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Chapter Four. XML Conquers the World (An... > Test Suites and Specifications

Test Suites and Specifications

W3C test suites enable browser makers to determine if their software complies with a standard or requires more work. No test suite existed for HTML 4.01 (the markup language that is also the basis of XHTML 1.0). In the absence of such a test suite, browser makers wanting to comply with those standards had to cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Moreover, in the absence of a test suite, the makers of standards found themselves in an odd position. How can you be certain that a technology you're inventing adequately addresses the problems it's supposed to solve when you lack a practical proving ground? It's like designing a car on paper without having a machine shop to build what you've envisioned.

In the interest of standards makers as well as browser builders, a test suite was long overdue.

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