March 29
Web Standards Project Praises IE 5/Mac
Urges Microsoft to ‘finish the job’

[Editor's note: This is an unedited press release from the Web Standards Project published here because it was not available on WaSP's Web site at press time.]

March 29, 2000—The Web Standards Project (WaSP) today praised Microsoft's thorough implementation of HTML 4 and CSS 1 in the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer 5. However, the WaSP cautioned that no browser can be considered fully standards-compliant until it supports XML and the DOM, and the group urged Microsoft to take IE5/Mac to the next level.

"IE5/Mac offers the highest real-world standards compliance of any browser yet shipped," said group leader Jeffrey Zeldman, who also praised the browser for focusing on accessibility. "An innovative Text Zoom feature allows the visually impaired to increase the size of type on a Web page," Zeldman noted. "Web users will no longer be penalized for the poor authoring practices of some developers."

The WaSP had further praise for the browser's novel "DOCTYPE"-sensitive rendering strategy, which delivers outstanding HTML4/CSS1 compliance or emulation of many older, nonstandard behaviors at the Web designer's discretion. But along with the applause, the group reminded Microsoft that meaningfully complete standards compliance must include support for XML 1.0 and the DOM 1 Core.

"XML 1.0 has been stable since February 1998; it is long past time for browser makers to finish the job of supporting it," said WaSP steering committee member Tim Bray, co-editor of XML 1.0. Noting that full XML support will enable a new generation of Web applications to offload interactive application logic to the browser, making the whole Web faster, cheaper, and more productive for users, Bray added: "Today's browsers, however sophisticated, are still more or less FTP with pictures. The way to change that is to implement XML and the DOM (neither by itself is sufficient), and we're still waiting for that to happen."

The Web Standards Project is an international grassroots coalition of Web developers and users fighting for standards on the Web, by calling attention to browser incompatibilities that fragment the medium, prevent many people from using the Web, and add 25% to the cost of developing all sites. The WaSP urges all browser manufacturers to support existing standards before incorporating proprietary innovations, and is working to educate Web authors and Web-related software developers so that we may create a Web that works for everyone. For more information on WaSP, please see

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