Web Devout tidings

Archive for June, 2006

Opera 9 CSS support information available

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I have finished testing the CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 support in Opera 9.

Here are some of the major changes in Opera 9 as far as CSS 2.1 and CSS 3 support:

  • Apparently full support for CSS 2.1 basic selectors.
  • Corrected support for :active and :hover with universal selectors and the body element.
  • Some fixes for margin and width properties.
  • Elements can now properly overlap iframe elements.
  • Much improved support for CSS 3 media queries.
  • Apparently full support for CSS 3 basic selectors (from previously no support).
  • Support for most form-related CSS 3 pseudo-elements.
  • Some support for CSS 3 opacity property, although the support is somewhat flawed (for example, if you have an element with the same color for foreground and background and reduce its opacity, the text’s alphatransparency is rendered separately from the background’s, causing the text to be quite visible).

There isn’t much that I was personally disappointed about. There are still some issues with :before, :after, and :first-line, but they are no worse than the issues other browsers have with them. Counter scope is still handled incorrectly according to the current CSS 2.1 drafts, although the problem can be avoided by remembering to use counter-reset in the appropriate places. I would have liked :last-child support, but that’s in CSS 3 anyway. I still notice some slight positioning problems when dealing with very complex styles, although it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact source.

All in all, this release shows that Opera is continuing to make consistent progress in the area of CSS support, and it is certainly giving other leading browsers some strong competition. According to the Web Devout tables, Opera’s overall CSS 2.1 support has risen from 93% to 96%, compared to IE 6’s 52%, IE 7’s 54%, and Firefox 1.5’s 93%. Opera’s support for current CSS 3 changes has risen from 8% to 22%, compared to IE 6’s 10%, IE 7’s 13%, and Firefox 1.5’s 27%.

HTML and DOM support information will come later. Some improvements have been made in both areas.

Tim Berners-Lee stresses importance of net neutrality

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, has been fighting for the idea of net neutrality, which he describes as the principle that “[i]f I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.”

He has made two blog posts on the subject:

  1. Neutrality of the Net
  2. Net Neutrality: This is serious

The issue of net neutrality in the United States has largely turned into a partisan issue, with Democrats generally backing the idea and Republicans generally opposing it. Predictably, web service providers such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have supported the idea while telecommunications companies have opposed it, effectively arguing that they are due additional earnings from websites that profit on their infastructure rather than getting a “free ride”, despite already paying the often higher bandwidth costs.

The absense of net neutrality legislation may allow for telecommunications companies to manipulate the transfer speed for websites because they haven’t paid a new additional fee, because they are considered a threat to the respective telecommunications company’s business model (for example, if the company has interests in a certain video purchasing site, it may forcefully reduce the performance of competing websites), or for other arbitrary reasons. Supporters of net neutrality argue that the absense of proper legislation would create a two-tiered Internet that would compromise freedom and innovation on the Web.

Opera 9 is released

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Opera 9 has now been released. Some of the new features include a selective content blocker which can be used to remove banner ads and other unwanted content from webpages, support for BitTorrent distributed downloads, desktop widgets, and improved standards support. See the official changelog for more information.

I will begin testing and updating my standards support resource shortly. It appears as though many positioning bugs have been fixed. Although Opera 9 passes the Acid2 test, note that the test only covers a relatively small selection of features from the standards, and like other browsers, there are still known inconsistencies with the standards in Opera 9. I will post updates on my progress as I test its support.

Firefox 2.0 standards support information available

Monday, June 5th, 2006

The latest alpha version of Firefox has been labeled “feature complete,” meaning no significant changes are planned for the webpage layout engine. In response, I have added the Firefox 2.0 information to the Web browser standards support resource. According to my information so far, there have been no significant changes to the areas currently covered in the standards support resource. However, since there were changes to SVG support and I hope to add SVG information to the tables eventually, I have decided to list Firefox 2.0 separately from Firefox 1.5.

Opera 9 information will be added when the public builds are labeled “feature complete” or an equivalent. Opera is known to make significant changes even in the final beta versions, so it’s possible that I will be unable to begin thorough testing until the final version of Opera 9 is released.