Unintentionally Blank

Phil Nash on the Internet, Web Standards and Accessibility

Opera And Safari Hunt Down Bugs To Pass Acid 3

Mar 28, 2008

by Phil Nash

2008 is turning out to be the year of the browser, IE8 is in beta and passes the Acid 2 test (I've seen it do it myself!) and Firefox 3 is in its final beta stages (also passing Acid 2) and is expected to launch in June. But this week it is the turn of the smaller, but no less important browsers, the generally well behaved, but still with single figure percentages in the share of the market, Opera and Safari.

Who Needs Acid 2? We've Got Acid 3!

Earlier in the week, Safari 3.1 was released bringing web fonts and, the disputed, CSS animations. The real news, however, is in the nightly builds of both Opera and Safari, both of which claimed to have passed the very new Acid 3 test. Opera posted first on Wednesday to say that they had passed with 100/100, but were closely followed by Safari claiming 100% in Webkit too. The only confusion is that to get 100, the Webkit developers actually recorded a bug in the test which was subsequently fixed before they posted, so maybe Opera only makes 99, we'll have to see. My copy of Firefox 2 I'm writing this with made a paltry 53/100, so even nearly there is a great achievement.

Competition Rules When Everyone Competes

Competition and tests and standards have clearly had Opera and Safari developers working incredibly hard to pass Acid 3. If only this were true for Mozilla, who don't seem to believe in it. I understand that they are readying a final release and that perhaps the intricacies of Acid 3 aren't that important now, but blowing it off entirely is not the correct attitude (even Microsoft changed their tune about Acid 2 from when they wrote this to the recent joy of passing).

The only sad point is that neither of the two largest browsers are focused on Acid 3 at the moment, which means that regardless of all the work the Opera and Safari teams have put in, no-one will be able to safely use many of the standards, all from prior to 2004 as set out by the rules of the test, for longer still.


Nothing can be taken away from either of the development teams though, congratulations to both Opera and Safari, and here's hoping that the other two take notice of these successes and get on with supporting these standards too.

Unintentionally Blank is Phil Nash's thoughts on web development from 2006-2008. Any code or opinions may be out of date.