Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Next Explorer to fail Acid test

Filed under
Microsoft

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.

By Paul Festa
cnet.com

More in Tux Machines

Five reasons to switch from Windows to Linux

Linux has been in the ascendancy ever since the open source operating system was released, and has been improved and refined over time so that a typical distribution is now a polished and complete package comprising virtually everything the user needs, whether for a server or personal system. Much of the web runs on Linux, and a great many smartphones, and numerous other systems, from the Raspberry Pi to the most powerful supercomputers. So is it time to switch from Windows to Linux? Here are five reasons why. Read more

today's leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

  • Chrome vulnerability lets attackers steal movies from streaming services
    A significant security vulnerability in Google technology that is supposed to protect videos streamed via Google Chrome has been discovered by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) in collaboration with a security researcher from Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin, Germany.
  • Large botnet of CCTV devices knock the snot out of jewelry website
    Researchers have encountered a denial-of-service botnet that's made up of more than 25,000 Internet-connected closed circuit TV devices. The researchers with Security firm Sucuri came across the malicious network while defending a small brick-and-mortar jewelry shop against a distributed denial-of-service attack. The unnamed site was choking on an assault that delivered almost 35,000 HTTP requests per second, making it unreachable to legitimate users. When Sucuri used a network addressing and routing system known as Anycast to neutralize the attack, the assailants increased the number of HTTP requests to 50,000 per second.
  • Study finds Password Misuse in Hospitals a Steaming Hot Mess
    Hospitals are pretty hygienic places – except when it comes to passwords, it seems. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and USC, which found that efforts to circumvent password protections are “endemic” in healthcare environments and mostly go unnoticed by hospital IT staff. The report describes what can only be described as wholesale abandonment of security best practices at hospitals and other clinical environments – with the bad behavior being driven by necessity rather than malice.
  • Why are hackers increasingly targeting the healthcare industry?
    Cyber-attacks in the healthcare environment are on the rise, with recent research suggesting that critical healthcare systems could be vulnerable to attack. In general, the healthcare industry is proving lucrative for cybercriminals because medical data can be used in multiple ways, for example fraud or identify theft. This personal data often contains information regarding a patient’s medical history, which could be used in targeted spear-phishing attacks.
  • Making the internet more secure
  • Beyond Monocultures
  • Dodging Raindrops Escaping the Public Cloud