Opera is at it again: they’ve announced a project called MAMA, short for “Metadata Analysis and Mining Application”, which figures out what different websites are using to construct and run their pages.
They used “3,509,180 URLs in 3,011,668 domains, from 217 identified countries”. How I wonder what Google would do in their shoes given their crawling prowess. Still, I commend Opera (again) for initiating a project like this. They continue to impress.
It will be tough digesting all the data they’ve gathered so for now, read up on the Key findings, which tackle 8 main sections. Here are some statistics I clipped from that article:
On document structure:
Approximately 85% of all of MAMA’s pages would be rendered in browsers using their “Quirks” modes.
MAMA found that 145,009 out of 3,509,180 URLs passed validation—only 4.13%!. Even though this ratio shows great improvement over the results of previous validation studies (see the table below), this is a very worrying figure, which shows that there is a lot of Web standards education still to be done to increase these levels. The table below shows the trend of improvement between MAMA and previous studies.
On Flash usage:
The total number of MAMA URLs using the Flash plugin is 1,176,227 (33.5%).
On XMLHttpRequest (AJAX) usage:
Overall, XMLHttpRequest was used in 112,277 of MAMA’s URLs (3.20% of all its Web pages or 4.29% of all MAMA’s Web pages that used script)
The numbers are pretty dismal, whether you’re conscious about Web Standards or developing in rich platforms like Flash and AJAX. And we’re not even talking about browser preferences here; we’re referring to technologies that are almost indispensable in the age of Web 2.0 and new media. Technologies we’ve taken for granted.
That’s where a progressive enhancement mindset comes in. Studies like MAMA help remind us why we still need to lovingly construct websites that are welcome to all types of visitors and the computing environments they’re in.