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.

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

by Kovu <>

Tuesday March 30th, 1999 3:45 AM

You are replying to this message

Writing for a browser with a 78% buggy implementation will take more rewrites later than writing for one with a 10% perfect. And I don't remember anyone implying Netscape was better, rather we're implying that IE and Opera are not solutions to the 4.x browser nightmare, but rather just adding to the problem for anyone who writes for them.

If you think we're implying Moz5.0 WILL be that answer, then you're right. But no one ever defended Netscape 4.x as being better than IE or Opera, they just stated that "really very impressive" was maybe not the right description for Opera, especially when it's the one browser of the three you are expected to actually pay for.

As for Moz 5, they should have a beta this summer, hopefully, and be ready for commercial release by, cross your fingers, this fall.

By the way I just got a hold of (free) Mosaic For Dummies. WOW, what a flashback! Here's an excerpt from the chapter "Ten Assorted Mosaic Clones"

MOSAIC NETSCAPE: This version of Mosaic comes from the company that recruited Marc Adreessen, the developer of the original Mosaic program. This is one product to watch because it promises features optimized for 14.4 Kbps modems, native JPEG support, enhanced memory caching, and more.

"One to watch," at least, is still true both then and now.