Opera Report: the Current State of the Net

I sometimes feel like I write too much about Opera, but I couldn't really pass this article up! Opera have just released a large report that attempts to document the current state of the webpages that make up the World Wide Web. The report is called MAMA (external link) (Metadata Analysis and Mining Application) and it uses a large set of URLs (3,509,180 URLs in 3,011,668 domains) to generate statistics about the current state of webpages on the Internet. The report details many different aspects of the Internet, including what server software the website uses, what (X)HTML tags are most commonly used, and if the pages are standards compliant.

I don't want to write too much about the report's findings, as you're better off just reading the report yourself (read the Key Findings (external link) section). However, here are some of the findings that I think are particularly interesting:

  • The <table> element is used in 394,405 more websites than the <div> element.
  • 21 websites decided to invent their own element called <secretagebreak>.
  • The xmlns attribute is only used on 635,646 websites.
  • Only 145,009 websites (4.13% of the total) pass the W3C markup validator.
  • Of the pages that display a W3C validation badge, only 50% of them actually pass the test.
  • Some documents that MAMA validated contained errors numbering in the tens of thousands (ouch)!
  • 3.2% of websites make use of XMLHttpRequest, which is an important part of AJAX.
  • 80.39% of websites use CSS, with the most popular uses being changing colours and fonts and the least popular use being the counter (counter-increment and counter-reset).

Overall, it is a very interesting report and well worth taking a look at.