Tag Archives: Webkit

ACID3, Safari 3, Opera 10, Take 2

And so the real race begins. Yesterday, Opera software announced via blog post that their post Opera 9.5 builds are passing the ACID3 test. Cool!

But alas, the Webkit team – who really have a great track record of being successful with bleeding edge, one upped them by not only passing the test, but releasing the code. So behold, this is Webkit nightly for Windows, build 31368 from 2008-03-26.

ACID3 on Webkit

We know that Safari 3.1 doesn’t and Opera 9.5 won’t pass ACID3. We know IE8 is a long way off. We know Firefox 3 is still pretty far from it too. But now we have browsers that can do it. The the big question is, who will have the first stable general release that does it? Safari 3.2? Opera 10?

It’s an exciting time in web development, and I hate to admit that I think it’s largely due to IE8. If the IE team steps it up, some of themes technologies have the potential to reinvigorate the web. No serious e-commerce site would alienate all IE users – even today, they make up 80% or so of internet users. But as things progress here, we’re likely to start seeing some incredible things in the next few years.

Update: A bug in ACID3 was apparently noticed as a result of the Webkit team’s work. This awesome detailed blog post from the Webkit site chronicles the final steps of the adventure. Note that the “animation smoothness” criteria is subjectively, and that the team is apparently giving themselves a fail, but nothing that they think they are “faster than all other browsers“. Congrats again, Webkit team. Well done!

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Acid 3 on Webkit Nightly

The Acid 2 test has, for a few years now, been the de facto test for your browser’s CSS capabilities. The Acid test, fewer people know, is not really about conforming to standards – passing it does not make your browser standards compliant or complete, so it’s best to understand that all it really means is that it properly handles the elements tested as well as certain errors properly. Sometime in 2005, Safari passed Acid 2, becoming the first mainline browser so earn that honor. A few years later, the current or development versions of all major browsers – including Firefox 3, IE8, Opera 9.5 – all pass the Acid 2 test.

Enter Acid 3. Acid 3 measure even more goodness, including these six “buckets”:

  • Bucket 1: DOM Traversal, DOM Range, HTTP
  • Bucket 2: DOM2 Core and DOM2 Events
  • Bucket 3: DOM2 Views, DOM2 Style, CSS 3 selectors and Media Queries
  • Bucket 4: Behavior of HTML tables and forms when manipulated by script and DOM2 HTML
  • Bucket 5: Tests from the Acid3 Competition (SVG,[5] HTML, SMIL, Unicode…)
  • Bucket 6: ECMAScript

Using recent browsers, everything fails pretty spectacularly. My Opera 9.26 install gets a 42/100. Safari (including iPhone) does 39/100. IE7 does 12/100, Firefox 2 does the most respectable with 52/100. Even IE8 only does 17/100 while Firefox 3 tops out at 59/100 and Opera 9.5 at 60/100. The current generation, even the next generation of major browsers are still far from coming close to rendering Acid 3 with any accuracy.

I have been playing, now and again, with Webkit nightlies, since Webkit is actually a really neat engine, and guess what it kicks out? This:


Webkit nightly on Windows Vista

Pretty impressive. Safari is pretty limited when it comes to extending its function – it doesn’t even support a “new tab” button. But the webkit and javascript core engines are respectable both in rendering skill and speed.

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