Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Mar 2009 23:26 UTC, submitted by inkslinger
Internet Explorer Recently, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8, which boasted much better standards compliance than previous iterations of the browser. While it passed the Acid2 test, IE8 failed miserably in the Acid3 test, and many people criticised Microsoft for it. Microsoft Australia's Nick Hodge has stated that Microsoft purposefully decided not to support Acid3, because the test tests against draft standards.
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Some Facts
by jayson.knight on Thu 26th Mar 2009 00:34 UTC
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This is coming from someone with 8 years experience developing web applications for large corporate IT departments, so take it for what you want...but I do feel I'm qualified enough to speak for most large IT departments.

Fact: By far and large, the vast majority of web applications exist on the LAN for corporations.

Fact: Almost all of these LAN users use IE as their browser. On most of the LANs, other browsers are prohibited...not because they are inferior (which they aren't), but because of support costs. It is much cheaper for IT depts to support a single vendor's software.

Fact: Corporate IT departments don't care about standards. They care about time to market, simplicity, and maintainability. Adhering to standards makes the development cycle more complex, and thus more expensive...and for what advantage? "Just Working" is goal number one, maintainability (e.g. simple to maintain) runs a very close 2nd.

Fact: MS's largest installed userbase (not just by %, but also by sheer numbers) is within companies.

Fact: MS isn't going to go out of their way supporting some of the edge cases that the Acid tests call for just to appease what would be a tiny portion of their customers since (as stated above) most of these customers don't care about edge case standards. Most of them are easy to code around, or aren't even necessary in the first place.

Fact: Building in support for standards that are rarely used costs MS extra money, and the ROI just isn't there.

It's not rocket science to see why MS doesn't throw in the kitchen sink supporting every willy nilly standards that exists just for the sake of saying that they can. I have never ever encountered a case where development on an application came to a halt because x browser didn't support y standard. None of my colleagues have fact, I doubt this has EVER happened. You either code around it, or move on and find a different solution. This is why I get such a kick out of hearing people cry foul about standards support...most of these "standards" are luxuries that increase cost and complexity. 98% of web applications (on the browser end) consist of HTML + CSS + Javascript + some sort of image rendering. All the crap in the Acid tests are luxuries that only a small percentage of sites actually use.

So what's the logic in supporting everything under the sun when usually the basics are plenty good enough?

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