Standards Compatibility

Hey everyone,
I am just wondering when we should expect to see standards compatibility be the same for all browsers on the web? As the years go by IE6 is going to taken to the back of the shed and killed off (thank god!) and IE9 is MUCH better but still doesn’t support text shadows, gradients, HTML5 forms, and more. Firefox, Safari, and Chrome still use -moz and -webkit specific CSS extensions that won’t work the same across browsers.

Just wondering when we will see the day when we can design a website and say “Yes! It works.” without ever having to worry about browser compatibility? If it works on one browser, it should work on them all right? Any predictions for when this will happen?

Thoughts / comments?


Never, is the answer but a lot of the browser do fairly well with HTML 4.01.

That’s not bad for web browsers, considering that the HTML 4.01 spec was finalized last century, in 1999

It depends how far you want to push boundaries. HTML, CSS and Javascript are continually evolving languages, and it’s unlikely that they will ever stop. Yes, there should come a point when you can say that a site designed using correctly-formed HTML 4.01 Strict and CSS 1 will be the same in every browser worth considering … but by that time, most designers will be wanting to use features that are in CSS 2 or CSS 3, or in HTML 5. So from that point of view, the answer is likely to be … not until the internet as we know it has become obsolete.

Hopefully not anytime soon, because when it does, the heavens will open, the trumpets will sound, the angels will appear, and a giant quivering finger will point from the clouds at Redmond and thunder: “MICROSOFT! IT’S PAYBACK TIME!”

Hmm, might be fun to be around to watch that happen.

Then again, it could be Redmond that succeeds in creating the standard, the browser that just takes over, thereby erasing all browser incompatabilities. :wink:

Not likely, I grant you, but I remember when every office in the agency I worked for had a different word processing system, and we needed all kinds of converters. Today, you can create a document with Word, and be fairly confident that you can give it to almost anyone else - they’ll be able to open it, and will see precisely the document you created. How did that happen?

Hmmm. .DOCX, anyone? :slight_smile:

Yes and no.

OpenOffice can read many features of Microsoft Office documents but will rarely give you 100% accuracy in the conversion. I assume that other packages will be the same. Older versions of Word won’t necessarily be the same … and will need an add-on conversion pack to open .docx files. I don’t know if it’s any better these days but MS Works would often struggle with Word documents.

MS Word has achieved almost total domination within the workplace PC market because it is actually a very good product. But it is not cheap, and so it is not as ubiquitous in home computers. For buyers who are on a budget and who don’t need the interoperability with a workplace, many do go for the cheaper alternative of MS Works or the free alternative of OpenOffice. That’s fine as far as it goes, but the same model wouldn’t work for the web.

The big difference is that no-one creates Word documents by hand, and no-one expects them to be understood on 100% of devices. Web pages can be created with a simple text editor, and should work on any internet-connected computer, no matter what browser it is running.

Given the way that the market share is moving, I think we’ll be more likely to have the web standards come down from Mountain View than Redmond :cool: