Thursday, January 29th, 2009

A little bit of Microsoft…. CSS tests and open source Web Sandbox

Category: Microsoft

There have been a couple of interesting bits of news out of Microsoft over the last couple of days.

Firstly, they submitted a boat load of CSS 2.1 tests to the W3C:

Today, the IE Team is submitting 3784 new test cases to the CSS 2.1 Working Group for inclusion into the CSS 2.1 test suite. These cases were developed since IE8 Beta 2. This brings Microsoft’s contribution to the CSS 2.1 Test Suite to 7005 tests. IE8 RC1 passes all of these tests today. All but 52 of these cases also pass in at least one other major browser. We’re working closely with the CSS working group to swiftly include these in the official test suite. For now, these tests are available at the Windows Internet Explorer Testing Center. The last key element to web layout interoperability is actually passing the tests. IE8 RC1 is the first browser to pass all valid tests in the suite thus meeting the interoperability requirements in the 2.1 spec.

It’s important that the spec, the browser, and the tests all agree on a behavior. This is when web developers really win. While developing these test cases, we found instances where all other browsers implemented something a specific way. That syntax pattern was in pages all over the web, creating a broad dependency on that behavior. In those cases, we proposed a change to the spec and developed an associated test case to ensure the web continues to work and browsers can implement the spec as written. We sincerely hope this helps the committee finish the 2.1 spec and move it into the Recommendation phase.

Secondly, the Live Labs Web Sandbox from Scott Isaacs and team, has now been released under an Apache license.

The post makes it a little hard to know what exactly is open sourced (mentions the runtime, is that everything?). It also doesn’t link to an actually repo. The only code that I can find is this piece which is copyright Microsoft. I have an email into the guys to get more info.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:50 am

3.1 rating from 29 votes


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These are great news after years of Microsoft induced pain.

Comment by samaxes — January 29, 2009

Wow, that is great news!!!

Comment by MorganRoderick — January 29, 2009

i can haz border-radius?! :)

Comment by ajaxery — January 29, 2009

great news? Microsoft has probably spend ore time developing stupid tests to show, that they now, after 10 years, support even the most unimportant parts of CSS 2.1, which no one was or is interested in. Instead they could have focused on what the other browsers support and use the rest of they resources to support parts of CSS3.

Comment by AndiSkater — January 29, 2009

I agree with Andi on this. Rather then using their resources wisely and actually putting together a product that doesn’t suck, they’re wasting time trying to show off that they can co-operate with standards better then anyone else.

And don’t anyone be fooled, that’s exactly what those 52 special test cases are there for. By submitting these test cases, Microsoft is indirectly exerting a controlling force on the standards.

Comment by Chiper — January 29, 2009


Regarding the submitted CSS2.1 tests by the IE guys, I don’t know what kind of developers you are, but when you produce any kind of serious code, and especially when implementing a spec, it is obligatory to make your own set of tests to see how your implementation goes. So stop bashing MS where it is not necessary. As far as the speed of adoption of standards by Microsoft goes, remember that they have their own interests when and what to promote. So get over it and be thankful when they comply with the standards.

Comment by vale — January 29, 2009

@AndiSkater, @Chiper -that’s an incredibly peevish attitude to take. Yes microsoft have admitted they basically abandoned browser development for a while, but this and other efforts going into ie8 are to be applauded. Yah, sure there’s a sense of fait-accompli here – “these are the tests we pass, go adjust the standards accordingly” but vigorous competition is essential for progress, and standards development in this area has always been a push-me-pull-you game by the major players. Its good to see MS back at the table. Lets hope they EOL ie6 *soon*.

Comment by sfoster — January 30, 2009

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