Safari for Mac, Opera for Windows both claim 100% on Acid3

As the race for perfect compliance with the Web Standards Project's latest test battery heats up, the two dark horses in the race claim a neck-and-neck finish ahead of Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Screenshots of perfect 100/100 scores on the Acid3 standards compliance test for apparently the most recent daily development builds, were posted on the team blogs for both the Safari browser for Mac and Windows and the Opera browser for Windows, at the very same hour early yesterday evening. It may have been perhaps the closest photo-finish since Intel and IBM claimed they discovered the hafnium formula for high-k dielectrics on the same morning.

But the Safari team's own transparency about the process led to the discovery of a potentially serious bug with the Acid3 test, which its principal author acknowledged last night. Just as the news of Opera's passage began traveling over blogs, with the exaggerated headline that Opera was the first browser to pass, writes the WSP's Ian Hickson, the Apple team contacted him to say there was a serious problem with its handling of Scalable Vector Graphics fonts.

The Apple team wrote that the problem would make a perfect 100/100 score impossible on the existing build of Acid3. But that was 45 minutes or so after the Opera team claimed it had already reached that goal.

Hickson lays the blame for the problem apparently on the W3C, for not specifying the SVG standard clearly enough. "I have to say, by the way, that the relevant parts of the SVG spec are truly worthless," he wrote. "Where are the UA conformance criteria? You'd think a spec that was so verbose and detailed would actually tell you stuff, instead of just rambling on without actually saying what the requirements were."

There's no word yet as to whether the Opera team will specifically require a do-over for its latest build, although an Opera spokesperson late yesterday told BetaNews, "This does not mean we pass per se, but rather that we are incredibly close to completely passing the Acid3 test. We will have a public build probably next week." An earlier test of Acid3 on Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 yielded a score of 17.

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