WebStandards.org: The State of the Web: Browser Incompatibilities Undermine Web’s Foundations

“As the Web grows far beyond the dreams of the people who
created it 10 years ago, its foundations are becoming increasingly
shaky due to browser incompatibilities, The Web Standards Project
announced in a ‘State of the Web’ report today.

‘Imagine if every brand of TV set required a different kind of
signal to receive your favorite show,’ said WSP Project Leader
George Olsen. ‘It sounds ridiculous, but that’s close to the
situation on the Web because browser makers have failed to
implement a common set of standards.’ “

“…In fact, nearly two-thirds of top 100 consumer Web sites are
now built in multiple versions, according to a recent report by
Jupiter Communications. Working around browser incompatibilities
adds at least 25 percent to the cost of Web sites.

‘The sad thing is that the browser makers who helped W3C develop
the standards are the very ones who’ve repeatedly failed to
implement these standards — some of which are more than two years
old now,’ Olsen said.”

“Instead of putting all its efforts into attempting to fully
support these standards, Microsoft put considerable effort into
partially supporting the still-experimental Extensible Stylesheet
Language (XSL). Unfortunately, since XSL is still under development
by W3C, Microsoft runs the risk of Internet Explorer 5.0 being
incompatible with the actual XSL standard when it is finished.”

“Netscape has promised to fix these problems and achieve 100
percent compliance with these standards in Netscape 5.0 by using
its new Gecko (ne NGLayout) rendering engine – which converts HTML
and other code into what users see on-screen.”


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