if it detected the Acid 2 test, and I thought it was ridiculous to imagine that anybody would ever actually do that. But now I see that Apple really is doing it.

          Shit like this is not going to help the web in the least.
          • Re:shameful (Score:4, Informative)

            by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @08:22PM (#22876782)

            It's not the outrageous hack you think it is. Ahem is a dummy font that needs to have specific sizing in order for Acid3 to give accurate results. If Ahem doesn't have the specific size assumed by the Acid3 test, that means Acid3 can't give accurate results, not that Acid3 failed. So the Webkit developers disabled font smoothing for that specific font so that Acid3 could give accurate results, not to cheat. This isn't cheating because Acid3 isn't testing the font size, it's assuming the font size. It doesn't make sense to test the font size because that's volatile in real world conditions anyway.

      • by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:55PM (#22875350)

        The problem with races is that the teams do almost anything just to cross the finish line faster.

        Do you have any evidence for this?

        Any developer worth his salt knows that browsers are huge and complex applications and every change must be discussed, designed and implemented properly as to not impact something else and be modular, be properly commented and be clean and well written code.

        No, browsers aren't actually all that large (the rendering engines for the Opera desktop browser and the mobile browser are the same), and you don't have to painstakingly discuss absolutely everything. Nothing would ever get done.

        It's true that rushing to meet one goal can cause regressions elsewhere; that is what regression tests are for. And I don't know about Opera, but Safari/Webkit has plenty of them [webkit.org].

        I think there is a very good chance of the code containing hacks and workarounds and also tons of security loopholes because of the insane speed at which features are being thrown into the code.

        So this is actually just wild-ass speculation and not something you have solid reasons to believe?

        Yes, Safari and Opera are both moving fast. Extremely fast compared with Firefox and Internet Explorer. But that is because they are much smaller codebases. Gecko is huge and crufty. Changing one thing can have knock-on effects all over the place. Internet Explorer has three very different rendering engines attempting to remain compatible with years-old intranet applications.

        One of the reasons Apple chose KHTML instead of Gecko for Safari was that it was much smaller and had a cleaner design. And that choice has paid off in spades, the turnaround on new features and functionality is extremely quick.

        Opera have been focusing on the mobile market for a long time now, it's a core part of their business and a substantial portion of their revenue, so they've always kept the code small and manageable.

        What you are seeing here are not crazy hacks, but the consequences of years of savvy architectural and management decisions. When you invest in clean design up-front, the cost of efforts like this is vastly reduced.

        • Do you have any evidence for this?

          It's just human nature.

          No, browsers aren't actually all that large (the rendering engines for the Opera desktop browser and the mobile browser are the same), and you don't have to painstakingly discuss absolutely everything. Nothing would ever get done. Yes, Safari and Opera are both moving fast. Extremely fast compared with Firefox and Internet Explorer. But that is because they are much smaller codebases. Gecko is huge and crufty. Changing one thing can have knock-on effects all over the place. Internet Explorer has three very different rendering engines attempting to remain compatible with years-old intranet applications. One of the reasons Apple chose KHTML instead of Gecko for Safari was that it was much smaller and had a cleaner design. And that choice has paid off in spades, the turnaround on new features and functionality is extremely quick.

          Since we don't have access to Opera's source code, lets look at khtml/webkit. I tried to download the latest snapshot of the WebKit source tree from the webkit site [webkit.org] so that I could separate the resources(binary files, changelogs etc.) from the source code and get the size of it, but I was struck by a 265MB (yes you read it right) download. Since I am on a slow connection right now, maybe someone can perform a more accurate analysis and post the results here. But even assuming 100M

          • by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @07:47PM (#22876502)

            165MB is a HUGE amount of source code for something that you claim has a 'much smaller and cleaner' design and is "not all that large".

            Firstly, that tarball is a SVN working copy and includes such things as Bugzilla and other Webkit-related websites/web applications, testcases, etc. Deleting the Subversion directories alone drops the uncompressed size by a gig from ~1.4GB to ~400MB. Deleting most of the testcases drops that ~400MB to ~100MB. Deleting the websites drops that ~100MB to ~80MB. So you see the actual source code for Webkit only comprises about 5% of the archive, and there's a bunch of testcases and support tools I missed removing there.

            Secondly, I didn't say that Safari is "not all that large". I said that browsers are not all that large. Download, for example, KDE, and see how small a part of it Konqueror is. You were characterising developing a browser as this monumental effort that required a special, painstakingly slow development approach. In reality, there are far larger codebases that are worked on at a much faster rate by many more people, with way less communication. Browsers really aren't anything special in this regard.

            Thirdly, it's not just my claim about the relative sizes of the codebases. Check out the announcements (1 [kde.org] and 2 [kde.org]) explaining the reasons for going with KHTML:

            Not only were they the basis of an excellent modern and standards compliant web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open source projects. Your clean design was also a plus. And the small size of your code is a significant reason for our winning startup performance

            Weighing in at less than one tenth the size of another open source renderer, Konqueror helps Safari stay lean and responsive.

            Do you think Webkit is ten times the size it was then? Or do you think Gecko is ten times smaller than it was then?

            Instead of fixing the rendering of the 'Ahem' font, it seems to turn off font smoothing just to make it look like the reference rendering(note that it does it only for the web font). What about such bugs for other fonts?

            Ahem isn't a real font. It's a dummy font [hixie.ch] that only has four glyphs and weird sizing. Its glyphs need to have very specific dimensions in order for the test to be accurate. Turning off font smoothing for this font in particular is enforcing those very specific font metrics. Yes, it looks like a hack, but that's far from the whole truth. In the real world, users that change their font sizes would also cause "failures" like this; the specific font metrics of the Ahem font are assumed by the test for accurate results. At worst, you could say it's a hack to set up the necessary conditions for the Acid3 test to run. These font metrics aren't part of the Acid3 test, they are a prerequisite for accurate results.

            Bug 17086 [webkit.org] is the bug you should be looking at for background. The question is whether or not antialiasing/font smoothing should have an effect on font metrics or if it should be clipped. It may turn out that the Acid3 test is updated to make this a non-issue.

            What about such bugs for other fonts? Brushed under the carpet called Acid3 compliance.

            Here you go misrepresenting your guesses as actual fact again. If you don't know the details, don't make accusations like that. Should antialiasing/font smoothing increase the size of text slightly or is that a bug? That's a difficult question to ans

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BZ (40346)
          > What you are seeing here are not crazy hacks

          Well, http://trac.webkit.org/projects/webkit/changeset/31322 [webkit.org] would be a change which special-cases one particular font for different handling from all other fonts because that font happens to be the one Acid3 uses.

          Either the thing that's being done with all the other fonts is OK (and the test is wrong, and there should be no need to special case) or the thing being done with all the other fonts is not OK, and this is a crazy hack...

          This is not to say that all
      • by Drishmung (458368) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @06:14PM (#22875614)
        Possible, but I suspect that, at least for Opera and Safari, this is not the case.

        Opera have said that they get 100/100, but they are not yet claiming victory. They are fixing a brand new implementation, that will be released 'soon', when it is ready. I imagine that the release will involve a ton of regression testing and code quality analysis.

        Likewise Safari has various standards [webkit.org] that the code has to adhere to. Reading the Webkit blog entries so far I get the feeling that it has not been enough merely to pass a test; there has been extensive consideration the best way to fix the code.

        Yes, it's a race, but not at any cost, and the goal is not to just pass Acid3, it's to deliver a better browser.

        Thus far, I'm optimistic that Acid3 is improving the overall code quality of the participating browsers.

      • by toby (759) *

        The speed at which the browsers seem to be gaining acid3 compatibility is frankly worrying me.

        Some people are just NEVER satisfied... :)

      • by prockcore (543967)

        Any developer worth his salt knows that browsers are huge and complex applications and every change must be discussed, designed and implemented properly as to not impact something else and be modular, be properly commented and be clean and well written code.

        I posted this same thing on reddit and was told that I was dumb for not trusting dave hyatt and that there are huge suites of automated tests, so of course they didn't break anything while tearing up the browser to pass acid3.

        I agree with you. Who knows

  • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

    by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:49PM (#22873876)
    Actually, as of today, Safari is also at 98/100. See today's entry in the WebKit blog [webkit.org] for more.
  • by The Ancients (626689) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:49PM (#22873888) Homepage
    http://mothership.co.nz/files/Acid3-safari-nightly.png [mothership.co.nz]

    Either way, it's us punters who are enjoying the fruits of this competition :-)

  • Shoot.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by zulater (635326) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:51PM (#22873928)
    With Firefox 2.0.0.13 I've been doing just find rendering the render image properly!

    http://acid3.acidtests.org/reference.html [acidtests.org]
  • by NiKnight3 (532580) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:52PM (#22873940) Homepage
    Which is a better title: "First browser to reach 100/100" or "First publicly-released browser to reach 100/100"? I might argue for the latter. If anything, I think this gives the WebKit team more of a spark to reach the end.
  • The Next Milestone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @03:55PM (#22873986) Journal
    Okay, So Opera Firefox and Safari all are shooting for compliance with Acid3.

    The next major milestone though, right after "X Achieves 100% compatibility in nightly builds" is "X releases version X of browser to the masses/into the wild, capable of passing Acid3 test".

    Passing it "in the lab" is one thing, declaring it in a build "ready for release" is another.
    • by The Ancients (626689) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:04PM (#22874106) Homepage

      Either way, the consumer wins. The faster development builds get it right, the faster it will end up in a shipping, public release, build.

      Lets give the developers all the motivation we can to get this to happen. If that means a pissing contest of nightly builds, let 'em go for it, I say.

    • by Fweeky (41046)
      All browsers still need to cope with "the animation must be smooth", so even after reaching 100/100 you're still not necessarily passing. I think this mostly revolves around garbage collection; I wouldn't hold my breath if it turns out to need a concurrent collector or so.
      • I think the "pixel for pixel" requirement is a bit of a red herring, though. What I, as a user, want is a format that scales well. I should be able to have a 3750x3000 pixel display that looks just like a 800x600 display, except much, much sharper. Also, image scaling should be a tad higher order than "step function."
    • by Millennium (2451)
      What makes you think Firefox is shooting for Acid3? Given how long they've rested on their laurels, dillydallying on Acid2 while IE of all browsers caught up to them, I have very little faith that they're going to suddenly give standards the priority they deserve again.

      I use Firefox, Safari, Opera, and a range of other browsers. I probably use Firefox the most. But I've got to say, I've been really disillusioned with their devs ever since they put standards on the back burner.
      • What makes you think Firefox is shooting for Acid3? Given how long they've rested on their laurels, dillydallying on Acid2 while IE of all browsers caught up to them, I have very little faith that they're going to suddenly give standards the priority they deserve again.

        Firefox builds that pass the Acid2 test have been out for a long time now. Microsoft is just now releasing IE builds that pass the Acid2 test. I'm a little puzzled by what you mean. I do think it will be some time before we see Firefox pas

      • Yeah, I said it. I'm actually praying for IE8 to be standards compliant as much as possible, and this is coming from a Linux junkie.

        Why? Simple; we still can't deny the fact that better than 9/10 of the unwashed masses out there are still paying homage to the Microsoft/Internet Explorer gods. They always have and this, in turn, has always meant that 98% of the browsers visiting a website are going to be IE; this also means that all the authors of these sites are always going to code to specifications that

        • It doesn't matter if they code to standards or not.

          They will still run that damn browser test to make sure you are running the most current ie and reject everything else.
    • by Hao Wu (652581)
      CSS3 support would be more useful to me than passing Acid3.
    • No fair, Opera needs to support all three platforms... and it needs to have a tiny memory footprint.

      Sure mozilla slings things out the door with gaping memory leaks and security holes but people expect better from Opera!

      Well if that's the contest Opera will probably come in second, apple doesn't like making people update unnecessarily.
    • The next major milestone though, right after "X Achieves 100% compatibility in nightly builds" is "X releases version X of browser to the masses/into the wild, capable of passing Acid3 test".
      I think the next major milestone right after the release to the masses will be "Browser X gets pwned by hackers exploiting all the hurriedly written code with specially crafted and fuzzed CSS3 files.".
  • I love to see this competition to meet standards. We all win when this happens.

    Although one could argue that any time a product deviates from the standard it should be logged as a bug.
    • by compro01 (777531)
      question is, where do you draw the line between "follows the standard" and "renders real websites correctly"?
  • by Angostura (703910) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:06PM (#22874118)
    ... and get Acid 4 ready.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:08PM (#22874140) Homepage
    This isn't a race, it's a competition.

    What do I care who's first? What I care about is who has the best browser that complies with standards. That may also include render speed, stability, javascript compatibility, security, or whatever. "Who's first" is about the thing I care about the least.
  • It is awesome that web standards are being fully embraced by important browser vendors.

    Although this "competition for standards compliance" is a huge leap forward for the industry, we should give accolades only to those who have delivered production software products, versus those who say they will based on numbers that they see within their non-production builds.

    Because in the end, the services that my organization delivers like quality browsers in the hands of real users.
  • Not to be a nitpick, but saying "Opera's software leads now with 98%, closely following by Safari with 96% and Firefox 3 beta 4 with 71%" is like saying "Car A reaches 274 km/h, closely followed by car B with 268 km/h and car C with 198 km/h".

    I like Firefox more than Opera or Safari, but saying that 98% is "closely followed" by 96 AND 71% is just stupid. The fact that IE is worse is not a justification.
    • by Ecuador (740021)
      Why do you say IE is worse? It is closely following with 17%!

      That said, what bothers me more is that still, the official releases of the two most popular browsers (Firefox & IE) don't even pass Acid2. What is the point of struggling to get 100% on Acid 3?
  • Incorrect update (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:26PM (#22874370) Homepage Journal
    Update: 03/26 21:21 GMT by Z [slashdot.org] : Safari is now at 100% [opera.com], apparently, with Safari close behind at 98% [slashdot.org].

    Looks like someone wasn't reading what they were writing. The links are right though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by powerlord (28156)
      Yeah... odd...

      But I REALLY want to know is, How is Safari doing? :P

    • Update: 03/26 21:21 GMT by Z : Safari is now at 100%, apparently, with Safari close behind at 98%. Looks like someone wasn't reading what they were writing. The links are right though.
      That only means Safari running around itself in circles. :)
  • by choongiri (840652) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:27PM (#22874372) Homepage Journal

    Update: 03/26 21:21 GMT by Z: Safari is now at 100%, apparently, with Safari close behind at 98%.
    **$%..brainsplode
  • by whitehatlurker (867714) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:49PM (#22874676) Journal
    Okay, I'm an Opera fanboi. (Well, it's my preferred browser, anyway.) Take that for what ever it may mean to you.

    However, this falls into the "Firefox does Acid 2" category. Until this is done with the release version of the browser, it's a nice thing, but not really available to the average web user. (Cue the witticisms from the "hyuck, hyuck - well Opera users aren't average - either of them" crowd.)

    This is a good thing. Opera has been a company which has been dedicated to (among other things like speed, security and innovations in the interface) support for web standards. This is just another step in that direction.

    Kudos to the desktop crew for this accomplishment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BenoitRen (998927)
      If they really were dedicated to web standards, they wouldn't have implemented IE's proprietary coloured scroll bars. Bah.
      • by porneL (674499)
        They used to be hardcore about standards, until they finally realized that web is full of crap and they have to support crap too (otherwise users complain that "pretty" scrollbars work in IE but not in Opera, so Opera is worse).
  • What about IE? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @04:49PM (#22874690)
    This is really cool that competition has provoked a response from the browsers to be compliant, but until IE is compliant, does it make a lick of difference? The combined market share of these ACID3 browsers is ~25%, so in the scheme of things, I'm still not going to be developing sites that take advantage of the newest features.

    IE8 is still puttering around with ACID2...so I hate to sound like the cynic...
    • by Tycho (11893)
      When testing Acid3 on IE7 the score seems to vary some. I got 15 the first time, 12 the second time. There is a slight delay while the score is below 10 before IE7 adds its last bit and reaches its final score. The rendering of the box itself is totally wrong though. The Windows version of Safari 3.1 only gets to 75 for me, for that matter.
    • Because, until corporations get rid of all the crappy code they've written that requires ActiveX which is IE only (ACID or not ACID), there's still a real hook to use IE.
    • by alexhs (877055) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @06:05PM (#22875494) Homepage Journal
      I've heard that latest build of IE8 would do 103.6/100 .
      But, in order to get that remarkable achievement, you might need to use it in conjunction with MS Excel 2007...
    • by Zebra_X (13249)
      IE8 is still puttering around with ACID2...so I hate to sound like the cynic...

      The IE 8 team will be home with their wives and children soon. Hey, there is always tomorrow to get some work done...
    • You can develop for whatever target you want. That doesn't change the fact that many people on slashdot will want to install/use an ACID3 browser, which is why this is news for nerds. Plus it can potentially give geeks bragging rights about their favorite browser. It doesn't have to be popular to be your favorite.

      Not everyone on slashdot is a web developer. Some of us actually consider browsers to be tools for browsing teh Intarweb.

      (Beyond that, some of us develop sites for use by Linux users, and could
    • by bunratty (545641)
      And even after IE8 is released, IE7 will be popular for years the same way as 40% of IE users are still using IE6 today. We won't be able to use all the features tested by Acid2 until 2010 or later because of the older browsers still in use that don't pass. The only thing that could allow us to use Acid3 features faster is if Microsoft gets IE8 to pass (instead of waiting for IE9) and getting its users to upgrade to IE8 faster than they're upgrading to IE7. Unless they do, it doesn't make a bit of differenc
  • Update: 03/26 21:21 GMT by Z : Safari is now at 100%, apparently, with Safari close behind at 98%.

    Err.... Safari is at 100% with safari close behind at 98%? Think one safari too many :)

    Question is which one is opera and which is safari - and does it really matter?

    How many sites out there will only work with Acid3 compliant browsers? I'd guess... 1 - the test site itself. Even if other sites look better with 100% compliance I doubt if the entire site will be unusable or so poorly rendered as to be unusable.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:20PM (#22875004)
    If this were news about IE, I'd care. If it were news about Firefox, I'd care. Since I'm a Mac user, if it were news about Safari I'd probably care, at least a little (although I use Firefox). But Opera? I don't even test my stuff against that browser - it's just never been particularly relevant.

    Now, I realize that Opera zealotry is as fervent as the worst Mac fans, and loses nothing to the Nikon/Canon camps; but really - the installed base is tiny. When I look at my site stats, Opera doesn't even show up (and even Netscape 4.x still has a tiny sliver of the pie). So I'm not sure even the "competition is good for everyone" argument particularly applies here.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:45PM (#22875220)

      If this were news about IE, I'd care. If it were news about Firefox, I'd care. Since I'm a Mac user, if it were news about Safari I'd probably care, at least a little (although I use Firefox). But Opera? I don't even test my stuff against that browser - it's just never been particularly relevant.

      First off, Opera use is large enough for the company to survive on revenue from Google from the search bar(just like FireFox). I've seen figures of 1 to 2% of use, and when you factor in the huge number of web surfers, ~1% is nothing to sneeze at.

      Now, I realize that Opera zealotry is as fervent as the worst Mac fans, and loses nothing to the Nikon/Canon camps; but really - the installed base is tiny. When I look at my site stats, Opera doesn't even show up (and even Netscape 4.x still has a tiny sliver of the pie). So I'm not sure even the "competition is good for everyone" argument particularly applies here.

      That's pretty narrow minded thinking. Many of the features in Firefox and and it's extensions are Opera innovations or it was the first browser to have a good implementation. You can see some of the innovations here [operawiki.info]. Of course, Opera has taken some cues from Firefox too, but I think it's safe to say that all the browsers have benefited because of the existence of Opera. Hence, it's not 'irrelevant' just because there are hardly any hits from Opera on your site. Many of the features you enjoy in Firefox have their root in Opera.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrNemesis (587188)
      So I'm not sure even the "competition is good for everyone" argument particularly applies here.

      If even the two Opera users that there are* can keep Firefox on their toes, and by extension Microsoft and Apple, then everybody wins.

      *In this thread at least, those two Opera users appear to be myself and whitelarker. For me and the way I browse, Firefox doesn't even come close, but I believe the point of this addendum, Acid $integer tests and Firefox is and always has been that whatever browser the user is using
    • by porneL (674499) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @08:02PM (#22876640) Homepage

      The "zealotry" is answer to unfair dissing of Opera. The company is working really hard on their browser and promotion of web standards, and yet from the general public all they get is "x%? I don't give a shit".

      • Hakon Lie, Opera CTO is co-author of CSS and initiator of Acid2 test,
      • Ian Hickson, editor of HTML5, was Opera employee when the work started, and is creator of Acid3 test,
      • Opera invented/popularized MDI (pre-tabbed) browsing, mouse gestures, zoom and shrink-to-fit, HTML+CSS+JS on mobiles (including non-smartphones!), views-based e-mail client (think GMail),
      • They actively fight Microsoft by filing complaints to EU, sued them for MSN, ridiculed IE with Acid tests and b0rk editions, fight IE-only websites with Open The Web campaign and they are getting excellent SVG, CSS and native video support to offer free and open alternatives to Silverlight and Flash.

      In the US the browser alone might not be directly relevant, but Opera Software influenced the market quite a bit: IE8 was released soon after Opera filed complaint to EU and IE8's big news is passing Opera CTO's Acid2 test. Opera taken lead role in WHATWG and started implementing [X]HTML5. Before that W3C didn't consider any major revisions of HTML4 or XHTML1.

      They really deserve some more respect.

    • by Kelson (129150) *
      It's worth remembering that Opera's install base is only tiny when looked at as a percentage of overall web use. I'm not sure about current statistics, but a year ago [hyperborea.org] they were at 10-15 million desktop users -- not counting a huge install base of Opera Mobile on phones, and millions of active Opera Mini users.

      For comparison, the average U.S. state has around 6 million people. By the 2005 census, only 4 states -- California, New York, Texas and Florida -- had more than 15 million.

      Admittedly, not all 15 mil
  • by qazwart (261667) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @05:47PM (#22875244) Homepage
    I'm very happy to see both Safari and Opera take the Acid3 test so seriously. However, despite Safari's 98/100 score, I still have problems with Midas/DocumentMode issues. This affects the basic installation of TinyMCE, an extremely popular editor for blogging software. It is used in Confluence, Joomla, Mambo, and many other software projects.

    I also know there are places where Safari simply renders pages illegibly. I've seen this on Joomla forums where Safari cannot render the boxes on top of a forum post correctly (see for an example. Here "home", "threaded views", "home", and "help" are not rendered correctly in Safari.

    I know most of this has to do with non-standard behavior first instituted by Microsoft (who else), but IE represents about 80% of the browser market, so when Microsoft creates a standard like Midas/DocumentMode, it becomes an important part of the Web. FireFox and Opera have no problems with this. Unfortunately, Safari, the browser that hews so closely to WC3 standards simply cannot be used on many websites.
  • by qazwart (261667) on Wednesday March 26, 2008 @11:20PM (#22878236) Homepage
    There was a bug in the Acid3 test suite. That bug prevented WebKit from getting a 100/100 score. Now, that the bug is fixed, WebKit is scoring 100/100. How Opera could have scored 100/100 before the test was fixed is beyond me.

    What's more, since WebKit is released nightly, WebKit is the first publicly released browser to score 100/100 on the Acid 3 tests.

    BTW, as both teams will point out, scoring 100/100 on the Acid3 test doesn't mean the browser "passed" the Acid3 test. It has to match the reference page pixel for pixel and its rendering has to be smooth. Opera is off by a couple of pixels in its rendering. WebKit is pixel-perfect, but Test 26 takes too long to complete.

    And, Opera could still be the first officially released non-beta browser to score 100/100 on the Acid3 test.

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