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A browser test that tripped up Microsoft and helped pull the company into greater compliance with web standards has itself been updated for the changing web.

Acid3 has been modified so as not to fail browsers which implement certain APIs that are finding more widespread use online.

Ian Hickson, W3C HTML spec editor, wrote in a post that the Acid3 test had been updated by "commenting out" the parts of the test that might get changed in the spec.

The update follows some criticism of Acid3 here.

Acid3, from the Web Standard Project, checks a browser's compliance with web standards such as DOM and Javascript. It tests elements including layout of graphics and text.

Acid3 compliance was a goal Microsoft worked hard to meet on Internet Exploder 9 as it came in from the cold on web-standards compliance. Before IE9 – and less so on IE8 – Microsoft had gone its own way on displaying the internet in IE using its own, unique layout engine – called Trident.

The goal for all browser-makers on Acid3 has been to get as high a score as possible to show that their browser is in total or near total compliance with various standardised web technologies.

Acid3 has apparently now been updated in order not to fail browsers that implement core DOM features – including DOM Events, DOM Range and related APIs used in the W3C's SVG.

According to Hickson, Acid3 had tested a lot of the APIs in an "effort to improve the quality of their implementations so that authors can actually use them".

Hickson notes that some browsers have avoided implementing the DOM APIs because the standard is likely to change"

"We have updated the Acid3 test by commenting out the parts of the test that might get changed in the specs, including everything I listed above. We hope this will allow the specs to change in whatever way is best for the Web, rather than constraining the changes to only be things that happened to fit what Acid3 tested!

Acid3 has been updated in the past to cater for CSS 2.1 while Hickson said "we really ramped things up wit the new HTML spec". ®

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