SitePoint offers a great reference tool. It provides a huge number of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript explanations with the associated level of browser support.

However, I recently discovered When can I use… — a tool which provides a different spin on browser compatibility. It lists a selection of modern web technologies and reports whether they’re supported in IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera. You can configure which browsers you need to support and the historical level of implementation.

when can I useIt’s this last feature which makes the tool unique. It’s best illustrated with a simple example: assume you’re considering PNG alpha transparency for your next web site or application. The tool will happily report that PNGs can be used without problem for all browsers from the (recent) past, present and future. However, when you select “far past”, you’ll be warned that IE6 does not offer full alpha-transparency and you’ll need to wait until that browser expires. In this particular case, the tool also provides a useful link to an article with IE6 PNG workarounds.

As well as PNG, the tool provides categories including HTML5, CSS2, CSS3, DOM, SVG, and Canvas. A summary of all the features you’ve chosen is available at the end of the report.

When can I use… was developed by Alexis Deveria:

I couldn’t find an easy to read, comprehensive and interactive way of seeing which browser supported which upcoming feature … so I made one.

Alexis’s thoroughness is impressive and he is continually updates the tool with the latest browser implementation details. Information about the recently-released Opera 10.5 and even the IE9 preview is already available.

Great stuff — and very useful when your boss demands to know why text shadows aren’t working in IE8, Firefox 3.0 and Safari 3.1!

Tags: CSS, CSS3, HTML5 Dev Center, HTML5 Tutorials & Articles
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler

No Reader comments

Special Offer
Free course!

Git into it! Bonus course Introduction to Git is yours when you take up a free 14 day SitePoint Premium trial.