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Event 4: Display the Web Document

Contestant, please take the content of this web document and paint it onscreen so that the reader can read it. We want to see how faithfully and precisely you do that. In particular, we don't want you changing some author's web content to suit yourself. If we wanted saccharine censorship, we could watch TV. If browsers start fiddling with publishers' content for no good reason, we're all on a slippery slope to somewhere unpleasant. None of that, thanks. Don't blow it, just show it.

This event is called rendering, and although the contestants all behave in a stylish manner, it's still a technical competition, just like Olympic gymnastics. The performance of each browser again depends on standards support.

Event 4 Results

Competitor

Score

Mozilla

0.9

Opera

0.99

KHTML

0.9

Internet Explorer

0 or 1


In this area Opera shines, meeting the CSS 2.1 standard completely. The Mozilla engine's "outline" support is still coming, and that's enough to let it slip back a little. KHTML's CSS support is far less finished than Mozilla's, but there's nothing between 0.9 and 0, so 0.9 it is.

Because IE has historically been popular, many web pages are created explicitly to look good in IE. It's a political business to argue where the true web standards are. Are they the standards made in the castle that is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)? Or are they the reality on the ground—whatever IE does is the standard? One thing is certain: IE and the W3C's rendering standards are pretty different, especially with regard to the latest recommendation, CSS 2.1. If you're a purist, you might say that the other browsers seem to manage to follow standards, so 0 for IE. If you're a pragmatist, you'll say that until IE improves (or its market share falls a lot), you'll support both approaches, so 1 point for IE.

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