March 2008 - Broken Links Archive

Acid 3: It’s not about winning, it’s about taking part

It’s an excit­ing time to be a web devel­op­er, as all four major browsers have released / are releas­ing new ver­sions with extend­ed CSS & HTML sup­port. How­ev­er, as Opera and Webkit race to be the first to score 100% on the Acid3 test, a lot of peo­ple are get­ting caught up in the excite­ment and turn­ing this into some kind of piss­ing con­test.

Hon­est­ly, it does­n’t mat­ter who pass­es the test first. Does it mat­ter who passed the Acid2 test first? Do you remem­ber? Do you care? What mat­ters is that this year we’re going to have much bet­ter stan­dards sup­port and less pro­pri­etary bugs, and that’s the best and most impor­tant thing.

As with oper­at­ing sys­tems and video games con­soles, every­one feels the need to take a side and defend it vig­or­ous­ly. But it’s not impor­tant. If you like Safari, then all pow­er to you; I pre­fer Fire­fox. What we can agree on is that we want our web­sites to work equal­ly well on both of them. I con­grat­u­late Opera and Webkit equal­ly for work­ing towards mak­ing bet­ter browsers, and could­n’t care less who pass­es the arbi­trary test first.

That said, it should be judged by whichev­er one makes a pro­duc­tion release, of course, not a night­ly or an Alpha. You don’t win a race by hav­ing the fastest train­ers, you win it by cross­ing the fin­ish­ing line!

On a relat­ed note, today’s Wired has a good sum­ma­ry of HTML5 sup­port in cur­rent and forth­com­ing browsers.

Who can hook me up with twine?

Does any­body have a spare invi­ta­tion to twine they’d be will­ing to send my way? I’m very curi­ous to see what it’s all about.

Safari 3.1 introduces web fonts for all

Apple have released Safari 3.1 for Win­dows and OS X (and Lin­ux using Wine) today, and the fea­ture that real­ly stood out for me was the intro­duc­tion of web fonts. Web­site mak­ers have been bound to the same core fonts for years now, so sud­den­ly hav­ing a huge palette to choose from is going to make an enor­mous difference!

Using them is pret­ty easy. First you have to declare the fonts using the @font-face rule — and, impor­tant­ly, you have to declare each vari­ant (weight, style, etc) indi­vid­u­al­ly by link­ing to the font file involved. You can’t just link to the direc­to­ry and let the brows­er work out the vari­ants. To see what I mean, take a look at this exam­ple (using Safari 3.1, of course!) and view the source to see the CSS involved.

Read the full article

More findings from IE8: XHTML and @import

Had the chance to run a few more tests to find out what’s new (and what’s not) in IE8. Good: @import media types seem to be imple­ment­ed; Bad: XHTML still isn’t parsed, so every­one who thinks they are cod­ing XHTML are still kid­ding themselves.

First impressions of IE8

As just about every­one in the devel­op­ment com­mu­ni­ty must know by now, Microsoft released a first Beta of IE8 today. I’ve been test­ing it for the last hour or so, and here are some notes I’ve made — the first of which is that this is real­ly more of an Alpha than a Beta; there are a lot of bugs and errant behaviours.

One of the first things I noticed was that the brows­er comes with a lim­it­ed set of devel­op­ment tools built in. They’re not well inte­grat­ed, they’re not very exten­sive, and they’re not easy to use; but they’re there.

Read the full article

IE8 opt-in becomes IE8 opt-out

I am very pleas­ant­ly sur­prised. Microsoft have announced today that they have reversed their deci­sion on the new stan­dards mode trig­ger in IE8; instead of hav­ing to opt in to stan­dards mode by using the META tag, you will have to opt out by using it instead.

In light of the Inter­op­er­abil­i­ty Prin­ci­ples, as well as feed­back from the com­mu­ni­ty, we’re choos­ing dif­fer­ent­ly. Now, IE8 will show pages request­ing “Stan­dards” mode in IE8’s Stan­dards mode. Devel­op­ers who want their pages shown using IE8’s “IE7 Stan­dards mode” will need to request that explicitly. 

This is a very wise deci­sion, IMHO (and I’m not the only one to think so). Stan­dards-aware devel­op­ers can code their sites to meet the lat­est stan­dards in all the major browsers, and any­one who finds their site dis­play­ing strange­ly in the new Explor­er can fix it with a small line of code.

Microsoft­’s Inter­op­er­abil­i­ty Prin­ci­ples promise more open pro­to­cols and adher­ence to stan­dards. I think this is a very wel­come move, even if a small part of me is won­der­ing what the catch might be…


I’ve updat­ed my Speak­ing page to include more con­fer­ences, more videos, and a lit­tle on my speak­ing require­ments and pref­er­ences. I’m plan­ning to cut down on the num­ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter­est­ing offers and oppor­tu­ni­ties, so please get in touch if you’re organ­is­ing an event.

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