Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are working together to improve web development standards
Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are working together in order to improve the web standards that are used across browsers and devices. It might sound like a cool crossover episode of superheroes, but this is not the first time the browser giants are pooling resources, they began working together in 2019.
Last year, the 4 browser makers collaborated for the Compat 2021 conference. This time, the alliance is being called Interop 2022, derived from the word interoperability.
Why is this important?
When a website tries to prevent access to a particular browser by saying something like, this site is best viewed in Chrome. Or, "please use a modern browser", and provides links to browsers that you don't use, it's annoying. You can usually get around this problem by spoofing the user-agent, either by using an add-on or by modifying a preference in the program's settings. That's not very complicated, but think about this.
Have you ever run into a website that doesn't work properly in one browser? It may load slowly, may appear broken, or uses a lot of resources while rendering the page. But when you try accessing the portal from a different browser, it may load perfectly. In such scenarios, the issue is not on the user's side per se. People jokingly blame such bugs on the web developers and say that they didn't code/test the site properly, to check if it is compatible with all modern browsers. Many users claim that YouTube runs better on Chromium browsers than on Firefox. Similarly, you may have observed a difference in the performance on other sites.
What is Interop 2022?
The problem isn't that simple though, there is also the issue of device and operating system compatibility that one needs to consider. A website should perform adequately on all major platforms Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Coding a website to support all these standards requires a lot of effort and time.
This is one of the concerns that the browser alliance aims to address. The tech giants want to make it easier for developers by setting universal web standards, that will enable them to code their web apps and sites to work across browsers and platforms.
Interop 2022 provides a benchmark that rates how Chrome/Edge, Firefox, and Safari fared in tests spanning 15 different web performance areas including Cascade Layers, Color Spaces and Functions, Containment, Dialog Element, Forms, Scrolling, Subgrid, Typography and Encodings, Viewport Units and Web Compat.
There is no winner or loser here because it is not a competition, the tests are meant to point which areas a browser needs to be improved in, compared to the others. If you are curious about the numbers, head over to the web platform tests dashboard on Interop 2022's website, and analyze the results.
ComputerWorld mentions that Apple does not allow iOS apps to use their own browser engine. As a result of this restriction, every single browser on the App Store including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, all use Safari's Webkit-based engine. This is one of the concerns that has been raised by developers. Hopefully this will change in the future.
If you are interested in the technical data, read the blog articles that have been published on Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft's websites.
Remember this, gHacks readers, that Mozilla is here to oppose Google and would never ever follow suit immediately once Google implements a web standard that may be problematic for privacy reasons. /s
Collaboration is worthwhile if it resolves compatibility issues across browsers, but the notion that any one collaborator of this group is an outsider is totally ridiculous. Just saying.
Ok but don’t cry next time.
Why don’t YOU in all YOUR magnificence push those losers out of the way, especially YOUR favourite whipping boy, Mozilla, and improve the web for all to benefit?
Any chance of that?
Dude, I am just saying that Mozilla is working with tech industry giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft in order to make the web a better place for all of us(TM). How dare you criticize that? How dare you rebel? * [Editor: removed]
Very interesting news, thanks @Ashwin for this good article! :]
The dog, the wolf, and the shepherd are now joined by the fox to improve the conditions for the livestock…
I believe that… baaaaa
That group should include The Free Software Foundation (FSF):
What a damn shame.
This is what you wrote:
“Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are working together in order to improve the web standards that are used across browsers and devices. It might sound like a cool crossover episode of superheroes, but this is not the first time the browser giants are pooling resources, they began working together in 2019.”
As a Pale Moon user informed by how my own browsing experience has evolved over the past decade, this is what I read:
“Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are working together in order to ensure that the so-called Web ‘standards’ they are developing and imposing work only in their own browsers and the devices they support. It might sound like a brand-new illegal combination in restraint of trade, but this is not the first time the browser giants have pooled resources and treated the W3C as a subsidiary, after-the-fact observer; they began working together in 2019.”
Before 2019, I guess it was just Google acting on its own, as a monopolist…
In the end, somehow, in a sick twist of fate, Zucker’s Metaverse will win out.
“The tech giants want to make it easier for developers by setting universal web standards”.
Those standards already exist. Google ignores them as do other web sites. The result is on many sites, they have become useless and users must seek out alternatives.
What doesn’t work to fix Google’s mess? Running Chromium and Firefox at the same time. That attempted solution results in hard browser crashes 100% of the time – with Chromium being the more unstable of the two.
A complete mess that Google has no intention of fixing because standards seem not to apply.
What utter nonsense. They’re already called web “standards” for a reason. If the W3C had a spine and stopped bending over backwards for Google there wouldn’t be so much discrimination against “non-mainstream” browsers. The whole point of the web is to have all websites use the same standards so no matter what browser you use it would all behave and perform the same. But Microsoft fudged this up during the IE6 era and now Google is doing exactly the same with Chrome. When Chrome wasn’t the dominant browser, Google was very much against using browser useragents to determine feature support, but now it’s useragent discrimination central, and everyone else is following this terrible practice.
If web developers can’t be arsed to follow the W3C best practices as it stands, why would standards established by this new cartel fare any different? Likely because there will be no other choice once a few major players form a cabal to bend the web to their exclusive vision of an advertiser-friendly data-mining utopia.
Oh buzz off already. Copypasting the same drivel everywhere. You don’t get to make legal statements about websites, they do by making you agree to their terms when you use the site and your only choice is to take it or leave it. And you can stick your cONsTiTuTiONaLLy pRoTecTeD riGhTs where the sun doesn’t shine where private, let alone non American owned websites are concerned. There is a whole world outside the US, typical clueless American.
Don’t “improve” anything anymore, just stick to the standards – that’s all you need to do!