Internet Explorer 8 Clears Acid2.. Really??

by Karthik on December 20, 2007 · 6 comments


Well the Whole Blogosphere has been talking about IE8 Clearing the Acid2 test. Lets hear to what the IE8 team has to say about the milestone :

As a team, we’ve spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the ‘Acid2 Face‘ correctly in IE8 standards mode.

Before I answer the question that I raised in the title of this post, let me tell you what the Acid2 test is all about :

Acid2 is designed to determine how compliant a given web browser is with published HTML. A fully compliant browser displays a smiling yellow face. However, non-compliant browsers show varying degrees of garbage.

Now coming to the announcement regarding IE8 clearing the Acid2 test. Let me tell you IE8 cleared the test when all other standards compliant browsers like Firefox 3, Opera, Safari failed to clear the test. Yes doesn’t that sound suspicious enough.. Yes it does, the Web Standards team has made some changes to Acid2 Test Page, that has made the test to fail for most Standards compliant browsers.

  • What changed that broke the test?

It looks like an object element that’s pointing to a non-existent page ( should be falling through, but that page is now returning a response status of 200 (success) instead of 404. Was it previously correctly returning a 404 response?

Perhaps this test should be hosted on a separate server, instead of coexisting with a live site like, so that future mishaps like this don’t happen.

Well that is it, the Acid2 test page is broken at the moment, so I’m not entirely sure if the Microsoft team was a little too early with the announcement. They’d probably try out the alternate test page over at and see if IE8 passes the test.

Right now, I’m not entirely convinced about the announcement from the IE8 team. While adherence to Web Standards is a good thing, it wouldn’t be nice if Microsoft announced now that IE8 clears Acid2 only to later discover that it doesn’t.

While Microsoft lovers will hate me for writing this. But I’d love IE8 to stick to Web Standards when it is released. All the best to the Microsoft team with the IE8 project, atleast I’m sticking out with Firefox so I’ve nothing to worry.

For more details see the discussion over at BugZilla.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike R. December 20, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I took the Acid2 test with Opera, and I cannot tell a difference between what I should see and what is rendered by Opera. The only difference is that the nose turns blue, I wonder if that means i failed?


Rahul Ghai December 21, 2007 at 9:16 am

No, Mike the nose is ssupposed to turn blue when you hover over it. Another interesting thing happens,,, when i perform the test using opera on the official website, the test doesnt run properly although running it on the hixie link provided above, it works wonderfully well. *confused*


Karthik Kastury December 21, 2007 at 10:09 am

@Rahul, @Mike : The test works perfectly on the Hixie link because the official test page is currently broken. So it won’t work until its fixed..


Dimitry December 21, 2007 at 11:23 am

Wow, I think you really missed the point. The fact that IE team actually CARES to pass the Acid2 test is a huge deal. IE7 was a good improvement and IE8 is going to be very good (in the very least, it will mark a retirement of IE6, so we will all be better off).

You can get all nit-picky and contradict their statements (and for what reason?), but in the end, IE team is doing the right thing, at last.


Mike R. December 21, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Alright, the test link is no longer broken, so I went ahead and decided to try it out, and I failed miserably.


scroll December 22, 2007 at 12:15 am

IE8 shows a scrollbar. That means it didn’t actually pass.


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