Newsletter #421 Preview: The Browser Wars:
Take the Acid2 Test and Call Me in the Morning

December 23rd, 2007

The alleged holy grail of a properly-coded browser is full adherence to prevailing Web standards. The developers of these applications all tout their performance and rendering accuracy, but we all know it’s not necessarily true.

Internet Explorer, for example, has long been regarded as a major and chronic offender. In large part, this is attributed to Microsoft’s purported desire to dominate the tech industry via its proprietary technology, as much as it can. But in the real world, the end result can be utterly chaotic.

You have a popular site, for example, grabbing visitors from all computing platforms. But making it look good on all or most browsers can be one huge headache, simply because there are different roads to perfection, or alleged perfection.

That means that the source code has to have little entries to accommodate, say, the needs of Internet Explorer as opposed to Firefox or Safari.Worse, in making a site fully functional with Microsoft’s browser, there’s the risk of having it become inaccessible when other browsers are used. That, of course, wasn’t the issue if you wanted to ignore Macs and the site was built when Internet Explorer held over 90% of the market.

With the rise of Firefox and Safari, and Internet Explorer’s steady decline, the world has turned upside down, for the better.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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