Web Browser Wednesday

The other day, the Web Standards Project released the Acid3 test that will push browsers to a new level. I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the Acid2 test which has become famous because of the often discombobulated block-like smiley face most browsers produce.

Browsers such as Safari, Konqueror, and Opera already pass the Acid2 test, and when Firefox 3 is released later this year it will as well. Microsoft has also put some work into Internet Explorer 8 so that it will pass the Acid2 test when it is eventually made available. All of the main browsers will be passing the Acid2 test about 3 years after it was initially released.

Now it is time to move on to bigger and better things… Acid3! The test is not nearly as cool as the smiley face in my opinion, but it does extensively test different aspects of the browser’s rendering engine. It runs a hundred different tests on the browser, and the result should look just like this:

acid3 test correct

This new test targets DOM scripting which is frequently used by Web 2.0 services for advanced interaction. Here’s what the Web Standards Project said about it in their press release:

The Acid3 Test is designed to test specifications for Web 2.0, and exposes potential flaws in implementations of the public ECMAScript 262 and W3C Document Object Model 2 standards. Collectively known as DOM Scripting, it is these technologies that enable advanced page interactivity and power many advanced web applications such as web-based email and online office applications.

We thought it would be fun to test out the browsers that are currently available to see how they stack up to each other on the Acid3 test.

–The Browser Test–

Here are some things to note about our tests:

  • All of these browsers were tested on Windows Vista.
  • The browsers started with a clean profile and no extensions or add-ons were installed.
  • The results below are sorted from the best to the worst.
  • Click on any of the screenshots for a full-size version.

Safari 3.1 (Nightly r30626): 86/100

acid3 safari31

Firefox 3 (Nightly 03/04/2008): 67/100

acid3 firefox3

Opera 9.5 (Beta 9815): 65/100

acid3 opera95

Firefox 50/100

acid3 firefox2

Opera 9.26: 46/100

acid3 opera 926

Safari 3.04 (Beta 523.15): 39/100

acid3 safari304

Internet Explorer 7: 12/100

acid3 ie7



So it looks like the nightly builds of Safari really take the crown for this test. It was the closest browser to perfectly complete the test by quite a large margin, with Firefox 3 and Opera 9.5 coming in second and third place. It’s obvious from the results posted above that the current stable builds of all the browsers are definitely not close to passing the Acid3 test.

If you’re on a Mac or Linux machine I would love to hear what you’re results are in some of the other browsers that are available.