Firefox first browser to pass MathML Acid Test. How about your browser?

Martin Brinkmann
May 4, 2013

Google Chrome for a long time was seen as the web browser that was pushing web standards the most. It was faster in terms of JavaScript performance than any other browser on the market, supported web standards that others did not, and always scored highest in the HTML5 Test.

For the past year or so, Mozilla started to improve Firefox in many ways closing the gap between the browser and Google Chrome in many regards. While it is still not beating Chrome in some benchmarks or the HTML5 Test, one cannot say that Firefox has not improved significantly in that time.

In some regards, it passed by Chrome and there are no signs that Mozilla will slow down anytime soon.

Sometimes, it is the little things that make a difference. If you are not a developer, you have probably never heard about MathML, the Mathematical Markup Language, before. Its main aim is to provide mathematicians with the means to use math expressions on the Internet.

If you are really interested, check out the Wikipedia page which offers all the information you could ever ask for.

A test has been created to test a browser's MathML support. It works similar to the popular Acid3 test which tests a web browser's web standard support.

Elements are drawn on the screen and a smiley face is displayed if the web browser supports all the web technologies used to draw it. The first of the major web browsers to do is the latest Nightly version of the Firefox web browser. Take a look at the screenshot below to see how it should look like.

Other browsers display all kinds of errors messages at the time of writing, below is Google Chrome Canary's rendering of the page:

google chrome math ml support

Why is Google Chrome rendering it in this way? According to Frédéric Wang, the company removed features that it did not plan on supporting in short term from the browser after they have forked WebKit and decided to work on Blink.

While I would not call Math ML support a pressing matter, it is likely that at least some users welcome support for it. For me it is another indicator that Mozilla is becoming the driving force behind many of the innovations that we will experience on the Web in the coming years.

If I had to pick something that I think will have a big impact, it is ORBX.js, a technology that can stream HD contents - apps, games and services, to nearly every device.


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