The Broken Web 2

    If you have not done so be sure to check my first rant about the Web and how broken it is here.

    I was gathering more insight on the state of the web and now I am almost scared. Lets start with some pictures showing the behavior of some well-known, standards-compliant browsers. These screenshots are from a real project of mine. The project is still not visible from the outside world so I did not check it with an HTML validator but I usually write valid XHTML and even if this piece happens to be invalid (which I doubt) I can guarantee that the visual differences are not caused by validation errors. Probably most of you know that valid markup guarantees nothing about how this markup will be displayed in different browsers.

    So while I was making this page I was using IE7 and that is why it looked as it was supposed to in IE7. Note that I am not upset by the fact that the "standards-compliant" browsers behave differently from IE. I am upset that they behave differently from each other. Here is the desired result – two columns and an error message below them:

IE7 version

    Then I opened the same page in the dreaded Firefox 3 and here is what I got:

 Fx3 version

    Well I guess according to the standards the right column should go out of the container and the message should be up in the right column. That is OK probably IE renders it wrong. Just to make sure I decided to check it in Opera and here is what I got:

Opera9.6 version

    Oh My Google! The other "standards-compliant" browser displayed it differently. Probably the standards had changed while I was starting Opera. Notice however that Opera detected the conflict with the container's borders and reordered the columns in a way that they would be usable. That is why I like this browser. It renders usable page even if it is not according to the standard and frankly I do not know what a 100% "standards-compliant" client should do for this markup (because no client exists that is 100% standards-compliant). I have noticed this behavior in Opera multiple times before and that is one of the reasons for me to think that Opera is the best browser out there. However I do not encourage its usage because more browsers cause more problems even if they are better browsers.

    Lets see what Chrome rendered:

Chrome version

     As you can see the divs in the second column are still out of the container but this time the container's border is on top of the divs but not on top of the text displayed in the divs. Cool! So third "standards-compliant" browser displays yet another DIFFERENT version of the page. Good job on "standards" all of you!

     But wait I have a lot more. You know this XHTML thing that is just like HTML but is also a valid XML? Many "experts" in the blogosphere are writing about it. It is listed as a requirement for a web developer or designer job. "Expert" web developers (also known as PHP writers) will laugh at you and label you "noob" if your pages do not validate according to the XHTML standard. It is really sad that XHTML not only does not help the standards adoption but also destroys all standards efforts. So you thought that by writing valid XHTML you are helping the Web to adopt standards and you will make Microsoft adopt the standards as well? It turns out that the case is exactly the opposite. Unless you serve your markup with content type of "application/xhtml+xml" you are just serving invalid HTML to EVERY web browser regardless of its support for XHTML. The doctype means NOTHING. Every web server serves "text/html" by default and by writing valid XHTML you just increase the number of pages with INVALID non-standard HTML.

     All of you out there that keep talking about standards you have never read and trolling about how Microsoft do not support them are to blame about the current state of the Web. Even I have fallen for your propaganda by writing this "valid" XHTML. ASP.NET controls also seem to render <br /> instead of <br>. I guess Microsoft knew about it but did not want the bad publicity of being blamed that their technology does not render valid XHTML so they left it in. Now we are stuck. We cannot go forward but cannot get back either.

     If you are a web developer or designer, MS hater or generally allow yourself to talk about "standards" and browsers be sure to read this . My favorite part is the section with standards related websites that break when viewed as XHTML because their creators never opened them as XHTML. That is what you "experts" with your bullshit propaganda did while Microsoft invented something useful (namely AJAX) and you dare talk against them? Why not look at yourselves first?

     I hope this gives you better insight about the pile of shit that we are in. And by "we" I mean web developers and web users. Luckily this time I only needed to set some width and overflow values to make all browsers display the same. Different "standards" for the defaults I guess. If you wonder what you can do to help things get better my opinion is that there is only one thing. Stick to the latest version of IE. The only way to make the web sane again is to have only one rendering engine. Written bullshit standards with 0 real implementations will not help anyone but exactly the opposite.

Tags:   english tech 
Posted by:   Stilgar
01:30 01.01.2009


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Posted by   trx   on   02:00 01.01.2009

flawless victory!

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   17:08 02.01.2009

yeah the two most dumb and not used browsers are rendering this site correct. Lol :) So I can say that the developers ( which work on this site )  are dumb and check validation only in IE and Opera :)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   20:41 02.01.2009

So the "clever" browsers have the right to render it as they wish. That's standards for you.

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   18:11 04.01.2009

Nothing is perfect :) even me :)

So I am not sure but Opera and IE are some of the "most worst" browsers:
see Acid Test Results ( )
lets make a note :
IE 7- lest quote this :"Internet Explorer 7 does not pass the Acid 3 test. It actually did arguably worse than Internet Explorer 6. I would not even try to list the problems with this rendering." - AWESOME
Opera 9 - 45/100
Even firefox 2 is better - 50/100
Firefox 3.0.5 - my firefox after test at : i get 71/100 NICE :D
btw Safari 3.0.4 which I think is old and use webkit renderer get 87/100. SO
if you want to say somethink about the "WEB" test only browsers maybe with 50% or more

IE and opera are not here.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   20:20 04.01.2009

My whole point is that the standards suck and are useless and you point me to some standards test? What is more even the 2 most standards compliant browsers render different layout for the same markup. And finally Acid 3 is a JavaScript test. The CSS/layout test is Acid 2.

Posted by   . (Unregistered)   on   14:13 05.01.2009

Reply to JOKe

Posted by   . (Unregistered)   on   14:15 05.01.2009

acid 3, Opera 9.63: 85/100

Posted by   npavlov   on   18:42 05.01.2009

Silverlight will save the day! :-)

I actually managed to fool with it these days and I am quite pleased with the results.  Hey, it is a quite reasonable desktop environment for building "web-based"* applications.  So is Flash, but the learning curve for NET Developers is leaner for Silverlight.
Of course, if the price of ditching OS/X users and >7% of the desktop marketshare is acceptable.

* Actually, the proper definition is distributed.

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   19:41 05.01.2009

npetkov:Silverlight just will fuck the day again :D
.: ok :D opera version is not mentioned in the first post.
Stilgar: As I said it is not a browser problem or a user problem that the developers which are made this site are dumb and are not tested the L&F in all browsers.(at least the 2 most standard browser ).
btw maybe is a problem in some ASP component ? :)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   20:59 05.01.2009

now I've got 1 markup
the same for all browsers
it shows up in 4 different ways. Only 1 way can be correct (even if this is the ugliest and most unusable of them). So at least 3 of the 4 browsers suck (actually all of them suck).

If I will have to test in every browser what are the standards good for?

Also I am the developer and I know how to fix it and DID fix it but I just don't understand how 4 browsers show 4 different pictures for 1 markup. At least by chance 2 of them should render the same thing.

Posted by   ivelinka   on   14:36 06.01.2009

JOKe read the article again and I hope this time you will understand what it is about;)

Posted by   ivelinka (Unregistered)   on   18:55 06.01.2009

Sandy : sorry it was so long ago when i read it the first time and i think it's enough for my brain.
Stilgar : I will give you the answer as i said this answer before "but I just don't understand how 4 browsers show 4 different pictures for 1 markup ?"- BECAUSE THE SITE IS CREATED ON ASP.NET :) dont show me this strange imagine language that nobody with brain in his head use :)

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   18:55 06.01.2009

ops sorry the last post was by me :) not ivelikna :) copy/paste error

Posted by   ivelinka   on   19:03 06.01.2009


Posted by   ivelinka   on   19:08 06.01.2009

copy/paste error? come on.. I know you are thinking about me all the time:))

Posted by   Stilgar   on   19:13 06.01.2009

Well if you insist on writing more bullshit and making a fool of yourself then go ahead...

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   15:52 07.01.2009

gogogo :) fire in the hole :D

Posted by   conjurer   on   04:54 19.01.2009

zashto ne si testval v Safari / Konqueror?

Stakmistika, a?

Posted by   Stilgar   on   06:36 19.01.2009

Ne sum testval shtoto sa sus sushtia rendering engine kato Chrome.

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