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W3C publishes "extremely silly" HTML5 test results suggesting win for Internet Explorer 9

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
A preview version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 browser engine passed more elements of a web standards test than a random selection of other browsers in the Worldwide Web Consortium's "vastly incomplete" HTML5 test suite, creating a news story that W3C members decried as "incorrect information" based on a "rather buggy test results page."

A variety of sources have reported the published results of the W3C test suite without noting that the browser Microsoft submitted for testing on October 28 was its "hot off the press" Internet Explorer Platform Preview 6, introduced to developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference just days earlier. Microsoft's "platform preview" was compared against Apple's currently shipping Safari 5.0.2 (publicly released two months ago), as well a beta version of Google Chrome 7, Mozilla's Firefox 4 beta 6, and an alpha build of Opera 11.

The results, published and amplified by Microsoft in a blog posting, suggest exceptional HTML5 web standards compliance in the company's upcoming Internet Explorer 9 and depict a significant lead over other browsers in web standards performance.

"Bogus," "buggy test results" used in "creating PR events"

The W3C's internal HTML5 test results were copied to a public web site labeled "Official HTML5 Test Suite Conformance Results," and were subsequently picked up by the tech media to falsely suggest Internet Explorer 9 "outperforms other browsers in HTML5 compliance."

The result was then discussed in emails between W3C members, including Anne van Kesteren of Opera, Maciej Stachowiak of Apple, Jonathan Griffin of Mozilla, Mikkel Toudal Kristiansen of Google, and Kris Krueger of Microsoft.

Opera's van Kesteren wrote, "This test suite is vastly incomplete. Publishing unverified results of a vastly incomplete test suite without a big fat warning is extremely silly. Why was this done?"

Stachowiak responded, "It's also strange that the results include alpha/beta/preview versions of most browsers, but the stable version of Safari [rather than the latest nightly build]. Wouldn't be a big deal other than the fact that this rather buggy test results page was labeled as 'Official' and then picked up in the press as authoritative. We should probably be cautious about the chance of creating PR events based on incorrect information."

Google employee Ian Hickson, the author and maintainer of the Acid2 and Acid3 tests and the HTML 5 specification itself, added, "I agree with Anne that it's rather pointless to be publishing results for this test suite. Realistically speaking the test suite isn't even 0.1% complete yet."

Another member of the email thread, identified only as "miss.verstaendnis@nurfuerspam.de," responded, "Apologies to all. That was just a transmission of a test result to the public list. I did not expect that this result is published immediately." The individual's email address literally means "Miss Understanding" in German, with the placeholder domain name "only for spam."

Microsoft's big push to catch up in HTML5, reach iOS users

Microsoft's currently shipping version of Internet Explorer 8 fails nearly every HTML5, SVG, CSS3, DOM, and JavaScript test across the board. The dramatic reversal of Microsoft's browser performance in the W3C's HTML5 test suite appears to align with the company's recently stated intent to switch gears in pushing HTML5 web standards over its own Silverlight proprietary web-replacement plugin, in large part an effort to reach Apple's installed base of iOS users who can't install Silverlight.

Microsoft has also channeled resources in its money-hemorrhaging Online Services Division to focus Bing web search and maps features on using HTML5 embellishments rather than using Silverlight, an effort the company profiled on stage at Apple's WWDC event this summer. At the time, Apple's Steve Jobs announced that both iOS devices and Safari 5 would gain access to Microsoft's Bing service as a web search option.

The company has also changed its mind about supporting Canvas, an element of HTML5 used to create dynamic, scriptable rendering of 2D shapes and bitmap images within web pages. Canvas, originally created by Apple and contributed royalty free to the HTML5 specification, enables HTML5 developers to create animations and games without needing a plugin helper like Flash or Silverlight.

This spring, Microsoft was promising HTML5 support in IE9 but was still reserving the right to exclude support for Canvas, likely in an effort to protect a market for Silverlight. The company is now including support, albeit in a limited fashion.

Microsoft aces its own tests

However, there's another reason why Microsoft has vaulted from dead last to first place in HTML5 benchmarks: the company has essentially written the W3C's test suite used to generate the scores.

Microsoft has openly contributed thousands of test cases to the W3C pertaining to elements of the HTML5 technology portfolio (which collectively includes CSS, JavaScript and a variety of other components in addition to HTML itself).

Additionally, the test also completely ignores HTML5 features critical to real world web applications, such support for drag and drop, Web Workers, the File API, local storage, and CSS3 transforms and other animations. Further, Microsoft only reports IE's performance against its own tests.

This allows Microsoft's engineers to focus on scoring well on the tests they wrote, while not necessarily competing with other browsers to actually support web standards properly. Internet Explorer certainly does not lead in the performance rankings of independent web standards tests that were not invented by Microsoft, such as Acid3, which focuses on DOM and JavaScript compliance.

Internet Explorer 9 still isn't standards compliant

For example, despite publishing scores that suggest Internet Explorer 9 will pass all of the W3C tests it submitted related to SVG (scalable vector graphics) on its website, Microsoft's data "doesn't actually show SVG compliance as such," noted "Haavard," a blogger who works at Opera.

Haavard cited CodeDread, a site detailing real world SVG support in different browsers. "As you can see, IE9 still does poorly compared to other browsers. So while Microsoft's own page would give you the impression that IE9 has excellent SVG support, that is not the reality," Haavard wrote.

CodeDread's tests, based on the official SVG Test Suite, assigned shipping versions of Safari, Chrome and Opera "A" scores, while Firefox got a "C" and Internet Explorer 8 earned an "F," failing every test. Microsoft's IE9 Previews have only inched up from "F" to "D" over the past year, despite passing with flying colors the limited set of SVG tests that Microsoft invented for the W3C.

post #2 of 32
The HTML 5 has been developed by WHATWG.

"The WHATWG was formed in response to the slow development of web standards monitored by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)" - Wikipedia

"Chris Wilson of Microsoft was invited but did not join" - Wikipedia


The less Consortium and Micro are involved the better for the language.


Titan10
post #3 of 32
It would be awesome if IE9 passed 132% of all SVG tests.
Truly, truly awesome. Microsoft wouldn't even flinch to say that...because IE9 is 32% more awesome than the standard.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #4 of 32
I always take these "HTML5" tests with a grain of salt. It seems someone can swing the results any way they want be including\\excluding certain tests.

This one seems to make sense if taken in context. I hope W3C can continue to expand this "Official HTML5 Test Suite" to include all HTML5 technologies that have been officially ratified.
post #5 of 32
Yea, and AI was more than happy to publish a piece of garbage, masquerading as a scientific assessment, reporting that the display on the Nexus One only had a 16bit display.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=107290

Now AI are getting their nickers in a twist when someone else publishes an inadequate appraisal of a technical matter - ha ha - what goes around...
post #6 of 32
I don't really understand Microsoft, if they want to support HTML5 why don't they do it properly?

Are they just confused as to where things are going and just clinging on to everything, but not really doing a great job at anything ether?

Sounds to me like Silverlight has had it's day and it's time to move on - well it didn't even have it's day did it?????? \
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan10 View Post

The less Consortium and Micro are involved the better for the language

Yeah, right. Leaving out the biggest web browser vendor will surely do wonders for interoperability. Some people also would like to forget that it was Microsoft who sponsored thousands of unit tests for CSS 2.1 (and now CSS 3.0) which uncovered that web-darlings like Gecko and WebKit had buggy and incomplete implementations (which they silently fixed in the meantime). Microsoft is doing a lot of the "boring" grunt-work which Apple, Google and Mozilla couldn't be arsed with obviously.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

I don't really understand Microsoft, if they want to support HTML5 why don't they do it properly?

That's what IE9 is for.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

I don't really understand Microsoft, if they want to support HTML5 why don't they do it properly?

Ar \

Dance for us, Monkey Boy!
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

I don't really understand Microsoft, if they want to support HTML5 why don't they do it properly? \

Since when did Microsoft ever do anything 'properly'? It has always mislead people. It has always played dishonestly.

This is just one example in a long long line...
post #11 of 32
The oficial SVG test tested IE preview 4, August 2010. The W3C tested IE preview 6, October 2010. It is quite possible that IE improved a lot in the last 2 months, considering that Microsoft decided to ditch Silverlight and embrace HTML5.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon T View Post

Since when did Microsoft ever do anything 'properly'? It has always mislead people. It has always played dishonestly.

This is just one example in a long long line...


I remember when we all used Macs that ran on Power PC chips like the G3,4 and 5's. Ah, those were the days. Those Macs outperformed their PC counterparts by massive amounts. We know this to be true because Apple told us it was. Those chips had 'velocity engines' which made them much faster where it counts. Guess who told us that?

We don't need devices that can render Flash on websites either.

Oh yes, open standards are a good thing - Flash is bad because it isn't open - forget DLNA and use Apples AirPlay which is - er, closed - closed is the new open!!!, of course!
post #13 of 32
Spin Doctoring. It's the All American Way

*cough*
post #14 of 32
This is just the way Microsoft always performs with standards bodies. Remember the MPEG 4 committee, which Microsoft sat on, and then disappeared and announced that they had a codec -- that didn't conform to the standard, wasn't compatible, and only played on Windows machines.
post #15 of 32
Did Microsoft leak the test results to the public and call them "Official"?

Its not really clear. If they DID NOT, then there is just another AI link bait freak show blog post.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The dramatic reversal of Microsoft's browser performance in the W3C's HTML5 test suite appears to align with the company's recently stated intent to switch gears in pushing HTML5 web standards over its own Silverlight proprietary web-replacement plugin, in large part an effort to reach Apple's installed base of iOS users who can't install Silverlight.

How exactly does IE web standards compliance help reach Apple's installed base of iOS users? This makes no sense. Maybe I'm missing something.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erunno View Post

Yeah, right. Leaving out the biggest web browser vendor will surely do wonders for interoperability. Some people also would like to forget that it was Microsoft who sponsored thousands of unit tests for CSS 2.1 (and now CSS 3.0) which uncovered that web-darlings like Gecko and WebKit had buggy and incomplete implementations (which they silently fixed in the meantime). Microsoft is doing a lot of the "boring" grunt-work which Apple, Google and Mozilla couldn't be arsed with obviously.

IE isn't the majority of browsers anymore, we finally have viable competition and innovation. But otherwise you are correct we need Microsoft input here as well.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501 View Post

IE isn't the majority of browsers anymore, we finally have viable competition and innovation. But otherwise you are correct we need Microsoft input here as well.

You did read the part on the page you referenced that stated:

'W3Schools is a website for people with an interest for web technologies. These people are more interested in using alternative browsers than the average user. The average user tends to use Internet Explorer, since it comes preinstalled with Windows. Most do not seek out other browsers.

These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.

Anyway, our data, collected from W3Schools' log-files, over a five year period, clearly shows the long and medium-term trends'
.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

.... Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users.

...

Which other sites would those be?
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Which other sites would those be?

I have no idea. I just republished the statement that was on the w3schools site which I guess is their own disclaimer. Maybe Mircosoft's site has 80%.

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post #21 of 32
IE is pretty much struggling. Even many Windows users are switching to Firefox or Chrome.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Dance for us, Monkey Boy!

I'm enjoying watching *you* dance...
post #23 of 32
Not that I'm pro microsoft, but if you're going to call a spade a spade, at least show the most up to date test results. IE9 is on Preview 6 now which undoubtedly scores better than the much earlier preview 4 release. They're clearly making strides with their hardware acceleration which is positively impacting all browser vendors who are now attempting to replicate that level of success speedwise on their own browsing platforms. When IE gets better, everyone wins. There's no reason to hate on them for advancing their archaic design especially when they have no intention of abandoning it and to do anything less than what they're doing now is to hold back the web from evolving.
Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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Groupthink is bad, mkay. Think Different is the motto.
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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post

.... IE9 is on Preview 6 now which undoubtedly scores better than the much earlier preview 4 release. ....

This is the only conclusion that you can draw. Any inferences about how the shipping version of IE 9 will perform are equal parts wishful thinking and nonsense.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

I don't really understand Microsoft, if they want to support HTML5 why don't they do it properly?

Are they just confused as to where things are going and just clinging on to everything, but not really doing a great job at anything ether?

Sounds to me like Silverlight has had it's day and it's time to move on - well it didn't even have it's day did it?????? \


Divide and conquer.


If there are strong competitors/opposition fighting you is no good, you lose (or it costs way too much). Split the enemy and there are smaller competitors, easier to attack.
post #26 of 32
My favorite part of this article has to be where the acid test is called impartial and written by a Google employee!

The fact is the Microsoft tests are valid html5 tests which IE9 passes better than the others. At the same time the valid test written by a Google employee gets a higher pass by Chrome than IE. Doesn't take a genius to work out a companies developers will pass there own tests before others!

So none of the browsers are perfect, so what? HTML5 is not being finalised until 2020 so there's 10 more years before any browser can say its fully compliant.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post

Divide and conquer.


If there are strong competitors/opposition fighting you is no good, you lose (or it costs way too much). Split the enemy and there are smaller competitors, easier to attack.

Back in the day, it was Embrace and Extend. However, it is an artifact of a bygone era. Microsoft no longer has the power to dictate which technology its customers will use and content providers absolutely must ensure that their content is accessible to non-Microsoft customers. How many content providers would be so stupid as to embrace Microsoft at the expense of the iPhone, iPad, Android, and MacOS X?

Microsoft can continue to play its little games. It will learn very quickly what is the sound of one hand clapping.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

IE is pretty much struggling. Even many Windows users are switching to Firefox or Chrome.

That's in large part because of pages posting warnings about features not being available on their IE browser and giving them links to download compatible browsers. This has been big way that Google is getting Chrome out there ahead of Firefox, that & TV ads.

I'm going to predict now that Firefox will probably fade from the spotlight & Chrome will likely take the lead. WebKit will continue to be used as a foundation for many other browsers but I don't see Safari ever gaining on Chrome. I'm personally a Safari fan, but never opposed to trying something new & better. So far Chrome is not there yet, at least not on OS X.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

My favorite part of this article has to be where the acid test is called impartial and written by a Google employee!

The fact is the Microsoft tests are valid html5 tests which IE9 passes better than the others. At the same time the valid test written by a Google employee gets a higher pass by Chrome than IE. Doesn't take a genius to work out a companies developers will pass there own tests before others!

So none of the browsers are perfect, so what? HTML5 is not being finalised until 2020 so there's 10 more years before any browser can say its fully compliant.

I think one of the objectives of the Acid tests is to see how well the browser handles poorly written non-compliant code. IE, although never really focused on compliance with HTML standards in the past was particularly strict about some css and html syntax which made it problematic. An example would be omission of a closing tag, although basically the coders fault, would cause IE to not render the page at all. Other browsers, especially Safari, are much more forgiving. Safari even displays CMYK jpgs which are clearly not standard for a web page. IE of course does not.

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post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think one of the objectives of the Acid tests is to see how well the browser handles poorly written non-compliant code. IE, although never really focused on compliance with HTML standards in the past was particularly strict about some css and html syntax which made it problematic. An example would be omission of a closing tag, although basically the coders fault, would cause IE to not render the page at all. Other browsers, especially Safari, are much more forgiving. Safari even displays CMYK jpgs which are clearly not standard for a web page. IE of course does not.

You have things backward in a number of ways. W3C-compliance is about encouraging Web-developers to write standard code and to encourage browser developers to develop browsers that properly handle standards-compliant HTML. It is not about encouraging browsers to render improperly crafted HTML. On the Internet Explorer front, again you have it backwards. IE was desinged to render improperly crafted HTML in certain predictable ways. One example of improperly crafted HTML was the omission of the closing tag. Web developers began to deliberately omit closing tags and other standard HTML requirements. The result was that these improperly-coded Web sites would display as intended in Internet Explorer, but not in other browsers.

Thank god for the W3C. Anyone can now run a W3C compliance test of any Web site. The three Acid tests--Acid1, Acid2, and Acid3--provide a quick and easy way for any user to measure the standards-compliance of any browser. This now makes is very difficult to defend non-standard HTML and browsers that don't meet W3C standards. Microsoft defenders continue to try, but it is a lost cause.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
The company is now including support, albeit in a limited fashion.

Limited fashion? They have hardware acceleration for canvas and it's silky smooth. I'd say, it's the fastest canvas on the planet. Every canvas implementation does not support something here or there. However, IE9 is still in beta, so by the time it is officially released, it will surely support the remaining bits of canvas functionality. Though, by that time other browsers may include full hardware acceleration as well.

I've been an active hater of IE through all these years, but I have to say this: This is an incredible turnaround, achieved at a record-breaking pace, and IE9 rules. Never thought I'd say that.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Additionally, the test also completely ignores HTML5 features critical to real world web applications, such support for drag and drop, Web Workers, the File API, local storage, and CSS3 transforms and other animations.

Bullshit.

CSS3 transforms, transitions and animations are not critical to real world web applications. It would be nice to have them, but they're not critical. IE9 has perhaps the fastest implementation of canvas and inline SVG, and it really works, and that is what matters.

Lately I've implemented a rotating cube in canvas. IE9 was the fastest browser, hands down. Did not skip a frame. Jaw-dropping performance. Safari was okay, but I decided to re-write it with CSS3 TT&A to match and even exceed the smoothness of IE9. All the rest stayed on canvas implementation, since Chrome does not support CSS3 TT&A properly as of now. Wonder who was the bad boy? Firefox for Mac. Totally atrocious performance (while Firefox for Windows was okay).
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