Does Your Browser Work?
Some Web sites offer a label that says, “optimized for Internet Explorer” or “optimized for Netscape Navigator”. Generally, what this label really means is that the Web site is not standards-compliant and may not work properly in other browsers.
Unfortunately, what browsers can and can't handle also varies from version to version. For example, a Web page that displays properly in IE version 5.5 may not display properly in IE version 6. My choice of that example is not random; it comes from experience with one of my own Web sites.
The good news is that standards do exist, there are browser choices, and there's a way to check if your browser correctly displays valid Web pages. The browser test is quick and easy and will give you a lot more confidence that the Web page itself is wrong, not you.
A test based on standards is available at http:/ /www.webstandards.org/action/acid2. To run the test, all you have to do is go to the Web page and click on Take the Acid2 test. On the page you will see two links:
- Take the Acid2 Test
- The Reference Rendering
You should see the same thing when clicking on each link. The figure below shows what the result should look like.
The difference is that when you take the test, the Web page uses features of HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and PNG (portable network graphic) to show the Web page. Your browser then must create the page using this encoded information. When you click on the reference rendering link, it is simply a file containing the image.
The following figure shows how the Firefox browser on my SUSE Linux system displayed the test. On this same system, older versions of Konqueror and Opera also displayed the test incorrectly. On my Kubuntu system, Konqueror and Opera 9 displayed the test correctly.
Phil Hughes is Publisher for Tux Media, Ltd.