[thelist] Standards-compliance in browsers

liorean liorean at f2o.org
Mon Mar 22 17:11:10 CST 2004

Andy Budd wrote:
>> 2.    Is Mozilla more standards-complaint than the rest, or should I 
>> rely on Opera first?

Try Moz/Op/Saf. If anyone of them behaves unlike the others, you can't 
really count on it being wrong and the other two being right. I think 
Mozilla and Opera have a bit better standards compliancy than Safari 
though, but essentially you have to read the specs to find out who's right.

>>         A.    Which browser (which version too), in order of compliance,
>> rate first in standards.
>>                 Is my list accurate:
>>                 a.    Mozilla builds (1.5, 1.7b, etc)

1.7 will definitely be the best of them. There's a lot high-level CSS 
bugs that will now  work okay.

>>                 b.    Mozilla Firebird 0.7
>>                 c.    Mozilla Firefox 0.8

Turn the firesomethings around.

>>                 d.    Opera

7.5 is the definite second place, and gaining. For the future, don't 
count on Mozilla being better than Op8 when it comes to standards 

>>                 e.    Netscape

Pretty much matches the corresponding Mozilla versions, adding a few 
bugs but fixing none. The 4.x versions will of course come in below nn4 
in the standards compliancy race.

>>                 f.    IE

Pretty good considering it's age, but never use it as a model for how a 
browser should do things.

Let's put together a list of my own:
1. Mozilla in order:
     1.6/Firefox 0.8
     Firebird 0.7
     Netscape 7.1
2. Opera. In version order, 7.5 being top.
3. Safari. 1.2 makes a REALLY large difference from 1.0, and a somewhat 
large difference from 1.1.
5. Ie6w
6. Opera 6
7. Ie5.2.3m
8. Ie5.5w
9. Ie5.0w

However, standards support is assymetrical. Op, MSN/OSX, iem and saf are 
  better at styling than at scripting. Iem and MSN/OSX are weak in XML. 
Moz is weak in iew compatibility compared to iem, saf, op and MSN/OSX. 
Opera and MSN/OSX are stricter followers of the DOM than the others. Saf 
  and iem have deep, complex bugs in an otherwise pretty good coverage 
for CSS and DOM.

> I'm not sure what Opera is like on Win, but the version for Mac is a 
> little quirky to say the least. I personally use Safari and find it an 
> excellent choice of browser. I'm sure any recent version of Moz will do, 
> although I'd steer clear of very recent releases as they may still be 
> ironing out bugs. So I'd probably go for Firebird 0.7 or possibly 
> Firefox 0.8

I see no reason for going with 0.7, really. Firefox is built on the 1.6 
source, and 1.6 is a stable release. I see why you'd want to avoid the 
1.7a and 1.7b releases or nightlies, though.

David "liorean" Andersson

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