Opera Now Most Compliant Browser, According to WebReview

Friday March 26th, 1999

CNet reports that WebReview's latest assessment of CSS1 compliance in release browsers puts Opera on top with 78%, followed by IE4 at 70.2% and Nav4 at 38.8%. Neither the M3 release of Mozilla or IE5 were assessed in the recent tally.

Contrary to the opinion of the study's author, Eric Meyer, who stated that Opera was "really very impressive, especially given its relative youth", a buggy 78% implementation hardly seems worth touting. As I've stated before on these pages, a browser that has is 78% compliant and buggy is as useful as a 10% compliant (but bug-free) browser. In fact, the 10% compliant browser is the better option, because no workaround code is required for implementation. However, the only browser that should garner any praise is the one that is 100% compliant, and bug-free in its implementation.

In addition, an interesting statement from the WSP that appeared in the CNet article is worth mentioning.

"The uneven deployment of CSS1 in major Web browsers over the last two years has caused Web authors great frustration and expense, and has won CSS an undeservedly obscure and difficult reputation"

From my experience watching the progress of Mozilla's CSS1 implementation, it seems that CSS's reputation for being difficult is deserved. Developers have had to search the CSS2 definition to clear up vagaries in the CSS1 definition. There is no reference CSS implementation *anywhere*, so developers are essentially guinea pigs and have to not only implement CSS1, but spend time and money working through all the inconsistencies that were not addressed by a reference implementation. It doesn't seem that the uneven deployment of CSS implementations has caused CSS1's reputation. If anything, CSS1's vagueness has had the direct result of limiting its adoption.

#30 Re:Opera Now Most Compliant Browser, According to

by Jacques <>

Wednesday March 31st, 1999 4:46 AM

You are replying to this message

I have been following the discussion... One point I wish to make is that if a browser is 70% compliant, it consequently is 30% not compliant. So what? This does not mean anything. Someone (Truman?) said "Lies, damn lies and statistics..."

A more meaningful survey would have been to check compliance for the most commonly used CSS1 properties. For straight forward documents all three these browsers support most of the properties. It is only when you get to less common properties where there are problems. Example, Netscape messes up negative margins, but how many documents need negative margins?

But then again, I do agree that it is shocking that after more than 2 years beyond the release of CSS1 (on 17 December 1996) there is still no compliance.