New web browsers, new standards awareness…

A crashing wave New releases of the Firefox, Mozilla, Safari and Opera web browsers were released to the world this week. Whilst the Firefox, Mozilla and Safari updates were just point releases, they’re still pretty important to download if you’re currently using those browsers - the Mozilla and Firefox updates tackle a couple of pretty important security issues, whilst the Safari has had some pretty major performance upgrades. Opera, on the other hand has been released as a brand new version 8.

I downloaded Opera 8 yesterday (it’s unlikely to become my primary browser, but I do need to have it available to me for testing), and at first glance it appears to be pretty nice, but I can’t see any new and amazing killer applications that aren’t available under other browsers. But then, I’m not an Opera evangelist. If you are, feel free to evangelise in the comments!

Going back to Safari, the Surfin’ Safari blog is my new favourite read of the moment. Recently, WASP decided to release a version 2 of their ACID test. The ACID2 test is designed to push web browsers to the limits of their CSS2 capabilities, and well beyond. The purpose of the test is to compel web browser developers to improve their browsers to such a degree that they’re able to actually display the test case properly. Right now there is no single browser available for users that comes anywhere close to performing the test correctly. This is where Dave Hyatt steps in. Over the last couple of weeks, he has been pushing forward very strongly with improving the Safari web browser engine so that it will display the test case in the way expected. At each step in this process, he has been posting blog entries showing us users his progress. This type of transparency is fantastic, and is much much better than the far more corporate Internet Explorer blog (although the IE blog does have some good, interesting entries, it has a very different feel to the Surfin’ Safari blog). I really do wish that this transparency was available in other web browser development blogs.

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.