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Microsoft

Opera Lays Down Acid2 Challenge 499

sebFlyte writes "The CTO of Opera has proposed a new version of the acid test for browser compatibility, and has challenged Microsoft to make IE7 a browser worth having that will do the Web good. He's asked to help from Web designers the world over to build a new page for Microsoft to test IE7 with to make sure it does everything Web designers want it to. "
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Opera Lays Down Acid2 Challenge

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  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:56PM (#11956083)
    *cough* Firefox
  • by MoneyT ( 548795 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:57PM (#11956087) Journal
    Has anyone (even Opera) managed to create a browser that does what all the web designers want it to do? Does the web designer community have a consensus of what they want the browsers to do?
    • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:59PM (#11956124) Homepage
      It'd be nice if there were reference pages made by the standards committees, so a browser could be simply deemed compliant or not.
    • Yeah.
      I mean, my opinion would be that the browser should, like, make pages look really cool, even if they are really badly made, and do, like, lots of cool stuff.

      Why can't they do what I want? I mean, I made a web page, and it looks crap in all the browser I've tried.
    • by Pionar ( 620916 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:06PM (#11956228)
      Yes, it's called W3C specifications.

      Like the one for xHTML 1.0 [w3.org]. The one that currently has IE in my doghouse is CSS2 support, especially the Box Model. Firefox gets it right. Opera gets it right. But IE gets it totally wrong, forcing web designers to use unsightly hacks to get CSS to behave the same way in IE.

      The web community has always had this consensus, going back to HTML 3.2 and even further back. It's the browser makers that can't seem to come to a consensus, which is ridiculous because the W3C tells you how a user agent should behave.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think the major issue here for most folks is that HTML4, CSS2, and other standards are non-proprietary standards created by an independent standards body. While few browsers are or have ever been 100% compliant on EVERY DETAIL of a published standard, only Microsoft (of the remaining major broswer vendors) has a history of DELIBERATLY ignoring standards or DELIBERATLY incorporating non-standard extensions into their browsers. They've been doing this since IE 1.0.

      Why just Microsoft? Because they're the
    • "Has anyone (even Opera) managed to create a browser that does what all the web designers want it to do?"

      I can't answer your question but I can tell you that it is very seldom that I have to fire up another browser because Opera isn't rendering properly.

      Normally I wouldn't bring it up, but I seriously doubt the sites I visit even consider testing with Opera.

    • In short, no.

      Even if someone makes a browser that does everything designers AND developers want it to, it still won't do any good to those of us stuck supporting browsers that DON'T do all of it. The entire world is unlikely to switch instantly to the new wonder browser, leaving us to support legacy products.

      Where I work our top tier browser/OS matrix is:
      Win 98 - XP; IE5>, Mozilla 1.3>, Firefox 1>, Netscape 6.2>
      Linux; Mozilla 1.3>, Firefox 1>, Netscape 6.2>
      Mac OSX; Safari, IE
  • "acid" (Score:4, Funny)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:57PM (#11956095) Journal
    You can usually remove the word "acid" from "acid test" without doing any harm.
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:59PM (#11956120) Homepage
    Will IE 7 have 'Electric Kool-Aid' tags?
  • Why Bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by djrosen ( 265939 ) <djrosen@LISPgmail.com minus language> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:59PM (#11956128) Homepage
    MS has never shown the initiative to make things compliant why should any developers waste precious time coding a page for MS to balk at when there are other browsers out there? Firefox is slowly but surely gaining market share. I say Good Riddance to IE and make room for the new guys. Why HELP MS strenthen their hold?
    • Re:Why Bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jbplou ( 732414 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#11956183)
      If you are making a web page and you are not coding so that is renders correctly on IE you are a fool. It has 85% market share.
      • Re:Why Bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MikeFM ( 12491 )
        I tend to treat IE as a crappy baby I have to babysit. I make sure it renders my pages okay but I don't try to let it play with the adults. So I can do nicer things on my standard stylesheets than the variant IE is made to use. I don't waste a lot of effort trying to make it do all the bells and whistles.
      • Re:Why Bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dodobh ( 65811 )
        Or IE is just not in your target market.
    • Re:Why Bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Low2000 ( 606536 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:06PM (#11956235)
      Because if IE becomes more standards complient, that means that web coders will make their websites standards compliant. Thats good for the alternative browsers out there like Firefox and Opera more then anyone else. MS has enjoyed being in control of the bulk of the web browsing community for so long that if their browser doesn't conform to standards, the web coders have to conform to the browser.
    • Re:Why Bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

      You're either joking, or you're a moron.

      Let's deal with the joking option first:

      Internet Explorer may not be the best browser, but it's the one most individuals (read: people who buy computers from CompUSA/Dell) are likely to use - simply because it's there and it's supported.

      Now the moron option:

      "Slowly but surely" is the most bullshit phrase in the English language. A pretty strong argument could be made that the Internet Explorer crisis is at its peak right now. It has had a number of years as the fr
      • Re:Why Bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mgpeter ( 132079 )
        Saying "good riddance" to IE is like forecasting the rapid adoption of Linux/Unix/OSX. Just because there are sometimes better alternatives doesn't mean that the current dominant force will suddenly vanish. In any case, Firefox adoption wouldn't happen all at once, and certainly not all within the next few years, as you seem to imply will happen.

        Back in the late seventies, early eighties the same thing was said about Atari, there were better alternatives back then but everyone wrote games for the 2600 any

  • by Eradicator2k3 ( 670371 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:59PM (#11956133)
    Microsoft's IE7 developers allow themselves a chuckle and think, "Ha! We've been on acid for decades."
  • by glamslam ( 535995 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @02:59PM (#11956134)
    Standards compliance is for companies that don't have 90% or more of a market.

    Next!

    • Considering even Microsoft IE6 does not have a 90% market share anymore [vnunet.com] that doesn't include them either.
    • I believe market refers to a place where you must pay for goods.
      I use the term "goods" loosely, here seeing as MS stuff should be termed "bads"
      But when you can get the same stuff for free, then the customer who pays is usually refered to as gullible, and the seller is often refered to as a con man.
      Don't they have laws against cons?
      Oh, wait, that law only applies to the little guys who con.
      Big guys who con are refered to as successfull monopolies.
      Never mind.
    • by SpecBear ( 769433 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @04:33PM (#11957228)
      Yes, indeed. As Netscape showed us, once you have a lock on the market the browser war is over and you don't have to improve your product at all.

      By the way, IE had 90% of the market. It no longer does. The problem with the monopoly position is that it makes MS complacent. If your browser is free, installed on almost every PC sold, and is the standard that most developers code to (even when it violates the W3C spec), then you really have to suck before people besides hard core geeks switch to something else. Once that starts happening, it means you've been sucking hard for a good long time and you've got a lot of catching up to do in terms of features and good will.
  • Great Strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aspx ( 808539 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:01PM (#11956155)
    This is brilliant!! Appear to be helpful, but really just point out shortcomings and bugs in your competitor's product, all the while gaining visibility and recognition in the community. I really must remember to do this sometime.
  • by Mr. Flibble ( 12943 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:01PM (#11956159) Homepage
    Load even more spyware!!!

    Err, oh. I guess that that was not a valid choice.
  • by Fjandr ( 66656 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:02PM (#11956175) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft would more than likely simply ignore the challenge completely. What do they have to gain (at this point) from actually producing a standards-compliant browser?

    Now, perhaps if FireFox continues to chew up the percentages of web browser usage, they might try it for PR purposes, but that's hardly an issue at the moment. Microsoft is more of an in-the-moment company (unless you're speaking of up-and-coming products, where they announce competing programs years before they actually plan to implement the changes).
    • Well, right now, it's hard to explain to someone that doesn't know the backstory why "standards" are a Good Thing. If we had a web page made by web designers that would show off how things SHOULD look (put jpegs of the correct rendering beside the code), you could give people a location to visit to objectively measure their browser.

      This is important, because if Opera, Safari, Firefox, Konqueror, et. al. all render it fairly closely, and IE mangles it, you then have a story. CNet will run it, CNN will ru
  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#11956182)
    I humbly submit my idea for building a new page for Microsoft to test IE7 with to make sure it does everything Web designers want it to.

    Get Firefox! [getfirefox.com]

    If it can properly render that link, I'll be satisfied.
  • Test suites (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cortana ( 588495 ) <sam@rob o t s .org.uk> on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#11956185) Homepage
    Aren't there test suites that test the conformance of an implementation to all aspects of CSS2 standard already? And if not, why not?
  • an entire web site to fully test w3c standards, css-1, css-2, javascript, etc. One page isn't going to do it.
    • Good thing W3C.org is full of tests for each of the standards you mention.

      PS, it all could be done in one page, since no test excludes another, AFAIK. It'd just be one bitch of a webpage to code, to load, and to read the results from.
  • Yeah, so... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gbulmash ( 688770 ) *
    This is not the first challenge the Opera folks have issued to M$ and most likely not the last. It seems that the heads of Opera have a bit of a quixotic relationship with the windmill of Microsoft.

    And let's not be smug about everyone but Microsoft following standards. The company I used to work for had a file-upload javascript that worked with Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, and IE, but it didn't work with Safari and we had to specially recode the script just to accomodate that Safari quirk.

    It would be nice

  • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wannabgeek ( 323414 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:07PM (#11956245) Journal
    Open Source geeks challenged M$ to make windows the most secure OS.
    US challenged China to be most democratic country
    blah blah

    Mod me down as troll, but what makes anyone think M$ cares about a challenge from a competitor?!
  • Slashdot != xhtml (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Arbin ( 570266 ) *
    Slashdot produces some of the worst html code available, and it doesn't produce the same exact code EVERY time. Some days it offers spans, some days tables missing end tags, it's just random garbarge. How do you expect ANY browser to render code the same, EVERYTIME? God. I fed a troll... *shaking head*
  • I will answer myself. This guy is wastimg time. He thinks M$ will listen? I wish him the best. It's like talking to a statue, hoping to get an answer. I wish him luck. I suggest the following: -

    Let the other browser creators build a site, publisize it and ashame M$. This might work but no guarantees.


  • I've been an Opera supporter for years, but at some point it must become evident that Hakon Wium Lie (and other Opera employees) are simply venting frustration.

    While I think the acid test is great, Opera has been uncharacteristically silent on getting XMLHttpRequest up to the Firefox/Safari/IE level. I know Opera will tell you "it is coming in version 8", but I thought the position of the one commerical browser of the bunch was to lead, not follow.

    P.S. Why do all the Fire/zilla mouse gesture packages us
  • Wrong target (Score:3, Interesting)

    by whitehatlurker ( 867714 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:11PM (#11956286) Journal
    While it would be nice if MS IE 7 were a more compliant browser, the real target is the lazy web authors who do not try to comply with standards.

    Or the malicious [opera.com] ones who miscode their site to intentionally over-support a browser.

    I support Hakon, but I think he's aiming at the wrong spot.

    Caveat: I have used (and liked) Opera since version 3 or so. I am have used (and hated) IE since version 2 or so. I am hardly unbiased.

  • No matter what people ask for or do, I don't think it will have it all. They might at some point in time have been leading, but right now they're playing catch-up big time.

    Full, proper CSS support (including complex selectors) is just a start. We also very much need it to support standards (like support the <abbr> tag, not just <acronym>), including standard voice+xml technology as well (but I can't see that happen). If they don't use the same things as the rest of the world will use for that,
  • Opera is an increasingly marginalized player in the browser market. The only thing Opera can expect to get out of this is a little PR that only delays the inevitable for them (non-player).
  • by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:13PM (#11956321)
    with the way MS products behave, it's obvious they've had acid before!

    We need them to learn to read specs!
  • The Issue... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Most people are not web designers.
    Most people are not familiar with the nuances of CSS2.
    Most people are not aware of the various published spec's from W3.
    Most people are users.
    Most users use IE.
    Most people percieve "what the web can do" to be what they've experienced as "what IE can do."
    Most people don't know what they're missing.

    "What Microsoft provides" is already the de facto standard for the web. And most designers are resigned to living with this--nobody puts out CSS2 elements that IE does NOT support
  • Just a thought... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:22PM (#11956417) Homepage
    Just a thought (many dead bodies spinning in graves), what if IE7 is the Tit, the Jones, the Cake, the next best thing to drugs, and secure? Will it be a sign of the apocalypse?
  • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:22PM (#11956418)
    ...all links posted on slashdot go directly to Roland's webpage.
  • by leshert ( 40509 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:22PM (#11956419) Homepage
    I'll be more impressed by something Opera says about compatibility when they fix their own issues--particularly their shoddy XMLHTTPRequest [jibbering.com] implementation.
  • I'd like to submit someone elses example page of the horrific way IE6 handles CSS2:

    http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/complexspira l/demo.html [meyerweb.com]

    It not only describes what goes wrong, but why, how and where.

    Oh: Eric: if you're reading this: Thanks! :)

  • Look at this detailed analysis [svendtofte.com] of how IE, Opera and Mizilla render CSS. Note that Opera and IE were both wrong at first, but Opera has adopted Mozilla's convention.

    This clearly demonstrates that the "browser war" is really a one(IE)-on-one(Firefox) battle with Opera and others simply choosing which side to mimic.
  • by iamsure ( 66666 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @03:35PM (#11956554) Homepage
    Microsoft is constantly competing with itself, not others. It needs people to buy the latest versions of its OS and applications (office) to keep revenues coming in.

    As a result, it chooses to do things like release the XP2 firewall but not offer it for win2k - to push people towards newer versions, despite win2k being in mainstream support.

    Recently, they've been forced by the HUGE number of corporate customers to offer WinFS as an option for XP as well as future versions of the OS. Why? Because corporate customers don't run bleeding edge software.

    So what they need is a huge, wonderful carrot that will lead customers to the latest version. We arent talking about Dear Old Aunt Sally - she doesn't buy new versions of OS's. She buys a computer, and it comes with it.

    We are talking about corporate customers. They didn't buy the concept that WinFS couldn't work on XP, but Microsoft has been shouting (even swearing in court) that the browser is part of the OS.

    As a result, MS could very easily make IE7 only available on longhorn. As such, it's an opportunity for them to make it a selling point - a carrot.

    To make the carrot more attractive, they need to make it do as many things RIGHT as possible. If IE7 truly supported css2, png transparency, javascript, and so on, WEBDESIGNERS would start drawing the line at older versions of IE - doing Microsoft's selling for them!

    Businesses, portals, and the list goes on - anywhere that wants to make a truly compelling site without a million css box model hacks would start suggesting users use IE7, and before long, REQUIRING IE7.

    Microsoft has every reason in the world to kick major standards-ass with IE7, but unfortunately, they have a track record of not doing it.

    Here's hoping that their business savy is more powerful than their laziness. :)
  • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2005 @04:00PM (#11956839) Homepage
    Is the web developers. I've had some down-right nasty exchanges by developers who believe that because IE represents 95% of "their target market" that 'standards' don't matter.

    A good example would be something along the lines of this (a response from an actual discussion I took part in, the funny thing was I wasn't trying to tell anyone anything about the W3C or the importance of standards, I just asked a question about a script that was acting strange in Firefox, my current platform of choice):
    A group of nameless and faceless aHoles got together and declared to the world, this is the "standard." You have to "validate" your code or it's no good, because we say so.


    And people like you, fall all over yourself, worshiping them.

    In my opinion, only a damned fool let's someone else manipulate him, whether he can see him or not.

    Those aHoles are meaningless to you, they are meaningless to your web site, but you are so weak and gullible, that you can't and will never understand that.
    Admittedly this is an extreme example, but I believe it is representative of a broader belief that might makes right. Firefox/Mozilla/Opera/Safari are still a relatively small ripple and there are some stodgy people out there who at best, simply don't care if their code works on a minority browser.

    Until it hits their pocket-books thats not going to change. The pressure needs to be put on businesses so that when say Bank AAA gets a site built that can't/doesn't support your browser (because of non-standard code created by people either too stubborn or too lazy to spend the extra 3 seconds to create/read about browser-friendly code) they hear about it. Maybe even lose some customers.

    Then our friendly web-developer can come back and learn how to fix his/her code. If that happens enough they'll get tired of doing it the old way and maybe play nice from the get-go.

    FTR, the code we were discussing in the the above quoted passaged did get fixed, by me and I have about 2 weeks of javascript programming under my belt (and if your wondering about the preceding conversation, no, I wasn't impolite or anything like that, I'm too old to pull that kind of crap).

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