Web Browsers VS Web Standards

Web Browsers VS Web Standards

While Web Designers & Developers across the globe aim for websites that conform to Web Standards, there are web browser who aren’t exactly helpful in the cause. In fact, these web browser cause more harm than they do good. 🙁

Web Standards? What Is It?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), along with other groups and standards bodies, has established technologies for creating and interpreting web-based content. These technologies, which we call “web standards,” are carefully designed to deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users while ensuring the long-term viability of any document published on the Web. Please see the sidebar for details.

Source : WaSP: Fighting for Standards

Other references :
Smart Goat – The Importance of Web Standards
CSS Lounge – The Importance of Web Standards

Back in the early days of the WWW, there was no standard. Internet Explorer would render HTML codes one way while Netscape Navigator does it the other way. During those days, it’s common to see “This site is best viewed on version at resolution“. Some sites look horrid on one browser, others look horrid on the other. It was chaos.

The goal of Web Standards is simple, to ensure that all browsers get to view all website as it should be. Not only that, websites that are build using Web Standards would also benefit by being easy to maintain, loads faster and optimized for search engines.

Web Standards – Any Problem?

From my observation, while Web Designers & Developers in US, Europe and various developed and developing countries continue to uphold and push the importance of Web Standards, those from Malaysia couldn’t be bothered about it.

Sad to say, most of the website of Web Design companies in Malaysia couldn’t even pass HTML validation. 🙂

Web Browser VS Web Standards

As if the task of cleaning up the mess over the Internet and it’s conformance to Web Standards, we have browser like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that refuses to even render web pages based on Web Standards.

YES! Microsoft! One of the world’s largest and richest company yet totally incapable of (or totally refuse to) having their browsers conform to Web Standards. 🙁

What’s the problem? By being a browser that does not conform to Web Standard, it actually encourages careless web design and development, which is actually detrimental to making the Internet a better place.

The ACID2 Test

Acid2 is a test page for web browsers published by The Web Standards Project (WaSP). It has been written to help browser vendors make sure their products correctly support features that web designers would like to use. These features are part of existing standards but haven’t been interoperably supported by major browsers. Acid2 tries to change this by challenging browsers to render Acid2 correctly before shipping.

Let your browser take the test! | Acid2: The Guided Tour

goldfries.com examined 6 browsers that are available on Windows. Let’s see who passes the test. The contenders are

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
  • Mozilla Firefox version 2
  • Mozilla Firefox version 3
  • Opera version 9
  • Apple Safari version 3

Reference : Browser Statistics from W3 Schools.

The outcome should appear as in the image right below this paragraph.
Web Browsers VS Web Standards

Now, on with the test!

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
Fails miserably. Compare that to the reference image, that’s like “WOAHHH, now where did that come from?”

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
Apparently after probably half-a-decade and countless revisions of Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 just fails in an equally miserable manner. In fact, to a certain extent it actually looks worse.

Mozilla Firefox version 2

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
One of the most popular browsers today, it’s amazing how Mozilla Firefox manage to capture so much of Internet Explorer’s ground. Not too shabby, at least it renders about 80% – 90% of the page correctly.

Mozilla Firefox version 3

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
Ahh Firefox passes the test! While it’s just a Beta version, you can’t deny that Firefox IS making effort to make their browsers comply to Web Standards.

Opera version 9

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
Despite not having a huge user-base, Opera is a really good browser and what’s more – it is in compliance to Web Standards! Hooray!

Apple Safari version 3

Web Browsers VS Web Standards
Mac vs PC, Apple vs Windows, Safari is actually another great browser and it’s now available on Windows and what’s so nice about it? Web Standards compliance, of course! Plus you get pages nicely rendered too. 🙂

What About You?

Yes my dear reader, what about you? Are you an Internet Explorer user? If you are, then do you intend to continue your Internet experience with this sub-standard product that encourages careless web design and development?

It’s like a car, I’m sure none of you would choose a sub-standard car that fails to comply to standards set for safety and usage. I’m sure you’ll do the same about practically everything that you use in life, why not do the same when it comes to Web Browsers?

Do think about it. Even though you’re not a web developer or web designer, you are a user and you do have a role in promoting Web Standards.

I do hope that by now you understand the importance of Web Standards and how it could greatly improve your experience on the Internet. And if you have your own website(s), imagine what benefits you could gain from making them Web Standards compliant.

* By the way, if you think your website(s) need an overhaul or if you would like your website to conform to Web Standards – I can make it happen. My service is only a contact form away. 🙂 Yes, I do cater for clients overseas.

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  1. Author

    Not exactly but it does show how browsers interpret differently.

  2. what about netscape?

  3. Author

    I’ve not tested Netscape 8. I do have SeaMonkey though (it uses the old Netscape interface) but I haven’t tested it either.

    I’ll try to include them later. 😀 currently on vacation of some sort. Hehe.

  4. Zikri:
    I wouldn’t term that a web standard for design but more like a design guidelines for websites. 🙂

    Nice article, goldie. Though I merely scanned through most it. *grin*

  5. Well, i do not have experience when it comes to designing w3c standard web pages, but i do build “web application”, which means, tonnes of javascript (and yes, i need plenty of it) that only IE supports. For web application developers like me, IE ROCKS!

    but for personal browsing, i’ve always prefered Mozilla or safari.

  6. I had got problem with my website’s layout to suit both IE and FF.. rite now it only looks correct on FF but not on IE.. kinda makes me wonder why ppl still so keen on IE when it cant even display things properly.. lol

  7. Don’t forget that Konqueror passes Acid2 perfectly as well (and they were one of the first).

  8. Author

    @Prime3 – the thing is many people don’t know about IE being weak in website rendering. Others don’t care, because they’re using some MS proprietary stuff that works only on IE.

    @Jake – they do? I haven’t run Linux for a while. I did the other day but it wasn’t connected to the Internet. Hehe. Well I’m not surprised. I’m looking forward to a day where all web browsers adhere to standards.

  9. hey, I like the safari very much and i’m using it since the safari is available for windows. so far i don’t have any problem using safari except i can’t buy ticket from GSC website… haha. anyway, it’s not just about the web standards etc. its appearance is also nice than others.

  10. i always have problem building website with FF and IE… is either way screw up.. When FF show the correct way thn IE screw me up… and company client all using IE… so to avoid client complain i follow IE way…. force to… still learning to master the web standard way.

    I still love FF for web surfing… but my system engineer here still prefer us develop follow IE way becoz of the FF lack of security, I’m not too sure about this~~ mind to share some of it?

  11. I don’t enjoy your web design but your posts are quite great so I should check back again! You can walk approximately openly and indulge in the luxuries without stressing concerning acquiring the tab when you exit the ship.

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