Browser/Server Evaluation Project (William M. Perry)
Date: Tue, 17 May 1994 03:53:21 +0200
Message-id: <m0q3DGO-00005eC@monolith>
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From: (William M. Perry)
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Browser/Server Evaluation Project
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>>>>> "bp" == Brandon Plewe <> writes:

bp> I have decided to drop the Best Browser category from the Best of
bp> the Web for a number of reasons, among them: popularity vs. quality
bp> issues, variance between platforms, lack of information, large
bp> number of competitive browsers, etc.

bp> Instead, I think it would be valuable for one of us (I could be
bp> involved, but don't have the time to spearhead it) to do a
bp> comprehensive comparison of the WWW Browsers out there (PD and
bp> Commercial).  This could be a central site for people looking for
bp> one, or wondering what the most current version is and where to get
bp> it.

bp> More than a simple compendium like the rest we see out there
bp> (i.e. the WWW FAQ), this would have a detailed head-to-head
bp> comparison of features, with screenshots to show interfaces and
bp> such.  The Mosaic debate last week on c.i.www (which is becoming
bp> something of a cesspool) shows how ignorant the larger www
bp> community is about what browsers are available and what they do.

bp> Would anyone like to work with me on this?

  I can volunteer a little time...

The things that should be compared are:

1. Forms support
   a. Basics (text, checkbox, radio, menus, etc)
   b. Full (error checking, multiple Submit buttons with possibly distinct
      ACTIONS, scribblle and audio)

2. Entity support
   a. All the HTML+ entities?
   b. Graphical entities?

3. Emphasis supported
   a. Logical emphasis <em role=xxx> </em>
   b. Generic emphasis tag
   c. Additional HTML+ emphasis tags (sub, sup, strike)

4. Images
   a. <IMG> tag
   b. Figures
   c. ISMAP support
   d. Types of images supported (extensible?)
   e. Delaying of images (easy to restrict?)

5. Fun stuff
   a. NOTEs, footnotes
   b. Tables
   c. Maths

6. Extensibility
   a. Ease of changing formatting
   b. Mapping file extensions to MIME types
   c. Specifying viewers on MIME types

7. Portability
   a. Range of platforms it runs on
   b. Ease of porting to a new platform/toolkit (Motif->Athena, X->Windows,

8. Browser specific goodies
   a. Enhancements specific to the one browser (x-exec urls, posting news,
      grokking a users newsrc, etc)

There are probably more, but these are the biggies.

-Bill P.