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MS slammed for abandoning W3C standards in IE 5.5

WaSP gets very splenetic indeed on the matter

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The Windows version of IE 5.5 has come under heavy fire from the Web Standards Project (WaSP), a grouping of web developers which lobbies for standards and an end to fragmentation in browser development. WaSP accuses Microsoft of abandoning Web standards it has publicly committed to supporting, and instead "focussing on proprietary technologies which are certain to fragment the already-troubled Web space." You might class WaSP's outburst as a desperate bid for publicity (it helpfully headlines its own release "Web Standards Project blasts Microsoft's 'arrogant' break with standards," but the outfit did offer Microsoft its congratulations on its "thorough implementation of HTML 4 and CSS 1" in the Mac version of IE 5 last month. That was a case of 'good work, but should try harder,' as WaSP then pointed out that "no browser can be considered fully standards-compliant until it supports XML and the DOM," and urged Microsoft to get on with it. But with IE5.5 for Windows, Microsoft isn't supporting "the DOM Level 1 core and portions of the CSS1 specification." Says WaSP group leader Jeffrey Zeldman: "We are incensed by Microsoft's arrogance, and perplexed by its schizophrenic decision to support standards on one platform while undercutting them on another." This will have the result that developers "will be helplessly spun in Microsoft's direction," because they'll have to write for the dominant platform, rather than to standards. Haven't we heard this one somewhere before? WaSP accuses Microsoft of "innovating ahead of the W3C, while leaving large chunks of standardised processing and styling unsupported," and points out that after four years we're still waiting for Microsoft "to fulfill their long-standing pledge to fully adhere to W3C-issued recommendations." ® See also: Web Standards Project

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