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Back in July 2000 I noted that, eight years earlier, when I first got involved with the Web, there were 26 sites online. Now Dave Hyatt, one the Apple Computer developers working on the Safari web browser, notes that:
...there are (conservatively) 10 million Web sites on the Web. Let's say (conservatively) that each Web site has 50 unique Web pages. That's 500 million Web pages that the Web browser has to work perfectly on.
And to emphasize the sorry lot of those who build web browsers, he goes on:
An awesome browser would be (conservatively) 95% compliant, which means that it would have some sort of bug or problem on 5% of those 500 million Web pages.
5% of 500 million Web pages is 25 million malfunctioning Web pages. Let's now assume that only 10% of those Web pages are even seen by someone using Safari itself. Now we're down to 2.5 million pages seen by Safari users.
If only 10% of those users even bother to report a bug, that's 250,000 unique bugs that have to be screened.
So those of us who build web pages would be a whole lot better off if we made them correctly, rather than hoping that browser makers can create browsing software that works no matter what junk we send to it.