August 1, 2005 12:28 PM PDT

Next Explorer to fail Acid test

Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 7 browser won't pass a stringent standards test that rivals have embraced.

In its browser blog, Microsoft acknowledged that IE 7 would not pass the Web Standards Project's Acid2 test, which examines a browser's support for W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommendations including CSS1 (Cascading Style Sheets), HTML4 and PNG (Portable Network Graphics).

"We will not pass this test when IE7 ships," Chris Wilson, lead program manager for the Web platform in IE, wrote in the IE blog. "We fully recognize that IE is behind the game today in CSS support. We've dug through the Acid2 test and analyzed IE's problems with the test in some great detail, and we've made sure the bugs and features are on our list--however, there are some fairly large and difficult features to implement, and they will not all sort to the top of the stack in IE7."

Standards advocates and Web developers have criticized Microsoft for letting Internet Explorer go without a significant upgrade for years. This spring it became clear that Microsoft would finally address long-standing standards-compliance issues in its planned version 7 upgrade.

Microsoft last week came out with a test, or "beta" version, of its Windows Vista operating system and IE 7.

Wilson said the broad range of Acid2's demands made it more of a "wish list" than a "compliance test."

"As a wish list, it is really important and useful to my team, but it isn't even intended, in my understanding, as our priority list for IE7," Wilson wrote.

The Web Standards Project responded positively to the announcement, hailing Microsoft's standards to-do list and its openness in acknowledging the test.

"While it doesn't hit everything we might like, and we won't see most of it until Beta 2, it's a pretty impressive list for a release that by all accounts is primarily about security and UI features," Web Standards Project member Chris Kaminski wrote. "Even more impressive than the contents of the list, though, is that it's even available outside the Redmond campus. Having been through this 'work with Microsoft' thing once before in the late '90s, I can assure you this sort of openness is a radical departure from the Microsoft of old and as good a reason as any for optimism that this is just the beginning, and we can expect even more and better in IE 7.5 and beyond."

The Web Standards Project launched seven years ago to goad Microsoft and Netscape into heeding W3C recommendations. These days, the group takes a less confrontational approach than it used to, working closely with software companies like Macromedia and Microsoft before products are released.

Microsoft's competitors sounded a less forgiving note in responding to the news.

"I think they should take the time required to do this right," said Hakon Lie, chief technology officer of Opera Software in Oslo, Norway, who threw down the Acid2 gauntlet to Microsoft in a News.com column this spring. "We're not going to see another IE for another several years, and this is their chance to show that they really care about standards, as they've been saying. They've used so many years to create IE 7, they can take the extra month required to make it pass."

Lie said Opera was "very close" to passing Acid2. Apple Computer has already said that its Safari browser passes the test in preliminary builds. The Mozilla Foundation said it was committed to "full support" of Acid2 in its Firefox browser but did not say when it expected to pass the test.

212 comments

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Once more.....
... the 1800 pound gorilla assumes that rules are for other
people. Web standards are just a 'wish list' for MS? And
compliance with those standards is not a priority item with MS?

Says a lot, doesn't it? "Damn the specifications, full speed ahead"
continues to be MS's battle cry.

Maybe if this latest bit of MS fog is treated as a positive event,
actual code improvement might eventiually show up.

Meanwhile, I will put IE 7 on my wish list with some miniscule
priority, like maybe zero? After all, I already have FireFox, Opera,
Camino, and Safari. So there just isn't much room left for IE 7,
even if Windows Uodate requires it.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Once more.....
... the 1800 pound gorilla assumes that rules are for other
people. Web standards are just a 'wish list' for MS? And
compliance with those standards is not a priority item with MS?

Says a lot, doesn't it? "Damn the specifications, full speed ahead"
continues to be MS's battle cry.

Maybe if this latest bit of MS fog is treated as a positive event,
actual code improvement might eventiually show up.

Meanwhile, I will put IE 7 on my wish list with some miniscule
priority, like maybe zero? After all, I already have FireFox, Opera,
Camino, and Safari. So there just isn't much room left for IE 7,
even if Windows Uodate requires it.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What incentive do they have?
What's the penetration for IE in the browser market? 90%? So what's the incentive to do anything at all? This behavior will not stop until a large percentage of the market weans itself off of Microsoft products.

Do it or don't complain.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What incentive do they have?
What's the penetration for IE in the browser market? 90%? So what's the incentive to do anything at all? This behavior will not stop until a large percentage of the market weans itself off of Microsoft products.

Do it or don't complain.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nobody is Compliant
Before the anti-MS crowd sounds off again, lets be perfectly clear about this statement:

<<Lie said Opera was "very close" to passing Acid2. Apple Computer has already said that its Safari browser passes the test in preliminary builds. The Mozilla Foundation said it was committed to "full support" of Acid2 in its Firefox browser but did not say when it expected to pass the test.>>

In other words, neither the new Safari, Mozilla, or FireFox have passed this test either. It remains to be see which browsers are fully compliant once they are released in their final versions. Furthermore, it was not stated *which* tests IE7 will not pass. Simply stated, *none* of these new browsers are compliant as of today.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nobody is Compliant
Before the anti-MS crowd sounds off again, lets be perfectly clear about this statement:

<<Lie said Opera was "very close" to passing Acid2. Apple Computer has already said that its Safari browser passes the test in preliminary builds. The Mozilla Foundation said it was committed to "full support" of Acid2 in its Firefox browser but did not say when it expected to pass the test.>>

In other words, neither the new Safari, Mozilla, or FireFox have passed this test either. It remains to be see which browsers are fully compliant once they are released in their final versions. Furthermore, it was not stated *which* tests IE7 will not pass. Simply stated, *none* of these new browsers are compliant as of today.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's CNET got against MS?
Are you kidding me? More drivel from the anti MS CNET news staff. Are you guys seriously trying to argue that because Apple and Opera are following the standards that people would actually use their browsers? No one really cares...It seems like once a week we get one of these articles out of you folks. "MS sucks and everyone else makes way better stuff" ... How about a little realism and less of this Microsoft is the long arm of satan stuff...
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's CNET got against MS?
Are you kidding me? More drivel from the anti MS CNET news staff. Are you guys seriously trying to argue that because Apple and Opera are following the standards that people would actually use their browsers? No one really cares...It seems like once a week we get one of these articles out of you folks. "MS sucks and everyone else makes way better stuff" ... How about a little realism and less of this Microsoft is the long arm of satan stuff...
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 7? More like IE 6.1
Ya know what Microsoft? Screw it. I'll not even bother with IE 7 or Vista...
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 7? More like IE 6.1
Ya know what Microsoft? Screw it. I'll not even bother with IE 7 or Vista...
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
acid2 is NOT standards
Did anyone who posted even read the story? The test they won't pass goes beyond standards and into an area where the authors think it would be a good idea. Are the authors now better qualified to decide what standards are than the W3C?

Can anyone ever make an intelligent comment about Microsoft without falling into the cliche hater category?
Posted by Jeff Putz (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
acid2 is NOT standards
Did anyone who posted even read the story? The test they won't pass goes beyond standards and into an area where the authors think it would be a good idea. Are the authors now better qualified to decide what standards are than the W3C?

Can anyone ever make an intelligent comment about Microsoft without falling into the cliche hater category?
Posted by Jeff Putz (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'll have a copy of IE 7...
Firefox, Opera, and what ever other browser I can get my hands on.

I don't paticularly feel the need to bash Microsoft over IE 7 since they stated their point better than I could. However I agree with another poster about companies not following standards better. It really does hurt everybody. It cost more money to develope websites that work in the different browsers. It lowers the potential for better websites.

Just because the W3C creates "recomendations" doesn't mean anybody has to use or follow them. We could all just standardize on IE and every browser could use them, but look how long it takes Microsoft to update IE with anything new and worthwhile. They can't even keep the format the same form program to program. This is why following a motivated group like the W3C is a much better idea.

Regardless I figure that IE will probably never fully support W3C standards or anybody elses for that matter, but I do think we will always see browsers that do. They may never knock Microsoft and IE off the top, but life will go on.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'll have a copy of IE 7...
Firefox, Opera, and what ever other browser I can get my hands on.

I don't paticularly feel the need to bash Microsoft over IE 7 since they stated their point better than I could. However I agree with another poster about companies not following standards better. It really does hurt everybody. It cost more money to develope websites that work in the different browsers. It lowers the potential for better websites.

Just because the W3C creates "recomendations" doesn't mean anybody has to use or follow them. We could all just standardize on IE and every browser could use them, but look how long it takes Microsoft to update IE with anything new and worthwhile. They can't even keep the format the same form program to program. This is why following a motivated group like the W3C is a much better idea.

Regardless I figure that IE will probably never fully support W3C standards or anybody elses for that matter, but I do think we will always see browsers that do. They may never knock Microsoft and IE off the top, but life will go on.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who cares!?
Wow! All this technobabble and debate. Is everyone forgetting about dear old Vera of 86 years of age, or Mark do don't know a thing about it all and A. N. Other who likes the simple things of life?

Yes, a balance needs to be struck, but remember that many people just want it simple and want it to work.

For instnace, here is me. I'm a systems administrator and in many cases I hate it when I got zillions of scripts, Java applets and ActiveX stuff popping about all over the place.

I only visit CNET news because I can view and perticipate without letting even one script or applet run! Visiting a site only to have to download this and that and the next-door-neighbours-wife (hmmmm... Maybe not the latter) just puts me off a web site all together.

Put it another way. I don't like <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.odeon.co.uk/Odeon/home.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.odeon.co.uk/Odeon/home.html</a> but I do like <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.odeon.co.uk/pls/Odeon/Odeon_text.region_list" target="_newWindow">http://www.odeon.co.uk/pls/Odeon/Odeon_text.region_list</a>

I am no way disabled, but navigating through the latter (text version) is a far more pleasent and less stressful experience.

That's my own personal opinion. If you don't like it tough! At the end of the day you can make the most flashy web site about, but if the audience don't like it then you've wasted all that time and effort.

Get the jist?
Posted by Myron.S (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who cares!?
Wow! All this technobabble and debate. Is everyone forgetting about dear old Vera of 86 years of age, or Mark do don't know a thing about it all and A. N. Other who likes the simple things of life?

Yes, a balance needs to be struck, but remember that many people just want it simple and want it to work.

For instnace, here is me. I'm a systems administrator and in many cases I hate it when I got zillions of scripts, Java applets and ActiveX stuff popping about all over the place.

I only visit CNET news because I can view and perticipate without letting even one script or applet run! Visiting a site only to have to download this and that and the next-door-neighbours-wife (hmmmm... Maybe not the latter) just puts me off a web site all together.

Put it another way. I don't like <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.odeon.co.uk/Odeon/home.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.odeon.co.uk/Odeon/home.html</a> but I do like <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.odeon.co.uk/pls/Odeon/Odeon_text.region_list" target="_newWindow">http://www.odeon.co.uk/pls/Odeon/Odeon_text.region_list</a>

I am no way disabled, but navigating through the latter (text version) is a far more pleasent and less stressful experience.

That's my own personal opinion. If you don't like it tough! At the end of the day you can make the most flashy web site about, but if the audience don't like it then you've wasted all that time and effort.

Get the jist?
Posted by Myron.S (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Missing the obvious
The story clearly points out that this (long overdue) upgrade to IE is primarily aimed at fixing security problems and that other changes to IE aren't as important for this go around. If IE didn't have a boatload of security problems then I could see meeting standards (even arbitrarily set ones like Acid2) as the next most important thing.

Lets hope that MS doesn't hold off on the IE 7.1 release for years too and that after they've fixed as much of the security problems they can in this release that the next release is dedicated to fixing IE's deplorable "standards" compliance and not the latest new fad at the Redmond campus which have been the driving force behind earlier IE releases.
Posted by 202578300049013666264380294439 (137 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Missing the obvious
The story clearly points out that this (long overdue) upgrade to IE is primarily aimed at fixing security problems and that other changes to IE aren't as important for this go around. If IE didn't have a boatload of security problems then I could see meeting standards (even arbitrarily set ones like Acid2) as the next most important thing.

Lets hope that MS doesn't hold off on the IE 7.1 release for years too and that after they've fixed as much of the security problems they can in this release that the next release is dedicated to fixing IE's deplorable "standards" compliance and not the latest new fad at the Redmond campus which have been the driving force behind earlier IE releases.
Posted by 202578300049013666264380294439 (137 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No way!
MS is building proprietary stuff that will give them leverage in the software and related business? OMG.
Posted by CharlesJo.com (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No way!
MS is building proprietary stuff that will give them leverage in the software and related business? OMG.
Posted by CharlesJo.com (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft - in the middle of the box
This is just one more indication that Microsoft is only the leader in
what they sell and not a true technology leader. Their way of doing
business is truly "works as coded" and anyone who purchases their
latest software, which is really just the latest beta version, is
subject to security holes and second rate software. This is
exempolified by IE, which is quickly becoming the dog of browsers.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft - in the middle of the box
This is just one more indication that Microsoft is only the leader in
what they sell and not a true technology leader. Their way of doing
business is truly "works as coded" and anyone who purchases their
latest software, which is really just the latest beta version, is
subject to security holes and second rate software. This is
exempolified by IE, which is quickly becoming the dog of browsers.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
W3C Browser Standards
MS should do what the standard says OR campaign strongly against the standard to show good reason why it doesn't follow the rules.
It's not just the issue that MS IE supports all the W3C HTML, XHTML, CCS etc. standards it's the faulty implementation of those standards when it attempts support.

For example (abstracted slightly)
The world standard is that "2 + 2 = 4". If with IE7, "2 + 2 = 5" then it doesn't comply with the standard even thou MS may say that it was too hard to fix it so that "2 + 2 = 4" and that "anyway, 2 + 2 = 5 means you can count faster so IE is better than the standard".
This is a better summary of the problems. Not that they have or not implemented a feature but that an implemented feature results in different behaviour than the standard.
If the little guys (OpenSource) with very little money (compared to the big MS) can do it then MS should be able to do it. If they don't people should change browsers. Tech savy people should extol the frtures of those who can and redicle those who can't. That's what the standard based tests allow us to do whithout fear of retribution.
Posted by tygrus (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
W3C Browser Standards
MS should do what the standard says OR campaign strongly against the standard to show good reason why it doesn't follow the rules.
It's not just the issue that MS IE supports all the W3C HTML, XHTML, CCS etc. standards it's the faulty implementation of those standards when it attempts support.

For example (abstracted slightly)
The world standard is that "2 + 2 = 4". If with IE7, "2 + 2 = 5" then it doesn't comply with the standard even thou MS may say that it was too hard to fix it so that "2 + 2 = 4" and that "anyway, 2 + 2 = 5 means you can count faster so IE is better than the standard".
This is a better summary of the problems. Not that they have or not implemented a feature but that an implemented feature results in different behaviour than the standard.
If the little guys (OpenSource) with very little money (compared to the big MS) can do it then MS should be able to do it. If they don't people should change browsers. Tech savy people should extol the frtures of those who can and redicle those who can't. That's what the standard based tests allow us to do whithout fear of retribution.
Posted by tygrus (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bottleneck Bought
Started with Coco16k to go on to CoCo32k that worked great to early 90's. Then I was given a second hand Austin Selective Win3x, that doesn't work programs, but handles affairs, as expected. Capacity requirements settled for a DellDim81 cutting edge, 2001, with WinMEOS that was a break through with IBM ThinkPads UK. It is, still, a blast with WME expectancy, to continue working the yard of heaping, heaping. The Longhorn has been considered for a new OS, as well as RedHat and some Linux. I am happy to be waiting, patiently, for the finishing touches fully applied for the WinVista &#38; IE7. Now, to prepare all the alerts, and such, for tomorrow. CoCo WinME Vista. Yeah, Compaq has always had a FullFillMent responsible, too. Si yeah.
Posted by rrsvt (4 comments )
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