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Standards-compliance is the compliance of a website or web browser with the web standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). To ensure interoperability a standards-compliant web site does not use proprietary software methods or features of a browser.

Although there is no perfect browser that adheres to all standards[citation needed], advancement has been made by most web browsers in the past few years that will ensure better interoperability. In the past a standards-compliant browser sometimes meant a browser other than Internet Explorer[original research?] (which had poor compliance prior to the release of version 8.0 in 2009).

Current use of the term "standards-compliance" generally refers to the adherence to coding practices in relation to the use of HTML or XHTML, with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the layout, colors, and fonts of a web page. The Web Standards Project (WaSP) is a group, mainly composed of experienced web developers, whose mission is to encourage the use of these standards globally. Their recent efforts have been to promote the use of and adherence to the CSS 2.0 web standard by browsers, including how browsers respond to invalid markup and styles. The tests developed by WaSP are called Acid1, Acid2, and Acid3, with each testing CSS1, CSS2, and CSS2+ (CSS2 + Client-Side Scripting), respectively.[citation needed]


The purpose of the CSS 2.0 web standard is to keep data separate from its format, to maximize portability and interoperability.[1] To see how the CSS 2.0 standards could be applied, consider the following HTML:

<h1 color="lime" align="center">Horses</h1>
<p color="yellow" bgcolor="black">These magnificent creatures can...</p>

In this example, the data is not separated from its formatting. To make this example CSS 2.0 compliant, the above code would look something like this:

  • style.css:
    h1 { color: lime;    text-align: center;      }
    p  { color: yellow;  background-color: black; }
  • index.html:
  <p>These magnificent creatures can...</p>

In this example, you can see that the data has been separated from its formatting, so it's easy to tell that the colors and alignment are not related to the data at all, but are only used for formatting. All browsers that are 100% CSS 2.0 compliant should display the latter example (almost) identically.

Modern web browsers currently under development, or recently released (Opera 10, Mozilla Firefox 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, Safari 5, Google Chrome 5) fully support the CSS 2.0 standard, as well as some of the CSS 3.0 standards.[2][3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Web browser standards support".
  3. ^ "Web browser CSS support".