Hats Off to Opera

Well that didn’t take long. It was just announced today that Opera’s developers have received the first 100/100 test score on the new Acid 3 test. There is apparently a small rendering glitch they still need to take care of, but this is really incredible progress considering the test was just formally announced on March 3rd.

The Acid test, for those unaware, is a test page set up by the Web Standards Project (WASP) to allow browsers to test for compliance with various standards. The test runs 100 little mini-tests, and to score 100, you need to obviously pass all 100 of the tests. The first Acid test was set up in 1998 and checked for some basic CSS 1.0 compliance. Acid 2 came around in April of 2005 and tested for support for things like HTML, CSS2.x and transparent PNG support. The new Acid 3 test checks for support for CSS3 selectors and properties, DOM2 features and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) among other things.

It should come as no surprise that Opera was one of the first to successfully pass the test. After all, they were the second browser to pass the Acid 2 test (Safari was first). What’s so impressive is the little amount of time necessary to complete the test. It took Safari about 6 months to pass the Acid 2 test, but it took Opera just under a month to pass the Acid 3 test.

Not that we can get too awfully excited about this. The two major players here (IE and Firefox) both have a ways to go. The last I saw Firefox 3 was up to a 71/100 score and IE 8 was at a frighteningly low 18/100. Let’s just hope that IE can get the gap closed quicker than the 3 years or so that it took them to reach Acid 2 compliance! It’s looking like Safari, who has their WebKit Nightly Build’s up to 98/100, will be the next to hit a perfect score.

In spite of the needed improvements in Firefox and IE, this is great news and I think that congratulations need to go out to Opera’s team of developers. They’ve done a great job of being proactive with their standards-support and it shows. I also think that WASP deserves a pat on the back for all of this….they are obviously doing a good job of pushing standards-compliance in browsers and giving vendors a goal to shoot for. We are starting to see some great improvements in compliance to standards across the web and I for one, am greatly looking forward to playing around with all the new toys!