Monday, June 16th, 2008
You can check it out here: Standards support information with Firefox 3.
In terms of the percentages, the improvements aren’t staggering. However, we now have access to
display:inline-table, more properties on generated content,
white-space: pre-wrap, and negative
z-index values, which are very welcome additions.
Some of the CSS improvements were parts of CSS 3 specifications that haven’t yet reached Candidate Recommendation status, so those improvements will not yet be listed in my tables. Some other features, such as most of the CSS 3 pseudo-classes, are nearing completion and will be rolled into Firefox 3.1, planned for release by the end of the year. I’ll provide a separate column for that.
I didn’t see any changes in the areas of HTML my tables cover. There were plenty of improvements in HTML 5 support, but that isn’t a Candidate Recommendation yet and thus isn’t listed in my tables. One noteworthy addition to HTML 4.01 is the support for
­ which allows you to control word hyphenation at line breaks. My tables currently don’t cover all of the entities.
DOM support information and Opera 9.5 information are on the horizon.
I forgot to mention that there were some improvements in the HTML
title attribute so that newlines and such are handled more consistently with the SGML standard. Unfortunately, Firefox doesn’t yet interpret newline character references as line breaks in the content.
See, when a user agent is parsing an SGML attribute value, it’s supposed to first collapse the whitespace following a certain algorithm, and then the character references get converted to their respective characters, which are placed in the final interpreted value as-is. So whitespace characters that are represented by character references should never be collapsed or converted to simple spaces. The referenced whitespace characters are considered part of the value itself.
Not only does Firefox not display the referenced newlines in the tooltips, but it actually displays nothing, as if the character reference were never there. Interestingly, if you right-click the element and click on Properties, it displays the
title value as if the referenced newlines were replaced with spaces. No matter which way you look at it, Firefox isn’t doing what it should be doing.
An argument could be made for granting the user agent the right to collapse whitespace into a single space for its own reasons (for instance, if the value is being displayed in the status bar where you only have one line to work with). However, I can’t think of any excuse for collapsing it to nothing. As much as I’d like to see Firefox get a “Y” on all of those “(Core attributes)” rows, it just didn’t quite get there yet.
To clarify, it appears that in the tooltips, newline references are being stripped out and carriage return references are being converted to spaces, which means they are being converted to their respective characters before the whitespace collapsing is applied. The HTML 4.01 spec isn’t very clear about this, but it’s assumed to inherit the attribute normalization rules from the SGML standard.