Category: Web Standards

Will 2008 be the year of the standards compliant browser?

Microsoft announced yesterday on the Internet Explorer blog that the next version of Internet Explorer (IE8) will correctly render the Acid2 test page. See the excellent Channel 9 video for more.

The Acid2 test is a test of a browser’s ability to properly render CSS and HTML. From the Acid2 Wikipedia page:

The Acid2 test should render correctly on any browser that follows the W3C HTML and CSS 2.0 specifications. Any browser which does not correctly and completely support all of the features which Acid2 uses will not render the page correctly.

Apple’s Safari passed the Acid2 test in October 2005!

Firefox 3 is expected to pass the Acid2 test as well when it is released (beta 2 already does). Internet Explorer 8 is due to ship in the first half of 2008, as is Firefox 3 so it looks as if 2008 will be the year of the standards compliant browser!

Ironically the official Acid2 web page is broken today (!) but it is mirrored on one of the developers sites so you can test your current browser there.

How to make your website more indexable by search engines

I see Michael Arrington has a post on TechCrunch today about Dipsie dCloak – this is a product which is supposed to help websites make their content more indexable by search engines.

That sounds laudable enough I hear you say – but wait a minute, I know two words which can help you do that without the aid of any product – the words? Web Standards. Build a site which is web standards compliant and search engines will have no problems indexing your site – also, you site will load faster, will be cross browser compatible and will work predictably on most mobile browsers!

Don’t know if your site is web standards compliant – check it out using the free validator on the W3C site.

New Safari (released version) now passes the Acid2 test

The latest release of Safari (v2.02) – released in Mac OS X 10.4.3 today, now passes the Acid2 test – wohoo!

Safari's rendering of the Acid 2 test

Acid2 is a test page, written by the Web Standards Project, to help browser vendors ensure proper support for web standards in their products.

Safari is now ahead of every major browser in its support for web standards – Firefox, Flock, Opera all fail to render the Acid2 image correctly and don’t even mention Microsoft Internet Explorer!

The next version of Internet Explorer (IE7) will be released soon and what do you think are the chances that it will pass the Acid2 test?

Standards compliant Search Engines

Molly has done a study of the major Search Engines to see how Standards Compliant they are – and to the amazement of me, at least, the only Search Engine which comes in as Standards Compliant is MSN Search!

MSN Search is fully XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant!

Who’da thunk it? Kudos to the MSN Search team – maybe their example will spur on others at Microsoft (like the Start.com team, for example!).

Start.com updated, I believe

Start.com’s blog announced several updates to the site yesterday – roaming profiles and changes to the sidebar – that’s all very well if you can see the site but being on a Mac I can’t tell you how they affect the Start.com experience as the Start.com site is not Mac friendly.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised at this – it is a Microsoft site, after all – the company that invented proprietary standards!

On the one hand we have Molly telling us Microsoft are embracing Web Standards and on the other hand we have this site.

Fortunately, Google has a similar site which works just fine on the Mac – check it out here.

Microsoft to embrace web standards?

No really – it is seemingly true. First Microsoft announce support for RSS and now the Web Standards Project announce that they have

formed a task force with Microsoft Corp. to provide support as the company increases Web standards support in its products including Microsoft Visual Studio and ASP.NET

The announcement goes on to say:

“Standards are of increasing importance as Web developers strive to make their sites work across all browsers and accessible by the broadest set of customers,� said Brian Goldfarb, product manager for Web Platform and Tools at Microsoft. “ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 have made great strides in Web standards support, and Microsoft is committed to providing our customers with the best tools possible to create standards-conformant Web applications.�

Molly E. Holzschlag of WaSP says on her own site:

WaSP and Microsoft developers will work together to better understand and execute on Web standards as defined by standards bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

WTF?

Up is down, black is white, I look out the window and I expect to see pigs flying by!

If this announcement is true (and I have no reason to doubt it is) then this is a great day for web standards.

UPDATE:
Forgot to say thanks to Robert Scoble on whose site I first saw this mentioned.

Internet Explorer 7 has tabs

The internet Explorer 7 blog is reporting that Internet Explorer 7 will have tabs when released.

What’s funny about the blog is that they say:

In general, I think tabs are a great idea. I liked them a lot in Office dialogs and in Excel in the early 90’s.

No mention of the tabs in Firefox, Safari or Opera (the other main browsers)! it is almost as if they are trying to say – “we had tabs in the early 90’s, we invented tabs”

‘Fess up, Microsoft is dead late with tabbed browsing and the current Internet Explorer 6 is a lame duck.

As one commenter on the blog said:

Stop gloating about how you’ve caught up with five years ago and begin addressing the bigger issues, i.e.: CSS and XHTML

Safari passes the Acid2 test

Acid2 is a page created by webstandards.org to test the web standards’ compliance of browsers as reported here on the 15th.

David Hyatt, a Safari developer, is reporting that Safari is now passing the Acid2 test.

Safari passes the Acid2 test

If this is so, then Safari is the first browser to pass this test – Kudos to David. The version of Safari David is working on hasn’t been released yet but hopefully it won’t be long.

This is also a milestone for web standards and raises the bar for all other browsers.

Who will be next, Firefox or IE? I know where I’d be betting my money!

A browser standards compliance test

I note, from a post in James’ site, that The Web Standards Project have released a test (called Acid2) to help browser vendors ensure proper support for web standards in their products.

This test supersedes the original Acid test.

According to the Web Standards Project website –
“Acid2 is a brand new test designed to push the limits of HTML, CSS, and PNG support in browsers and authoring tools. By testing against Acid2, flaws in support for common web standards are quickly and easily exposed”

Hopefully to be “quickly and easily” fixed by the developers!

There’s a detailed technical guide in case you are curious as to how the test was developed and what it is testing.

Will the real Caoimhe please stand up

I was browsing my blog stats this evening and I noticed that lots of people were coming to my site having searched for the term Caoimhe blog. Caoimhe is a very well known Irish blogger and she was recently interviewed on a daytime TV program called The Big Bite along with several other Irish bloggers of renown.

This program raised Caoimhe’s already high profile and so more people are searching for her blog. Currently when you search for Caoimhe blog in Google.ie, this site comes up as result no 1!

Why is this site coming up as result no. 1? Well there are several reasons, first off I have a link to Caoimhe’s blog in my list of blogs I read using the term “Caoimhe’s blog”.

Furthermore, the searchers are restricting the search to Ireland on Google.ie and my blog is hosted in Ireland. Caoimhe’s blog on the other hand, although Irish, is a Blogger blog hosted by blogspot.com in the US.

Finally, this blog is run out of WordPress, so the blog it produces is web standards compliant – this is not the case for Blogger blogs. Why is this important? Well, search engines love standards compliant sites and generally, standards compliant sites rank higher then non-compliant sites in searches (this is ironic considering Blogger is owned by Google).