Just a few months after the announcement that Internet Explorer 8 successfully passed the Acid2 standards compliance test, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) announced last Monday that it unleashed Acid2â€™s successor, Acid3. Created to identify flaws in the way a browser renders its web pages, WaSPâ€™s Acid tests throw down the gauntlet with difficult-to-display graphics written to accentuate browsersâ€™ quirks. When the original Acid test was released in 1998, it helped reign in browser inconsistencies and insured that Internet Explorer, Netscape, and others handled HTML code according to specification â€“ making web designersâ€™ lives easier and ensuring the web rendered consistently in the future.
Acid2, with its focus on Cascading Style Sheets, seems quaint in comparison to Acid3â€™s objectives, which target major web standards expected to see use today and in the future. Tests are derived from many of the last few yearsâ€™ development in the webâ€™s control languages, including rendering graphics embedded in HTML code, CSS3 compliance, DOM compliance, CSS2 downloadable fonts, as well as handling new graphics formats and Unicode support. Currently, no known browser is able to correctly render the Acid3 test, which displays an animated, incrementing score counter and a series of colored boxes with some description text. Most of todayâ€™s browsers scoring between 40 and 60 on the testâ€™s 100-point scale. The results shouldnâ€™t be too alarming as the Acid tests have always been forward-looking in nature, similarly as Futuremarkâ€™s 3DMark benchmarks for video accelerators.