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W3C Standards Support

W3C Standards Support

In what comes as blissful news to web application developers and website designers, Microsoft is gradually coming to the realization that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards are actually very important, and is making IE more standards-compliant with every version.

Web designers tend to have a long-standing love/hate relationship with Internet Explorer because IE has traditionally been—shall we say—“selective” in which web standards it adheres to and which ones it rejects in favor of proprietary extensions.

HTML5 has rightly been receiving a great deal of press over the past year or so. The next generation of HTML boasts, among other things, a standardized interface for embedding media into web pages; this has been a common SNAFU among web designers.

The Test Drive Site Map page contains a whole bunch of browser demos that demonstrate how closely IE10 cleaves to the admittedly gelatinous HTML5 spec (in point of fact, HTML5 isn’t expected to be formally ratified until 2014; the spec is currently in “working draft” mode).

Figure 5 shows you a really nifty HTML5 refrigerator magnet game demo. This browser application test demonstrates HTML5 drag and drop functionality.

Figure 5 HTML5 magnetic poetry

For some web designers and application developers, the true test of a web browser’s adherence to W3C Web standards is the score it receives on the Acid3 Test. On my Windows 7 development machine, the IE10 Platform Preview scored a fairly impressive 95 out of 100. You can consult Wikipedia to learn more about the Acid3 test.

If you compare Figure 6 and Figure 7, you can see that IE10 falls down in at least two categories. For example, notice the lack of drop shadow on the text and the color disparity in the fifth block.

Figure 6 IE10 acid test performance

Figure 7 IE10 acid test reference rendering

In case you were wondering, you can in fact point the IE10 Platform Preview to other websites besides the links contained in the Test Drive site. Despite the absence of an address bar, you can click Page > Open to navigate to the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of your choice. The contents of the Page menu are shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 The IE10 Page menu

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