Consider Microsoft’s Face Smacked with an Acidic Glove

I triple-dog-dare the IE team to do this:

The Web standards project has released the Acid2 test for Web browsers. It is a pretty crafty HTML+CSS test designed to ensure that browsers are properly implementing support for those standards.

Every browser fails it spectacularly. 🙂

I started work today on making Safari pass the test, and I thought I’d blog my progress as I fix bugs in the test.

Dave Hyatt describes his initial progress in this post, and then gives screenshots of his progress in here and at last we can see the robot (or whatever) smile here.

Note: Dave has in no way challenged Microsoft, Opera has. But what I think is great about what Dave is doing is that he’s being completely open about it and showing you progress. And remember, this is from a (mostly) closed-source company. The difference? Apple use an open-source rendering library and contribute their changes back to the community.

If MS believe that other issues are more important than rendering, they could simply open-source their rendering engine and let other people do the standards-compliance work for them while they bolt on other technologies elsewhere. But while Microsoft may pay oodles for technical innovation, they seem to lack the managerial innovation to make any use of what they get.

As a guy who has to craft a lot of HTML and CSS, and particularly needs to be able to put out structural HTML free of presentation so the content can be adapted for as many presentations as possible when building new features into our CMS, I welcome any competition to actually advance browsers.

CSS is problematic and unweildy for individual authors–it was clearly designed first as a theoretical specification and then applied to the real world (edit: rather than evolving through a more iterative process with a focus on solving everyday authoring problems)–but it’s the only game in town and beats doing nothing. The main thing I look for is consistency. I really want to be able to write some code to spec and then forget about it. You’ve never been able to do that, and I’m sure for edge cases you never will, but it would be nice to do simple pages without having to think about how Browser X will render a float.

Maybe a little playground competition will get us closer.

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