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Internet Explorer The Internet

IE8 May Not Pass the Acid2 Test After All 434

dotne writes "CNET has published an article called Acid2, Acid3 and the power of default. The article predicts that IE8 will not pass the Acid2 test after all: '[Another] scenario could be that Microsoft requires Web pages to change the default settings by flagging that they really, really want to be rendered correctly. Web pages already have a way to say this (called doctype switching, which is supported by all browsers), but Microsoft has all but announced that IE8 will support yet another scheme. If the company decides to implement the new scheme, the Acid2 test — and all the other pages that use doctype switching — will not be rendered correctly.' Microsoft's IE8 render modes have been discussed here previously, and they've caused an uproar in the web development community. According to the scheme, authors must put Microsoft-specific <meta> tags into their pages in order for them to be rendered correctly. I doubt Acid2, nor Acid3 will have Microsoft extensions in them."
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IE8 May Not Pass the Acid2 Test After All

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  • so? (Score:2, Informative)

    by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:17PM (#22155846) Homepage
    This just in...

    Firefox doesn't either.

  • by PJ1216 ( 1063738 ) * on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:26PM (#22155996)

    That ACID(2,3) tests are designed to test browsers, browsers are not designed to test ACID. As such, ACID should be updated to include the new doctype option for IE.
    So, if I take a test and don't pass it, the test should update itself to include my wrong answers?
    ACID is designed to test a browser's adherence to a set standard. Its not designed to just 'test' a browser to see if it works. It's designed to see if it works the way a browser should. I say break the millions of web-pages and force them to get updated.
  • Re:so? (Score:5, Informative)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:28PM (#22156032)
    Firefox 3 should be ale to pass the acid 2 test. They have been working on it, and they don't introduce custom extensions to doctypes to render correctly, rather they are fixing their browser itself.

    MSFT dug itself into a hole. instead of getting out and filling the hole back in they are digging another hole to bring people down to their level.
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:33PM (#22156100) Homepage
    The reason this is happening is because IE6 already actually uses the doctype tags. Depending on the doctype, it renders in quirks mode or in standards compliance mode, just like Firefox. The problem is that the standards compliance mode isn't even close to standards compliant. So now we have quirks mode, IE6 standards compliance mode, and IE7 standards compliance mode. Microsoft dug this hole and now the only way to fix it without breaking pages is to add yet another mechanism.

    Microsoft kept redefining the meaning of "standard" so that they were right and everyone else was wrong. Now that they are actually starting to follow the standard, they are scrambling trying to make sure that it doesn't look like they were ever wrong.
  • by kebes ( 861706 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:33PM (#22156108) Journal

    IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.
    I don't buy it (or maybe I just don't get it--if so, please explain).

    IE (just like Firefox, etc.) has a "quirks" mode which renders things in a non-standards compliant way, but is designed to "more or less work" with all the pages out there that are not strictly coded. This new tag is supposed to apply to web-pages where the web author has already explicitly said he wants strict rendering, because he said so in the DOCTYPE. But instead of just fixing IE so that it renders that standards-compliant code better and better, they propose to freeze that rendering sub-engine, and force web-developers to add a new tag that basically says "yes I really meant I wanted you to render strictly!"

    It seems to me that the majority of pages that rely on rendering quirks will be okay, since they will be rendered in quirks mode. But pages that were intended to be standards-compliant should be treated as such.

    Microsoft's plan isn't sustainable or elegant: they basically want the entire web-community to add another tag each time MS releases a new version of IE. (If they want a custom tag for the IE7->IE8 transition, they probably will want a new one for the next transition...) The entire point of these standards was to get away from browser-specific tags and hacks. A web developer shouldn't have to think about what browsers are on the market today (or 3 years from now): he should just code to the standard.

    Put otherwise: Instead of asking everyone who has written a standards-compliant page to add-in a non-standard tag to make it work in IE... wouldn't it be easier to tell everyone "hey, if you've coded a page that is ~almost~ standards-compliant, but relies in some way on IE7-specific behavior, then add in this <NotQuiteStandard> tag, and IE8 will render it like IE7."
  • Re:so? (Score:3, Informative)

    by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:36PM (#22156152)
    Not to mention FF 3 is able to at least *mostly* render Acid3, and once its out of beta i wouldn't be surprised if it was fully compliant. Also, Acid 3 is still in testing. I just don't get why microsoft insists on eschewing standards. They exist for a reason, so people only have to do something once. Ugh, idiocy, thy name is microsoft.
  • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:49PM (#22156360) Homepage Journal
    It's a simple, elegant and practical solution to this very real problem.

    It's a problem, though, that only Microsoft has. Everyone else is just expected to conform to the standards.

    Read here [] for the WebKit team's response to this and why they're not going to define or obey any such tags themselves.
  • by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:22PM (#22156898) Homepage
    As I recall, the reason many pages broke between the IE6 / IE7 transition was because people were hacking up their CSS and the parsing bugs underlying their hacks failed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:31PM (#22157054)
    You are totally missing the point. The reason for the tag is they don't want pages that worked in IE6 (the vast majority of the web) to not work in IE8, because then nobody would use IE8. Firefox doesn't need to interpret the tag, because those pages never worked in Firefox to begin with if they need it.

    The person using the browser won't give a shit that IE8 renders according to the standard, they are just pissed that they can no longer order their pizza online or whatever the fuck they're doing. To that person it won't be the websites fault, it will be IE8's fault.

    In an effort to get to a standards compliant browser for IE9 they are doing this META tag stuff so that pages that used to work in IE6 will still work, and pages that want to be standard compliant can be with the exception of the non-standard header on their page. The reason for this header in addition to the doctype is easy to see: the doctype is for the standard, this meta tag is because of the fact that IE6 was not really using the standard. With IE9 they will probably get rid of the META tag to render properly (HTML5 will probably be the standard anyway and the new pages will have a different doctype) and this whole thing goes away. I don't see the big deal about it, and it doesn't effect any other browsers. It is a one time step to ease the transition from nonstandard to standard.
  • by ( 986516 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:39PM (#22157194)

    Yeah, I'd be fine with that, but that is unfortunately not how it works. IE8 will default to IE7 mode, and will only be standards compliant if you add the tag telling it you want it to be. That's what the uproar is about. This solution basically makes sure IE7 will be around (and targeted by developers not knowing any better) forever.

  • by ( 986516 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:26PM (#22157980)

    Read it and weep [], I know I did. (Last 3 paragraphs are the relevant ones.)

  • Re:Serious question: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:38PM (#22158186) Homepage
    Other than for security reasons, a lot of the reason that people recommend using a browser to others that isn't MSIE is page rendering. If they can remedy that, people have less of an incentive to use or recommend alternate browsers - the practical upshot of which to MS is presumably more people using MSN search which translates to ad revenue.

    Plus it shows a lot of goodwill. Even as a MS-hating Mac user, I have to admit that they're doing a lot more recently to actually make their customers happy, or at least try. If you create stuff that people want, they'll use it on their own. The old model was lock-in by force, creating all sorts of ill-will and getting a lot of people looking for ways out of the platform. If you just give people what they want, there's no need for the shackles. Sort of making software for their customers rather than their business model, if you will.

    For ME, I've locked myself into Firefox because it offers all the features I want (namely, extensions). Previously, I was locked into IE because I had no other choice. The old approach not only meant that I jumped ship as soon as an opportunity arose, but it meant that I love their competition. You know how marketing experts say that you absolutely do not want to have price be your only selling point? It's even worse when your only selling point is a lack of options. When Firefox became a viable option for me, I made the switch. Same for the Mac platform. There's a lot for Microsoft to lose by having their only competitive advantage being their having enough leverage to force their products down your throat. Making IE not suck is certainly in their best interest.
  • Re:This just in.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @04:50PM (#22158368)

    Microsoft ignores standards, goes off in their own direction.

    Actually... It's the web standards community [] that gave []Microsoft the [] green light [] to go off in their own direction (and hoping other browsers will do the same).

    IE8's new scheme and those supporting it are being met with an equal [] level [] of criticism [].

    Yeah, if you're a web designer, it's best you read the stuff that's flying around out there. It's an pretty big and important change being proposed for web development standards.


  • by MidnightBrewer ( 97195 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @08:50PM (#22161658)
    Unfortunately, in the real world, the actual result is that you have to code pages for a specific, lowest common denominator, which means that you have to play nice with IE. Developers' goals are dictated by what they can expect from their audience, not their own personal whims. For every additional plug-in you require your users to download, you are losing potential audience that simply gives up. Making people who aren't looking for something better than IE download an entirely new browser is going to really hurt traffic, and traffic means money.

    Having said that, as a developer, I really hate Microsoft's continuing efforts to make my web design efforts a nightmare. I get a page looking slick and clean in Firefox using good coding standards, only to have IE puke it back at me looking like a total mess.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington