2008: Year of the Browser

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 0:38 | Filed in Standards, Technology

I’ve been contemplating what is going to happen in 2008, and assuming that my plans for world domination from a secret nuclear hollowed-out volcanic Pacific base continue to be thwarted (partly owing to the fact that I don’t as yet have a secret nuclear hollowed-out volcanic Pacific base), I thought instead I’d give a run-down on what I’d expect to see on t’interweb.

Well, I’d like to see WCAG 2.0 become the adopted accessibility standards in 2008, which I think is just about technically possible — although considering it has (at least) both Candidate Recommendation and Proposed Recommendation to make it through first — it’s more likely to be the very end of 2008 or even later…

No, it appears to me that 2008 will be the Year of the Browser. It’s not like IT equivalent of the Chinese New Year — using a different piece of technology, although maybe…

IT Year of the Digital Camera
IT Year of the MP3 Player
IT Year of the Gaming Console
IT Year of the Browser

…okay, so it is the IT equivalent of Chinese New Year.

Anyway, why the browser this year?

Microsoft are expected to release the first beta version of IE8 in the first half of 2008; the third beta of Firefox 3 is expected in February 2008, with the “full” version probably not too long afterwards; Safari 3 for Windows (for that Mac-style browsing experience) is currently in Beta, and Opera 9.5 is also in Beta.

So you can — ahem — bet there’d better be a better browser beta in 2008…

And it looks like we’re going to see some quite significant changes too. the most significant was the early indication that IE8 would pass the ACID2 test. This is basically a test to see how standards compliant a browser will render CSS by feeding it some invalid CSS to see if it handles it properly. So far, so good.

Unfortunately it appears that developers will need to opt-in to IE8′s new ‘proper standards’ mode (with the usual “sensible DOCTYPE” triggering IE8′s version of “I can’t believe it’s not standards mode” that is as close as IE7 gets). This of course means that if you have to put something in the page to tell it you want standards mode then IE8 of course will not pass the ACID2 test, because the ACID2 page doesn’t contain that trigger.

But as I’m not that much of an arsey pedant, as long as IE8′s standards mode renders CSS properly and can be triggered in such a way that doesn’t break the existing specifications (a conditional comment maybe; a meta tag maybe) and doesn’t otherwise interfere with any other rendering, then I’ll settle for that.

But meanwhile we’re going to be seeing Firefox 3: Gran Turismo and Opera 9.5: Tennent’s Super (or something like that) while we’re waiting.

So if you’re still someone who browses using whatever it was that was on the PC when you got it (and I’m counting AOL / Tesco and any other browsers bundled with internet connection with that), why not make 2008 the year you try a different browser? You owe it to yourself. By all means, switch back to Internet Explorer if you want, but at least make the choice.

So download Firefox. Or Opera. Or Safari. And make 2008 the year you take control of your browsing.

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3 Comments to 2008: Year of the Browser

  1. 1234test.com says:

    August 30th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

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    September 20th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

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  3. Aleeaury says:

    September 2nd, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Tom, I enjoyed our cooevrsatinn this morning! As you can tell, I am probably as passionate as you about Yorba Linda it’s been a great City to live and raise our family and now, enjoy as successful business people. The antics of our Council have been an embaressment to our Citizens and the wastefull spending have been criminal. Although I cannot support your running mate, I understand your reasoning for joining up with John. There is plenty of blame to go around for both him and Jan Horton and at this juncture; I’d like to see nothing more than all incumbents NOT reelected. Colleen and I will be making a small contribution to your campaign this coming week and wish you the best of luck. I figure any candidate that will say to me if you don’t like it, lump it might have the wherewithall to think on his own, make his own decisions and not follow the puppeteer’s direction! I’m also making an assumption that you can read and understand a financial statement and count beyond ten without taking off your shoes! A huge improvement over what we currently have for C0uncil People. Thanks for talking with me.Sincerely,Frank Stefano

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