Today, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) is putting the makers of Web browsers and Web design tools on notice by announcing Acid2, a test designed to expose flaws in the implementation of mature Web standards such as HTML, CSS, and PNG. By making sure their software adheres to the test, the creators of these products can be more confident that their software will display Web pages correctly.
Acid2 has already been found to expose flaws in all tested browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. WaSP hopes that Acid2 will prove useful to browser makers during the development of future versions of their products.
However, the test is aimed at more than just Web browsers. "We are actively encouraging makers of Web design tools to use Acid2," said Drew McLellan of WaSP's Dreamweaver Task Force. "Any tool that uses WYSIWYG needs to pass the test to offer an accurate representation of how the page will look in a compliant browser."
WaSP is also actively inviting feedback from the very developers Acid2 is aimed at. "Just as with the first Acid test, we want to establish and maintain a working relationship with current browser developers," adds Molly E. Holzschlag, WaSP Steering Committee Member. "The aim of our organization is to encourage the support for established Web standards, a big part of that is working directly with vendors and software developers to help out wherever and however we can."
The WaSP has a history of such initiatives. In 1997, emeritus member Todd Fahrner, together with a group of crack Web developers dubbed the "CSS Samurai," created an "Acid Test" that highlighted shortcomings in browser support for CSS. The Acid Test was instrumental in moving the industry much closer to the goal of consistent rendering of Web pages in different browsers. Acid2 builds on this legacy, raising the bar for 2005.
Acid2 can be found online at http://www.webstandards.org/acid2/
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