This week has seen the release of a raft of new proposals for features to be integrated into the CSS specification:
The CSS WG had a face-to-face meeting in San Diego last month, and have released their latest resolutions in a series of posts on their blog:
Some of the highlights I saw on my first read through:
- Apple’s proposed animation & transition properties are to be considered.
- Web fonts are to be worked on with the SVG team
- The Advanced Layout module is still being discussed but will be renamed the Template Layout module
- A new type of list, tree-lines, was proposed
- A proposal for the use of constants will be published
Obviously there’s a lot more in there, but it’s nice to see that the Working Group is working!
The Internet Explorer team announced on their blog today that they are unhappy with the slow progress and differing implementations of the various CSS3 modules, and will not be including any CSS3 functionality in IE8; instead they will be producing their own, alternative standard, which they are codenaming CSS.2012 (after the planned year of launch of the subsequent browser).
Few details have yet been released as to what the new standard will contain, although one new feature which was hinted at was the
:silverlightselector, which will be used to replace text in selected elements with high-definition streaming video.
It is unlikely that CSS.2012 will be compatible with existing CSS standards, and MS intend to use their dominant market share to automatically push the new version onto desktops; with training being provided only by Microsoft-certificated teachers, this could end up being very expensive for web developers forced to re-train.
IE Platform Architect, Chris Wilson, said:
Other browsers and standards break the web, so CSS.2012 is our best effort at fixing it. It will be tightly integrated into .NET and Silverlight, and initially will only work in IE9. Other browsers will be able to license the technology after a few years, when we judge it is stable. Then they can’t break the web.
Update: It’s just after noon here in the UK, so time for me to confess: yes, this is an April Fool’s Day hoax; of course, Microsoft would never pull a stunt like this. Hope you all enjoyed the prank, and I’m happy I caught a few of you out!
Some of you might have noticed that in the last few months, we’ve been having quite a few outages. Most of these were directly related to this blog being on Digg, Slashdot, Reddit, you name it. Some of the outages were caused by an even nastier thing, my other blog, an SEO blog, was on the same server, and had some articles, about WordPress SEO for instance, that were being hammered on a lot as well. Due to the fact that it was one environment, if that blog went down, this one went too, and the other way around.
So we started looking around for a better hosting provider, and thanks to David, we got in touch with the great guys at Media Temple, who graciously offered to take care of our hosting for us. This had the added benefit of this server being in the States, close to where 80% of our public is. So after a bit of work, we’re now on a new hosting environment, everything should be working again, and a bit faster than before.
We’ve also gotten a new RSS button, as you can see, thanks to my pal Roy Huiskes, and we’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.5, which I absolutely love. If there’s anything you see that’s not working correctly, let us know in the comments, and we’ll fix it!
BTW: we’ve got 3 advertising spots available at the moment on the right, if you’re interested, check out the advertising page.
Update: we now have gravatar support as well, get yourself one!
One of the interesting things about Acid 3 is that it tests parts of the CSS3 Colour and CSS3 Selectors modules, that are a part of the 2007 CSS snapshot. Now that both Opera and WebKit pass the standards part of the Acid 3 test, the support for the snapshot has now also improved. The CSS 2007 snapshot is the state of play in CSS at the end of 2007.
WebKit used to lack support for many CSS3 selectors, but now passes the CSS3 Selectors test on this site, and supports all of these selectors. Opera already supported these, but didn’t support HSLA, RGBA and the CSS3 values for
transparent. These were added to pass Acid 3 in a post Kestrel build (which may or may not be back ported). Due to these improvements, support in these two browsers for the CSS 2007 snapshot looks healthy.
Ignoring CSS2.1 for now (which Opera has very good support for), both browsers fully support the Selectors Level 3 spec and the CSS Namespaces spec. For CSS3 Colour, the support isn’t quite as clear cut. Everything is supported in Opera, except the
flavorkeyword and the various related colour profile properties. These properties are at risk of being dropped by the spec however. WebKit has the same support except it doesn’t support
currentColoryet, and has some bugs with allowing mixed values in RGB and RGBA. Firefox has had similar CSS3 Colour support to Opera for a while now
Away from the 2007 snapshot, ACID3 also tests Media Queries. These were already supported in Opera and WebKit, but are not yet supported in Gecko or the IE engine. Web Fonts (
@font-face) are in the test and were already supported by WebKit, while Opera was developing support, but speeded up development to pass the test. Finally
cursorfrom CSS3 Basic User Interface was added by Opera to pass Acid 3. I’m unsure if this was already supported by WebKit or not.
Although CSS3 UI is not part of the CSS 2007 snapshot, the spec is close to being complete–apart from lacking an editor or a test suite–and support in one or more browsers exists for many of the properties. The features supported by one or more browsers now includes
box-sizing(Opera, Safari, Firefox and IE8),
outline-offset(Opera, Safari and Firefox),
cursor(Opera, Safari and Firefox).
Update by David: Opera has now released a public WinGogi build of Opera passing the DOM test and with pixel perfect rendering. We don’t believe we have passed the test yet, as there are performance issues with a couple of tests. This puts Opera and Safari neck and neck. It is fantastic to see both the Apple and Opera teams taking this test seriously and pushing each other to improve our standards support. Who ever wins the race doesn’t really matter, the main point is that there are now two engines with the required standards support to pass Acid 3. This could be a shot in the arm for both CSS3 and SVG.
Update by David: Although the Acid 3 test was updated to allow WebKit to pass by the letter of the test, they still seem to fail by the spirit of the competition. One of the sections of the Acid 3 test checks SVG Animation. WebKit have added the interface to allow the test to pass, but not fully implemented the feature it was testing. See Jeff Schiller’s blog for more information.
Update by Joost: While Opera might have been the first to pass the test in laboratory conditions, for which I applaud them and I hope they release it ASAP, you can download a WebKit nightly right now and enjoy the full 100/100!
Update In the last few minutes (while I was eating lunch) the final 2% was reaching, making Opera the first browser to reach 100%. There are still some rendering issues, but things are well on track to passing the test. A preview build will be released on Opera Labs shortly. Thanks to our developers in Scandinavia that have been working into the evening to reach 100%.
Safari has been making great gains in its Acid3 score in recent weeks, currently residing on 96%. Opera however has come out of the chasing pack and moved from 77% in the latest weekly release of Kestrel, to
98%in the latest internal builds. As part of this it also includes the long requested CSS3 HSLA and RGBA support, and Web Fonts.
These improvements wont be included in a weekly Kestrel build any time soon. Opera, like Mozilla, are at a stage on our development process where we are closing in on a release, and thus regression testing and stability are critically important. This work will most likely (although not confirmed) go into a post Kestrel release, in case it causes regressions and the like. There will probably be an experimental alpha release showing this improved support in the not too distant future.
Yesterday Dave announced that the team have introduced a new proprietary value for the CSS3 ‘background-clip’ property.The new value “…causes the background image to clip to foreground text (including decorations and shadows). The shape of the foreground content (including alpha transparency in the content) is applied as a mask to clip background drawing for the box.”
I have come up with a few examples that show the new value being used in several different scenarios:-
- Background clips to text (Screenshot)
- Background clips to text (with text-shadow applied) (Screenshot)
- Background clips to text-stroke (Screenshot)
- Background clips to text-stroke (with text-decoration applied) (Screenshot)
Needless to say that you need to download the latest nightly to view the live examples. I have also included screenshots of each example (background image is a subtle vertical gradient).
Apple surprised a lot of people by releasing Safari 3.1 today (myself included!), and amongst its list of new & improved features (
videotags! SVG in
background-image!) are two which will be of interest to readers of this blog: full CSS3 selectors support, and web fonts.
The first means that Safari now supports the missing nth-child / nth-of-type selectors, which are useful for styling tables and lists (amongst others), and also now passes our Selectors Test (which, while by no means exhaustive, is very useful). Opera 9.5 will also support these selectors; Firefox 3 probably won’t, IE8 is unknown.
The second is the more exciting to me, and I’ve already written a quick introduction (with example) on my own blog. In a nutshell, you can now embed fonts in your pages to display even to users who don’t have that font installed. There’s a longer article with more examples on A List Apart.
We’d known most of this was being implemented by Webkit/Safari, but had no idea it would be coming so soon. Congratulations to the whole team, and here’s hoping it serves as an example to the other browser makers.
Kudos to the Webkit guys for obtaining such a high score after Acid3’s launch only earlier this month; I recommend you subscribe to the blog to keep up with their work, as it’s pretty active at the moment and I’m sure that activity is only going to increase the closer they come to passing Acid3.
A meta bug has been created in their Bugzilla which you can use to keep track of their progress and outstanding bugs relating to an Acid3 pass.
Other browser scores below:-
- IE8 – 17/100
- Opera nightly (build 4681) – 65/100
- FF3b pre 5 – 70/100