In what could be exciting news for web developers worldwide, several Big Tech companies, including Apple and Google, have joined forces to eventually help websites offer a seamless and consistent experience across different platforms.
The group comprised of software consultancies Bocoup and Igalia, in cooperation with web browser makers Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, have developed a benchmark aptly named Interop 2022. It evaluates browsers like Safari, Edge, Chrome, and Firefox on how they implement specific web standards. Interop scores browsers based on 15 web platform specifications, namely cascade layers, color spaces, CSS color functions, new viewport units, scrolling, and subgrid. Three other capabilities aren’t mentioned but are also being investigated.
In simple terms, these parameters together evaluate how browsers reproduce colors, content layers, sizing of the area to display content, and how they handle scroll snap and over-scroll. Interop 2022 encourages interoperability, so websites share more similarities across browsers in terms of appearance and functionality without requiring web developers to pour in additional effort to ensure compatibility. A part of the burden of guaranteeing interoperability is passed on to browser makers.
In a blog post, Google executives Rachel Andrew, Philip Jägenstedt, and Robert Nyman heralded the combined effort behind Interop 2022.
“For the first time ever, all major browser vendors, and other stakeholders, have come together to solve the top browsers compatibility issues identified by web developers.
In essence, the goal is to make the web platform more usable and reliable for developers, so that they can spend more time building great web experiences instead of working around browser inconsistencies”
Apple web development evangelist Jen Simmons also voiced a similar sentiment.
“We care deeply about the health of the web, and interoperable implementations of web standards.”
Different browsers lack on different fronts. For instance, Safari has been slow to implement some WebKit APIs that favor apps that rival native Apple solutions. The Interop 2022 benchmark hopes to get the most popular browsers on a level playing field so users can enjoy interoperability across platforms. It intends to help web developers work with browser makers to streamline the experience for everyone using the web.
In an initial run evaluating the stable releases, Chrome and Edge scored 61 on a 100-point scale, surpassed by Firefox’s score of 69. However, Apple’s Safari scored a dismal 50 points. That said, the most current beta builds of these browsers showed promise. Chrome and Edge scored 71 while Firefox scored 74, and Safari didn’t lag too far behind with 73.
Do you believe Interop 2022 will succeed in bringing homogeneity across browsers? Please tell us what you think in the comments below.[Via The Register]