For about a month now browser developers have been eyeing the new Acid3 test to see how they can push to meet the standards it tests for. Shortly after the test was released we took a look at how the browsers stacked up to each other, but none of them passed the test. Then just last week both Opera and Safari released test builds that demonstrate their compliance.
What about Firefox? Mozilla co-founder Mike Shaver wrote about his thoughts on Ian Hixie’s Acid3 test, and I think it’s safe to say that he’s not overly fond of it:
Ian’s Acid 3, unlike its predecessors, is not about establishing a baseline of useful web capabilities. It’s quite explicitly about making browser developers jump — Ian specifically sought out tests that were broken in WebKit, Opera, and Gecko, perhaps out of a twisted attempt at fairness. But the Acid tests shouldn’t be fair to browsers, they should be fair to the web; they should be based on how good the web will be as a platform if all browsers conform, not about how far any given browser has to stretch to get there.
Mike then went on to say how they won’t be getting support for the Acid3 test into the Firefox 3 browser, which is completely understandable. It’s very unlikely that Opera and Internet Explorer will be adding support Acid3 for their next major milestone releases either. And Safari just released a new version of their browser, and so their next milestone won’t exactly be soon. It’s obvious that the browser developers need time to test the necessary changes, and I don’t think anyone will criticize them for that.
Ian Hixie, one of the developers of the Acid 3 test, responded to Mike in the comments of his post. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:
I would love to have tested innerHTML and setTimeout and all kinds of stuff like that, but sadly there is no spec for those yet (other than the very much in-progress HTML5 drafts). We can’t write Acid tests for things that we don’t have a spec for. I’ve been working my ass off for the past few years to write a spec for these things. Hopefully by, say, Acid5, we’ll be able to write an Acid test for them.
With Acid2, the original “first cut” failed a lot in IE, Mozilla, and Safari, but actually did pretty well in Opera. We (Håkon and I) then went on a hunt for Opera bugs and made Opera fare much worse on the test. With Acid3, IE and Opera ended up doing really badly on the first cut, and Firefox and Safari did well, so we added some more things that failed in Firefox and Safari. (Then we added even more stuff that failed in Safari, because they kept fixing the damn bugs as I was adding them to the test.)
Of course you wouldn’t want a bunch of the browsers to pass the test immediately after it is released because it wouldn’t really be doing any good. What are your thoughts about this?
[via ZDNet] Thanks to “Change” for the tip!