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Event 1: Recognize the Type of Any Web Document

Contestant, please grab a page from the web and tell the user what that page advertises itself to be. This is a simple warm-up event, and a sanity check for users. To perform well in this event, the engine has to meet HTTP and MIME standards. That's not very hard, but it's made harder than it needs to be because web servers can deliver all kinds of junk to web browsers. Still, browsers are within their rights to recognize some types and give up on others. That's in the rules.

There's little to say about most of the contestants, since they dutifully report what the web tells them. Internet Explorer is the complicated exception. The difficulty IE has is that it's trying to be two things:

  • On one hand, it's a web browser.

  • On the other hand, it's trying to be some kind of Active Desktop Windows Enhancement Thingy that integrates the web and the Microsoft Windows desktop.

The desktop has a set of rules for recognizing files. That set of rules is different from the web rules. IE tries to mash together the two rule sets so that the desktop is web-like, and the web is desktop-like. That nearly worked, but then the U.S. Department of Justice intervened. The upshot is that IE's compromise solution sometimes contradicts what the web has to say. The web has remained independent of Microsoft technology and IE provides less-than-perfect access for users.

Event 1 Results

Competitor

Score

Mozilla

1

Opera

1

KHTML

1

Internet Explorer

0.9


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