▲ "IE: What do I want to do" "Download Chrome" "IE: Oh buy Karma"
How many people do the first thing after buying a new computer is to open their own browser and download Chrome or Firefox?
Although we have entered the era of the mobile Internet, many network services have been transformed from websites to independent apps, but the browser is still the most commonly used entry for most people to surf the Internet.
In order to avoid nasty freezes and advertising problems when surfing the Internet, people are always used to choosing the most brisk, purest or most functional browser before starting to surf, which will form a brand dependence effect over time.
Just like Coca-Cola fans never consider Pepsi, friends who are used to Chrome will feel awkward looking at Safari; no matter how Edge recommends itself, Firefox users will not be tempted.
For a long time, browsers have been a fragmented market. According to statistics from Statcounter, Chrome came out on top with 64.3%, followed by Safari with 18.96%, Firefox and Edge with 3.71% and 3.7% respectively. ranked third and fourth.
It stands to reason that there should be a competitive relationship between the top players in the market, trying to "grab" new users from the opponent's camp. Recently, however, the four browsers have rarely united in order to achieve "Internet Unification".
Your website my website, seems to be the same?
The companies that own the four browsers, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla, recently announced that they will join software consulting firms Bocoup and Igalia to create a web standard called Interop 2022, which aims to eliminate compatibility issues between different browsers.
You may be wondering, is it possible to open the same website with different browsers, except the speed is different. Will there still be a difference in what is displayed?
▲ The effect of the same model in Chromium (left) Gecko (middle) Webkit (right) kernel browser
That's true. Taking the popular website layout model CSS Flexbox as an example, the display effects of the same model in Chromium (Chrome kernel), Gecko (Firefox kernel) and Webkit (Safari kernel) are different, and the differences are so big that it is difficult to make them. Man finds out showing correct version.
Compatibility issues like this are common on the Internet. It would be a disaster for both users and website owners if a website that displayed fine on Chrome was crowded into a bunch on Safari.
But it is not easy to make different browsers display unified content. In 2019, companies such as Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft formed a developer survey group called MDN Web Testing to conduct a survey of developers on network construction. The pain points and needs are investigated.
According to MDN Web Testing's survey report, among the 28 "most frustrating requirements of web development" selected by developers, "must support a specific browser (such as IE 11)" topped the list.
The second and third most annoying requirements are "avoid or remove features that don't work across browsers" and "make different browsers look/work the same", respectively. Compatibility related.
Daniel Clifford, chief software engineer and product manager of Chrome, believes that the MDN Web Testing research has given the development team a clearer understanding of the challenges developers face in testing. In order to support the next generation of testing tools, Chrome needs to cooperate with all browser manufacturers. Help solve this industry problem.
So, last year, Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft jointly launched the Compat 2021 plan to improve five key compatibility projects.
Interop 2022 launched this year is a continuation of Compat 2021.
The successful advancement of the project last year gave the project team members a lot of confidence, so in Interop 2022, the project team increased the number of compatibility projects for target improvement to 15, and this time Apple also officially announced to participate in this improvement plan. middle.
For the first time ever, all major browser developers and other stakeholders have come together to address compatibility issues encountered by web developers
Google's Rachel Andrew, Philip Jägenstedt and Robert Nyman commented in a technical blog post at Interop 2022.
"College Entrance Examination" belonging to the browser
How to evaluate the compatibility of browsers?
Interop 2022 builds on Compat 2021 with 10 interoperability items, which are scored from 0-100 based on browser performance.
Judging from the current results, the performance of the stable browsers of the three kernels is not very optimistic. Among them, Firefox is the tallest among the short ones, scoring 69 points, while Apple's Safari is a miserable bottom with only 50 points.
The 15 projects include functions such as cascading layers, gamut and CSS color capabilities, new viewport units, page scrolling, and subgrids, all of which are basically interaction-related interoperation projects, which is why Interop 2022 is named.
Although the total scores of several browsers are similar, from the detailed results, it will be found that the differences in some sub-items are very large, and the three have their own merits.
Some of these problems have been resolved in the developer version, and Interop 2022 also counted the developer version's score. The original score in the stable version was significantly behind Safari's score of 73 points, surpassing the other two Chromium-based browsers.
The project team's confidence in Interop 2022 stems from what Compat 2021 achieved last year.
▲ The polyline is the growth route of each browser, and Safari has made significant progress
After a year of improvement, the browsers of the three kernels have achieved an average score of more than 90 points in the five items of aspect ratio, CSS Flexbox, grid layout, sticky positioning, and transformation.
This is also the meaning of the Interop 2022 project – to help browser developers themselves find compatibility problems in interoperability projects, promote cooperation to comprehensively improve the Web development environment, and then allow developers to focus on improving website design and interaction. instead of wasting on dealing with compatibility issues.
In addition to aiming to eliminate compatibility differences between different browsers, Interop 2022 also wants to push the website experience forward.
Take the viewport unit in the 15-item metrics as an example. When you browse the web in Safari, you may notice that the size of the viewport is different when the page is still and scrolling.
If the viewport changes, what size can ensure that the action button can be clicked accurately, and the interior of the page will not be blocked too much? This requires the development of a set of interaction standards.
When different browsers follow scientific interaction standards, users can be guaranteed a uniform and good experience on the same website.
Another metric about color gamut also has a huge impact on user experience. In the early days of the Internet, most websites limited the color of images to save data. For a long time, the Internet has generally adopted sRGB as the color gamut standard.
However, with the development of display devices and network construction, the color gamut range that monitors can display has exceeded sRGB. For example, the Display P3 color gamut commonly used by Apple devices is 50% wider than sRGB.
This kind of "color shackles" left over from history limits the types of colors we can see in the browser, which not only wastes the wide color gamut screen itself, but also may cause the color cast problem that the photos do not match the real object, and this has always been the problem of web pages. Big problem.
Interop 2022, which brings together the main forces of the Internet, is a good opportunity to solve this big problem.
Interop 2022 proposes that browsers need to support color gamuts including LAB, LCH, and P3, which greatly enriches the color variety of the Internet. When wide color gamut is generally supported by browsers, the corresponding wide color content may be popularized.
In general, both website developers and ordinary users can benefit from this "browser college entrance examination" held by browser giants. As Apple promised in the project, only if the Internet is full of interoperability , websites and network applications can better serve us who use the network every day.
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