Browser optimize

Poll: Will IE10 finally break the HTML5 logjam?

Justin James explains why Windows XP holdouts are dampening his optimism about IE10 helping the HTML5 cause. Share your thoughts about the subject.

A lot of people have been very cautious about using HTML5 in large part because of IE's relatively poor support for it. While IE9 has been an improvement, it still does not support HTML5 as well as Firefox or Chrome. The upcoming IE10 looks to change that and add support for many of the more cutting edge HTML5 features. The fly in the ointment is Windows XP users who are still stuck with IE8. As a result, while I am optimistic about IE10 helping the HTML5 cause, I suspect that the "pry XP from my cold, dead fingers" folks are going to be the reason why HTML5 won't be universally usable for a long time.

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

25 comments
gak
gak

IE is irrelevant now, it is not the dominant browser. I also think that if something is worth visiting, people will gladly install the necessary browser, be it FF or Chrome. If it is either FF, or Chrome, or Opera - no problem at all and it is OK to forget about IE. MS should reap what they seeded.

rpollard
rpollard

I believe MS hasn't changed their "Whatever I do should be the standard" attitude and therefore won't make IE10 compatible enough. Yeah, they may make a few changes just to make you believe they're trying but they're arrogant enough still to want to lead the way. That's why they haven't had to be innovative from the beginning. They got the numbers and ever since they got the majority of the market share they decided that they can just sit around and wait for someone to come up with ideas that they can come out with competing technology and make it a standard. It would be nice if they finally started playing right but I seriously doubt it.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What will they see when they try to load an HTML5 page? Personally speaking, it won't matter to me. I don't use IE, although I keep it updated so Windows Update remains secure. Professionally, our intranet doesn't use it. While 80% of my systems are still on XP and IE7, we aren't going to update or replace a browser until someone can open a site necessary to his job. Won't that depend on how quickly existing sites begin including 5 features, and affect only those updated pages?

Graphic Equaliser
Graphic Equaliser

IE(9,8,7...) are so far behind the likes of Chrome, Firefox and Opera, that I doubt they could ever catch up. What is the betting that IE10 will not support the following features? :- Rounded borders in CSS as in border-radius:12px; border:2px solid silver; <INPUT TYPE=RANGE...> sliders <INPUT TYPE=DATE...> calendars position:fixed; without a <!DOCTYPE...> declaration And that's just a smattering of how much work they've got to do. Opera supports this lot the best but it still doesn't have :- <META HTTP-EQUIV="PAGE-ENTER" CONTENT="REVEALTRANS(DURATION=0.3,TRANSITION=23)"> <META HTTP-EQUIV="PAGE-EXIT" CONTENT="REVEALTRANS(DURATION=0.3,TRANSITION=23)"> which is IE's pride and joy atm.

Slayer_
Slayer_

People just need to dump IE8, a simple process, lots of other browsers out there. Or MS could smarten up and make IE10 work on XP. But that will never happen.

jfuller05
jfuller05

Out of all the computers I support (around 100) only one of those is a Windows XP computer. Prior to just two weeks ago, there were two XP computers, but we upgraded her computer and 7 was preloaded on it and she actually wanted to learn 7 so I taught her the basics to 7; she loves it actually. I know there are still a lot of Windows XP machines floating around out in the business world and some in the personal world, I can't imagine XP users holding back the universal usage of HTML5 very much longer. If you asked me that a year ago I probably would have agreed, but within the past year myself and my other colleagues in this area upgraded most (I only have one left) of the computers to Windows 7; that's just business. I upgraded a lot of friends and families' computers to 7 this past year too, which was a shock to me. I know this is only my personal experience, so it would be ignorant of me to project my experience to the rest of the world so I won't go there, but I do think it's honest and fair to say that XP is dying sooner than we expected and there will only be a small percentage of XP users in the coming years. Note: I do have personal friends who still run 98 machines, so I'm not unaware of the folks who like their old OSs. :)

grayknight
grayknight

But IE isn't over just because it dropped below 50% (and that percentage depends on where you are located). Because we could say the same for FF and certainly for Opera who I have yet to meet anyone who actually uses it. The browser wars aren't over and aren't likely to be over any time soon. (Same for operating systems, consoles, TVs, phones, tablets, etc.). As IE, Netscape, Firefox, Chrome, or the iPod, or iPhone have shown, new comers could show up at any time and take over the market.

grayknight
grayknight

Microsoft has been seriously moving IE toward the actual standards. And the standards are finally moving toward making sure browser vendors would have to output the same box models/spacing.

nateshull
nateshull

From a Web Programmer / System Administrator aspect Internet Explorer version support has become a mess. Some corporate customer sites are only supported by ie7 which is ok for ie8 in compatability mode. However if you use html 5 / ajax techniques you have to jump through hoops to get the same effects on ie8 and under using direct x filters, etc. If you upgrade to ie9 you break all the sites that support 7 and under that will not work with anything but Internet Explorer. You can't easiliy install more than one version of Internet Explorer and what happens when Win 8 comes out? Internet explorer 10+ is your only version supported. Microsoft has created a monster with Internet Explorer and teh workarounds. Time to learn our lesson and move to open standards, yay for HTML 5 and Java, boo for Flash!

e_lawrence
e_lawrence

Border-radius was supported in IE9 (out quite a long time ago), and the DX transitions you mention were removed at that time. Omitting a doctype makes your markup non-standard, so you shouldn't expect to use standards-based features. IE10 adds HTML5 forms support.

rpollard
rpollard

It will never happen if for any other reason, they get revenue from OS upgrades versus having to upgrade just the browser, which is free.

jfuller05
jfuller05

[i] Or MS could smarten up and make IE10 work on XP. But that will never happen [/i] If there ever was a "durrrr..." moment then this is it. Make IE9 and IE10 work on XP. Problem solved. The only reason I can think of why MS didn't make it work on XP is to try and get people to "move on up"* to Vista or 7. * I just had to use a "Jeffersons" reference.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Because certain sites draw certain users, and those certain users usually use certain browsers. So what was the pool of websites they used to collect this information?

grayknight
grayknight

Compatibility mode will mostly work for older sites that at least worked in IE7. We've designed our latest web application to work on IE9 first, then Chrome and Firefox, then IE8 with a couple tweaks for IE7. Officially we require IE9 or IE8, but since we've written to the standard CSS/XHTML5 (not using the newer tags unless as an extended/enhanced feature rather than a requirement).

Justin James
Justin James

Microsoft has been slowly sliding IE away from it's non-compliant stance, which is prolonging the pain. IE7 was more compliant than 6, 8 more than 7, 9 more than 8 (and introduced some HTML5 support), 10 should be pretty inline and it's HTML5 support should be on par with Chrome or Firefox. Even once developers give up on IE6, IE7 and IE8 is going to be a drag on them, luckily not nearly as bad as IE6 is. The thing with HTML is that *new* features, if not supported, are ignored. Sometimes that is an issue... sometimes it isn't... J.Ja

Graphic Equaliser
Graphic Equaliser

I am using IE9 right now under Windows 7 64-bit, and it certainly does NOT support rounded borders on the following style :- A:hover { text-decoration:none; color:black; background-color:silver; -moz-border-radius:10px; -webkit-border-radius:10px; border-radius:10px; border:1px solid teal; padding:2px 12px;} Perhaps I've got it wrong, but that works on all other browsers! Asf for DOCTYPEing pages, well, it's not ubiquitous so it's not supported everywhere, so they have far to go. Other browsers manage it fine. Also, have you seen the shoddy forms support that IE10 offers? It's appalling. As I said before, Opera is the only browser that supports it properly.

Justin James
Justin James

Microsoft seems to be hoping to use the lack of IE updates to help push people off of XP. I suspect that there may be some actual technical reasons behind it too, but I can't say with any certainty. J.Ja

Graphic Equaliser
Graphic Equaliser

With a DOCTYPE in the page, IE9 does render that style correctly. However, there is still a long way to go before things like INPUT TYPE=RANGE are supported, with proper sliders that work with mouse and key presses.

grayknight
grayknight

That exact style works fine in IE9 (added on this page using the dev tools).

Slayer_
Slayer_

Considering the plethora of games available on XP, each one utilizing hardware acceleration.... Hardware acceleration is kind of just a marketing term anyways, if IE actually displayed its visual elements and processed them directly through the video card, then it would either use DirectX (or OpenGL, but unlikely) or would use platforms like CUDA and the like. Both of which work fine in XP.

grayknight
grayknight

There are some technical reasons for the lack of IE9 on XP. All the hardware acceleration improvements and most of the security features of IE9 require the changes made in Vista. So I doubt that Microsoft even spent much time considering it.

jfuller05
jfuller05

I'm not a developer, so I wasn't sure if there were technical reasons for not letting XP play with IE9. I think the main reason is to get people out of the XP world and into the Vista + world. I still agree with Slayer in that the problem could possibly be solved by letting IE 9 and up play with XP, but I seriously doubt it will happen.