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Webkit: most compliant with next-gen web standards

updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon March 10, 2008

Webkit most compliant

The future of the Safari web browser has been a topic of great interest lately, and some MacNN forum members have discovered that Webkit - Safari's developmental alter ego - is so far the most compliant with next generation web standards. According to the forum members' findings, WebKit and Safari 3.1 receive the highest scores on the Acid3 compliancy tests at 90-percent and 74-percent respectively, while Camino 2.0a1, Firefox 3.0b5, and Seamonkey 2.0a1 come in third place at 69-percent.

The current build of Safari (39-percent), v3.0.4, comes in under the current builds of Firefox (51- to 59-percent) and Opera (60-percent), however, but are more than double than that of even the most recent beta of Internet Explorer on the PC.

Interestingly, Internet Explorer 5.50.4807.2300 (13- to 14-percent) is rated higher than both Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0.x (11- to 12-percent)

While not an official standards test, the Acid3 test puts web browsers through a series of variables which form an image of several colored bars and text. In addition to CSS and XHTML - both present in the Acid2 test - Acid3 also uses several DOM2 script events to benchmark browsers. The percentage rating signifies how much of the image the browser was able to draw using the provided scripts and equations.

Webkit's score on Acid3

The completed Acid3 visual

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What, IE not conforming to web standards? Win standards don't conform to the industry standard? It's a little cold at the south pole?

    Any other obvious facts of life you'd care to review? Good to hear that there's a movement for standards out there, and that the almost all the main browsers are working toward that goal.

  1. typ993

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What about developers?

    Webkit compliance doesn't mean squat if the developers are all busy writing and testing against IE and Firefox. I find at least a web site every week where something doesn't work in Omniweb or Safari and I have to open Camino to get it to work (when it's not an IE-exclusive site, that is).

  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: what about developers

    as a developer i can state with confidence it's very simple to knock out a complex, standards compliant site that works on firefox 2+, safari 2+ and opera 9+ with a margin of error around ~1%.

    depending on the complexity of the design IE7 can add 10-20% more work, while IE6 routinely requires 40-70% more work.

    bottom line it's only lazy or ignorant developers who can't get sites working in safari/opera.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    so true

    I agree. WIth Safari 3, as far as CSS is concerned is not any harder to develop for. Opera may have slight differences. But Internet Explorer 6 is the hardest major browser to develop for - I had to give up on dynamic menus that worked in Safari, Opera, and Firefox fine, because they wouldn't display right in Internet Explorer. They worked fine on the page that the developer designed but my added styles caused it to break.

  1. ppmax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dean Edwards IE7

    Just in case folks don't know about it, Dean Edwards IE7 ( is a great option for those struggling with IE.

  1. itguy05

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What sites do you visit?

    I work in IT and the only sites that require IE are those old school MS Sharepoint Crapola from Office 2003. And a couple homegrown apps that don't work in IE7 either.

    The rest of my web surfing is Safari or Firefox depending on my mood. No compatibility issues here. And if there were, I'd use a competitor and let the company know why they lost a sale.

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