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W3C Says IE9 Is Currently the Most HTML5 Compatible Browser 382

Posted by Soulskill
from the complain-about-the-tests-here dept.
GIL_Dude writes "The W3C posted results for their latest HTML5 compatibility tests and have found that, so far, IE 9 has the best overall results. 'The tests cover seven aspects of the spec: "attributes," "audio," "video," "canvas," "getElementsByClassName," "foreigncontent," and "xhtml5." The tests do not yet cover web workers, the file API, local storage, or other aspects of the spec. Not do they cover CSS or other standards that have nothing to do with HTML5 but are somehow lumped under HTML5 by the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.'"
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W3C Says IE9 Is Currently the Most HTML5 Compatible Browser

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  • Posting from IE8... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anss123 (985305) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:31PM (#34104530)
    Does slashdot work any better in IE9?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:33PM (#34104540)
      Slashdot works differently horrible in all browsers.
      • by Byzantine (85549) <carson&sdf,lonestar,org> on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:34PM (#34104550) Homepage Journal

        Consistency is all I ask

      • +1 Agreed.

        Chrome doesn't support freaking cut-and-paste within Slashdot comments. Seriously WTF?

        • by metamatic (202216)

          Chrome doesn't support freaking cut-and-paste within Slashdot comments. Seriously WTF?

          Works fine for me, in Chrome on Linux and Chrome on Mac OS X. Maybe you have an extension that's adgering it?

    • by electron sponge (1758814) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:33PM (#34104544)
      No, I'm still seeing the same stupid comments
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928)

      There's a "brightness" knob on my TV, but that never seems to work either.

      --
      BMO

  • by metrix007 (200091) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:34PM (#34104554)

    For all the flak IE gets, it's actually a great browser. We all know Microsoft make great products and often take the lead when forced to, and now is no different.

    It is also the most secure browser by far, what with its inherent use of MAC, and full DEP and ALSR support. Strange, but true.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No kidding - place I work has to block Chrome, Safari, and Firefox at the firewall since all three have actively exploited zero-day exploits.

      But not IE8. It's secure.

      And, yes, they also block all versions of IE prior to 8, because those also have actively exploited holes in them, but if there's one thing Microsoft did right in Vista, it's securing IE. Too bad no other browser maker takes advantages of the OS features used to do that.

      • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:48PM (#34104746) Homepage Journal

        No other browser is limited to Windows.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by mugurel (1424497)

        No kidding - place I work has to block Chrome, Safari, and Firefox at the firewall since all three have actively exploited zero-day exploits.

        But not IE8. It's secure.

        and just in case it's not, there's always lynx for windows ;-)

    • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:39PM (#34104622)
      IE 9 is currently the most HTML5 compatible browser - but are they only testing the new HTML5 features? How does it do on the HTML4 code that is currently 99% of all the code on the internet?
      • Re:Not suprising (Score:4, Informative)

        by makomk (752139) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:49PM (#34104748) Journal

        Not only that, but I think at least one of the features they're testing is a former IE-ism that's been standardised, and the other browsers have prioritized HTML5 features like local storage that aren't tested here at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bonch (38532)

        They're also comparing a development version of a browser to the released versions of other browsers, instead of their development versions. For example, Chromium already passes tests that Chrome failed in the article.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        IE 9 is currently the most HTML5 compatible browser - but are they only testing the new HTML5 features?

        From the coverage of the tests, they seem to be pretty close to the features that were tested in Microsoft's own compliance tests, which were then submitted to the W3C for inclusion in the W3Cs test suite.

        To highlight this: see here [w3.org].

        Notice that the only directory here is "Microsoft"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OzPeter (195038)

      For all the flak IE gets, it's actually a great browser..

      I don't mind IE at all, and use FF daily too. However I much prefer the text rendering of Safari on both PC and Mac

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        I thought FF and Safari used the same text rendering, on Snow Leopard at least?

        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          The text in Firefox always end up like half a point too big compared to Safari, Chrome and Opera.

          • Re:Not suprising (Score:4, Informative)

            by God'sDuck (837829) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @03:00PM (#34104882)

            That's probably because Firefox supports fractional font sizes: 12.1px, 12.3px, 12.5px...
             
            Every other lunkheaded browser rounds to the nearest whole pixel value. If the site developers use relative font sizes (ems, percents) and don't do precise math, the site ends up with a declared pixel size between values...and only Firefox delivers the declared size.
             
            As a CSS guy, this means I find other browsers infuriating. Now that we have Webfonts I want to render ever piece of text with fonts instead of graphics...but getting a banner to just the right size is often impossible without a fractional font size. As a normal user, it means Firefox more often than not looks "wrong," because it's far enough ahead of the curve to be out front alone.

            • by Yvan256 (722131)

              So what you're saying is that I'm not crazy for doing things like declaring 1.15em so they all end up the same size in all browsers?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by fast turtle (1118037)

              As a user, I find any site specifying any font size to be infuriating as they tend to not display properly with my settings. A damn good example of that is /. itself. I've had to push the font size in Firefox to 16pts as the minimum, just to get a readable size on screen. It's the same for many websites and that violates the entire spirit of HTML, which was basic formating yet all of a sudden we're seeing so many sites use damn screwy fonts and sizes just to be different.

            • +/- tolerances (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @05:10PM (#34106340)

              As a CSS guy, this means I find other browsers infuriating. Now that we have Webfonts I want to render ever piece of text with fonts instead of graphics...but getting a banner to just the right size is often impossible without a fractional font size. As a normal user, it means Firefox more often than not looks "wrong," because it's far enough ahead of the curve to be out front alone.

              This is the web, not desktop publishing. If you want pixel perfect rendering 100% of the time generate a PDF or PostScript file (or Flash). While CSS has certainly improved the visuals, the sites I like the best are ones that actually still useful when I use lynx/elinks to visit them (e.g., Daring Fireball, Ars Technica).

              While I'm a fan of good design, you have the wrong mind set when creating a site if you want the above IMHO. Even in engineering physical things there, are some +/- tolerances; you need to have some "give" in your designs and I think it's true with HTML as well. All of this advanced CSS is nice, but after a certain point you're into the realm of "control freak" designers.

              Please remember: web site != desktop publishing. If your layout can't handle a few pixel offset here or there, then it's veered into the realm of "control freak" country.

            • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Interesting)

              by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @06:16PM (#34106966) Journal

              As a CSS guy, this means I find other browsers infuriating. Now that we have Webfonts I want to render ever piece of text with fonts instead of graphics...but getting a banner to just the right size is often impossible without a fractional font size. As a normal user ...

              As a normal user, I do not want you to have the ability to define exact pixel sizes of fonts, without my ability to override them without completely breaking site layout (which is what will happen if your buttons etc will be designed for a specific size). There are many reasons for why that is the case, but the most obvious one is that I do not want to see tiny, hard-to-read text, and so all my browsers are set up to not allow anything below 13px. Any well-designed website works fine with such an arrangement; if yours does not, I will just go elsewhere.

              By the way, one of my personal dislikes with Flash is that there is no way to impose a similar restriction there, and that Flash designers, for some reason, love tiny fonts for menus, buttons and such.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by IICV (652597)

                My theory is that a large proportion of Flash "designers" are 13 years old and are "designing" on either some hand-me-down computer that's only capable of running at 800x600, max, or Dad's old work laptop that runs at 1024x800.

        • by OzPeter (195038)

          I thought FF and Safari used the same text rendering, on Snow Leopard at least?

          Yeah I think you are right (I have them open side-by-side) but I know that MS takes a different approach to rendering than Apple, and I prefer the Apple way

          • by Yvan256 (722131)

            Apple tries to render the font as precisely as possible.
            Microsoft tries to hammer the font into sub-pixels as much as possible. You end up with deformed fonts and edges that are way too sharp.

            • by OzPeter (195038)

              Apple tries to render the font as precisely as possible. Microsoft tries to hammer the font into sub-pixels as much as possible. You end up with deformed fonts and edges that are way too sharp.

              I have read the arguments for both and in someways the MS one does make sense - still I prefer the look of Safari

              • by Yvan256 (722131)

                It makes sense if all you look at is the pixels themselves, just like it would make sense for the USPS to crush all packages into four inch cubes so they can be shipped more easily. ;)

        • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:58PM (#34104860) Journal

          On Snow Leopard, yes. FireFox uses the platform's native text rendering engine. Safari uses Apple's one wherever it runs. This means that you get Apple's sub-pixel AA instead of Microsoft's ClearType on Windows.

          You also get some slightly different glyph positioning. Microsoft tweaks glyph positions by a fraction of a pixel to make them line up more closely with pixel boundaries. This makes individual characters clearer, but means that the spacing between characters looks a bit messed up. Apple renders glyphs exactly where they should be, which means that they often overlap pixel boundaries and need a lot of antialiasing.

          If you're used to Microsoft's rendering, Apple's text will look slightly blurry. If you're used to Apple's rendering, Microsoft's will look weirdly spaced.

          • by OzPeter (195038)

            If you're used to Microsoft's rendering, Apple's text will look slightly blurry. If you're used to Apple's rendering, Microsoft's will look weirdly spaced.

            With my eyes, blurry is the normal state of affairs anyway.

            Interestingly I don't get the same impression about MS rendering when in VS2010. I feel like I prefer its rendering over VS2008

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by CAIMLAS (41445)

            If you're used to Microsoft's rendering, Apple's text will look slightly blurry. If you're used to Apple's rendering, Microsoft's will look weirdly spaced.

            As a Linux user, Apple fonts look blurry; Microsoft fonts (AA'd or not) look like jagged crags of ugly (very difficult to read, at times - see the powershell font).

          • Re:Not suprising (Score:5, Informative)

            by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @06:23PM (#34107034) Journal

            Safari uses Apple's one wherever it runs. This means that you get Apple's sub-pixel AA instead of Microsoft's ClearType on Windows.

            This used to be the case, but for a while now Safari for Windows gives you the choice between OS stock rendering, and Apple's fonts.

            Microsoft tweaks glyph positions by a fraction of a pixel to make them line up more closely with pixel boundaries. This makes individual characters clearer, but means that the spacing between characters looks a bit messed up. Apple renders glyphs exactly where they should be, which means that they often overlap pixel boundaries and need a lot of antialiasing.

            To be more specific, ClearType tweaks glyphs such that vertical lines are snapped to pixel boundaries - so a 1px vertical line is rendered using a single-pixel-wide column of physical pixels. On OS X, the same 1px vertical line can end up on fractional coordinates (e.g. at X=8.5px), and will be rendered using double-pixel-wide column of physical pixels to approximate that. The result is more blurry.

            This is particularly noticeable on small fonts with thin elements, such as Windows system fonts Tahoma 8pt (in 2K/XP) and Segoe 9pt (in Vista/7). It's also why OS X default font is larger, and the stems are thicker.

            The disadvantage with ClearType approach is not just "weird spacing", though. It distorts the overall size of the text by its adjustments. Normally, if you increase the point size twice, the physical size in pixels should also increase by exact same amount (+/-1px due to need to round to physical pixel boundary). OS X rendering actually guarantees that. On Windows, text rendered using small fonts is noticeably (by 20% or so) larger than it would be if "perfect rendering" was used, and so proportion is not maintained.

            Which one is better is highly subjective, and more often than not the preference is defined by what the person was using before. Personally, I can't stand OS X rendering and love ClearType. I've met people who felt just as strong in the other direction.

      • However I much prefer the text rendering of Safari

        This is so true but for me safari suck, it does not match my mental model of a browser, to me a perfect browser would have the text rendering of Safari, the speed of Chrome and the l&f and extensibility of Firefox.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by BenoitRen (998927)
      Steve Ballmer, is that you?
    • Careful. That kind of talk doesn't go over too well around here.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        Because it's utter crap. IE8 (I have not tested IE9) makes me wait until the "tab home" is loaded before I'm allowed to open my bookmarks and click on a site to go there. If I open the bookmarks before that tab is loaded, it loads the bookmark in the now non-active tab.

        The other PITA I've noticed with IE is that you can't middle click on bookmarks to open them in new tabs. You have to open a new tab... then click your bookmark.

        The other thing I dislike about IE is it's restricted layout options (in Firef

  • by catbutt (469582) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:35PM (#34104576)
    ....to Microsoft, for moving in the right direction of adopting standards. I still hate you, Microsoft, but I hate you less.

    Now figure out a way to get people to stop using IE6. (maybe an add-on to IE9 that makes it so you can run your ancient IE6 only apps?)
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      It remains to be seen if IE9 supports rounded CSS corners, shadows, etc... And what about the file API and XmlHttpRequest uploads?

      I can't test as all I have is Windows XP inside VMWare.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It does support quite a bit of the css3 draft including rounded corner, box shadows, etc..

        I find it funny that IE (from 7+) seems to have the best implementation of @font-face

        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          How does IE7+ have the best implementation of @font-face? The other browsers support it too. The whole thing about the file formats and the licensing just gives me a headache, though...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cbhacking (979169)

        Um no, it really doesn't "remain to be seen" at all. The very first preview of IE9 (10 months ago, now) had CSS rounded corners, for example.

        You could always try out the tests on http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Default.html [microsoft.com] in your browser of choice. They all work on IE9, and usually better (faster, smoother, or without layout issues) than on other browsers. All browsers, even IE8, can do some of the stuff there, but all other browsers have issues with some parts.

        That's not to say IE9 doesn't still have i

  • cause the story does not link directly to it...lazy!

    http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1012208 [nsf.gov]

  • by zill (1690130) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:37PM (#34104596)
    On one hand, Microsoft managed to produce an excellent product that's almost fully compatible with the latest standards.

    On the other hand, they're the same people who's responsible for summoning the Devil's own child into this world (under the trademark of IE6).

    I honestly don't know what to feel about them right now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Its easy to look back at IE6 and say "holy crap what a wreck!" but IE6 happened because the standards weren't moving fast enough. There is a reason IE6 took so much ground, because it actually did what people wanted. Then years later people come in with how it should have been done and now IE6 is the devil. I mean, yeah, its a pain in the ass and unfortunate, but its not like we didn't get anything out of the deal.

    • Would you rather we have seen what abomination Netscape could have come up with if they were successful in continuing development on from Navigator 4, or have people really forgotten the cluster fuck that was the NN4 'series'?
    • by Old97 (1341297)
      Microsoft has always had the money and the talent (or money to buy the talent) to do things the right way and to produce excellent products. As long as they had a monopoly and were seeking to leverage it to create new monopolies they had every incentive not to do the right thing but to instead to do things to lock in their users. Things have changed and they aren't quite as all powerful as they used to be so they have to compete now and that makes them better. Competition is good.
  • by cowtamer (311087) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:39PM (#34104628) Journal

    Perhaps my understanding of "standard" is a bit skewed, but isn't there something wrong when the best that a browser in its 9th version backed by the most powerful software company in the world can do is just be the "most compatible" one out there?

    All FTP clients I use are 100% compatible with the FTP standard. I believe Adobe Flash player is 100% compatible with Flash. I think most mail clients are 100% IMAP and POP3 compatible.

    Shouldn't standards be straightforward enough so that all parties wishing to comply to them simply can? Shouldn't compatibility with a standard be a floor instead of a ceiling to asymptotically crept towards?

    I'm sure I'm missing something here -- what is it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ryanrule (1657199)
      the problem is people using standards while they are still being defined.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968)

        Well, since the alternative is to wait another half-decade for W3C's glacial pace to finally (maybe) get to a finished standard, I think most people prefer to start in on it now, rather than continue being stuck on the now decade-old HTML4.01/XHTML 1.1 combo.

    • by Shados (741919) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:47PM (#34104736)

      Thats why it used to be referred to as a recommendation, instead of standard (lots of discussions around it, though i think the likes of ISO and whatsnot now consider W3C stuff as actual standards).

      That said, if you ever tried to implement anything from the W3C, its full of holes, inconsistencies, ambiguous parts, things "left to the implementator", and all around, Microsoft's OOXML may have been a lousy ISO standard, but it sure would fit right in anything the W3C ever published.

      The only reason it kindda works, and that so many browsers seem to implement it, is because the likes of those working on Firefox, Safari, etc, kind of agree on stuff they don't like or the standard doesn't dictate. That also makes IE8 look worse than it actually is (not that its not awful, but in a few (very few) cases web developers will complain about things on which IE8 is actually right, and Firefox is wrong, but Safari, and Chrome are wrong the same way).

      Its not just HTML/CSS/whatever. The XQuery specs for example, are just as bad.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:47PM (#34104740)

      I'm sure I'm missing something here -- what is it?

      If it makes you feel any better IE 9 is 100% Microsoft compatible ... the most Microsoft compatible browser under development.

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        I'll believe that once I see it with my own eyes.
        In the past I've encountered several cases where IE had problems with correctly-written scripts in Microsoft's Javascript dialect. To me it was just a case of consistency. If they ignore other people's standards then why should they comply with their own ones?

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      All FTP clients I use are 100% compatible with the FTP standard.

      Just recently I had issues with an embedded device that had a built-in FTP client. It worked perfectly when connected to the MS XP FTP server, and it worked perfectly when connected to a FileZilla FTP server running on Win 7. But it failed miserably with talking to the MS Win 7 FTP server. Tech support claimed the issue was that their system was not tested with Win7. I'm not deep enough into the FTP RFC's to know who was ultimately at fault, but I am still shaking my head as after all it is simply FTP!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by afidel (530433)
        Did you try disabling the Win7 firewall rules? My guess is the client does active FTP and that is where the problem is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jahf (21968)

      What an awful example. FTP is a nearly completely static protocol with no defined presentation layer for user interaction. On the other hand HTML5 is not even a completed standard yet and is almost entirely focused around creating user interactivity with the data.

      What you are missing is this ... FTP doesn't correlate to HTML5. FTP correlates to HTTP. HTML5 would correlate more with the concept of the GUI to utilize FTP. Of which there are MANY completely different examples, none of which work perfectly for

    • by GWBasic (900357)

      I'm sure I'm missing something here -- what is it?

      HTML is very complicated and ambiguous. "Standards Compliant" relies on judgement calls.

    • by master0ne (655374)

      FTP, IMAP and POP3 are protocols. HTML is a standard. I promise you your browser is HTTP compliant (which is the equivalent of your FTP client being FTP compliant). Flash is a closed "standard" in that the company that makes the software also sets the standard.It is much easier for adobe to create software that matches their "standard" as whatever they come up with if the "standard". With that said, creating a rendering engine that can properly render CSS, PHP, HTML4, HTML5, JAVASCRIPT, and the multitudes o

    • For Microsoft, following any standard at all is very unusual and newsworthy. :P

      You're right on these points, but HTML5 is a brand-new standard, so it is to be expected that most current software does not support it yet.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I think most mail clients are 100% IMAP and POP3 compatible.

      Most.. as you said.

      But also, heck, many of the "IMAP" servers don't actually conform to IMAP (including gmail).

  • I'm no Microsoft fan, but like everyone else who works on web applications, I can say that it will make my life much easier if IE9 does a good job of implementing the standards.

    Unfortunately, the technology I'm really waiting to see from Microsoft is something that will cause all of the existing copies of IE6 to spontaneously combust.

  • My first suspicion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snsh (968808) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:46PM (#34104726)
    Did Microsoft just manage to pull an OpenOfficeXML with the HTML5 standard?
  • by HelloKitty2 (1585373) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @02:46PM (#34104728)

    Just tried with latest chromium, it passwed all random tests I clicked on, that the tested chrome failed on.

  • Irrelevant (Score:2, Troll)

    by loxosceles (580563)
    A good browser has more to do with continuous improvement than a one-time "we're compatible with the latest standards right now!" IE9 betas may be great today, but shortly after its release, it will be almost certainly be behind Chrome. Shortly after that, Firefox and Safari will pass it by.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Apparently you weren't paying attention when IE6 became IE7, nor when IE7 became IE8, and you're certainly not paying attention now when IE8 is about to become IE9.

      Microsoft is obviously continually improving their product. If they weren't, this article would not exist.

      They are not, however, doing it on the schedule you would like them to do it on, and for some reason in your mind that qualifies as stagnation. Most reasonable people can recognize that this is, in fact, a major improvement in a long line o

  • I wonder if the folks over at the W3C were recently gifted with free MSDN subscriptions...

    Of course, why would they test the stuff we actually use?

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @03:09PM (#34104978) Journal

    I stopped clicking through the tests one-by-one when I came across one that would have been fixed by a simple “if (x1 == x2 && y1 == y2) return;”. I went ahead and scrolled down the list, though... for some reason a lot of the tests near the bottom read “No Result” for many/most browsers, and clicking a test at random (canvas(2d.transformation.scale..zero.html) [w3.org]) that said “No Result” in every column except Safari gave me a 404 error.

    I’m not terribly impressed.

  • I'd feel a lot better about this if Microsoft weren't the one writing so many of the tests. As things stand, it smells an awful lot like the fox guarding the hen house.

  • How well browser implement a work in progress standard is fucking irrelevant. The spec is subject to change! This just helps cement design decisions that should be reversible if reasonable criticism can be levied against them.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @03:24PM (#34105174) Homepage

    It's all part of their standard operating procedures after all. If they wish to get back on top, they will need to support the standards... then, of course, they will extend on them, get developers to use the extensions and then make sure everyone else looks "broken" again. Seen it all before.

  • The testing was done on the brainslug planet. Testers liked it so much, they decided to stay of their own free will.
  • by Dreadrik (1651967) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @04:26PM (#34105910) Journal

    ...according to the test developers [w3.org].

    According to wired [wired.com]:

    Run IE9 against other aspects of HTML5 and the browser would be decidedly behind its competitors. IE9 lacks support for Web Workers, drag-and-drop features, SVG animations and the File API, all of which are vital components for building useful web applications, and all of which enjoy considerable support in other browsers.

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