In the 18 months I’ve really focussed on HTML5, I’ve seen approximately 238 different HTML5 “testing” sites appear. Most of them wildly pick and mix specs, checking for HTML5, related WHATWG-derived specifications such as Web Workers and then, drunk and giddy with buzzwords, throw in SVG, CORS, CSS Media Queries, and some Apple proprietary CSS extension before hyperventilating and going to bed for a lie down.
(Added 4 June 2010: As a case in point, take Apple’s hilariously disingenous “HTML5″ showcases, of which only the video and audio demos have anything to do with HTML5, and which offer “browser upgrade” messages even to other WebKit browsers (screenshot courtesy of Peter Nelson). And don’t get me started on “Standards aren’t add-ons to the web. They are the web” coupled with browser-sniffing and proprietary vendor extensions.)
As an analogy, imagine that HTML5 is the Starship Enterprise to HTML 4′s pogostick. Imagining it? Good.
237 HTML5 testing sites check for
- Does it do most pogostick functions?
- Does it do Starship Enterprise things, too?
- Oh! what about Millenium Falcon functionality?
- Wow! can it also behave like a spacehopper?
- OMG!?! And what about CSS 4D Canvas Gradient Transforms™?
Therefore, it’s particularly refreshing to see the new Microsoft IE9 HTML5 Testing Centre bringing some sanity to the party. None of the scope-creep for our friends in Microsoft. It’s purely HTML5, and only selected bits so we can’t even speculate about thinking about considering accusing them of scope-creep.
So they avoid any mention of fripperies like
canvas (who uses that?) or native multimedia (who’s even heard of that?). Why would any web developer care about Web Forms?
Instead, we look only at The text selection APIs, parsing foreign content and getElementsByClassName to determine that IE9 has the best HTML5 support.
To return to our analogy, the Microsoft test to detect Starship Enterprises is:
- Is the colour of the grouting in the shower cubicles exactly Pantone 7401 C?
- Are the menus in the staff canteen printed on 180 gsm matt card?
- Is the main power cable to the transporter room secured to the wall with cable grips at precisely 10 centimeter intervals?
Yes to all? Wow! It’s the Starship Enterprise!
Actually, it’s HTML5, Jim, but not as we know it.
(Related: What HTML5 is and isn’t, an IE9 speed comparison.)
Caveat: Yeah, I’m having a chuckle. This does not represent the position of my employer. I wrote it outside company time. On a different computer. With a different personality. So chill out, it’s a sunny day.