Really? IE9 100% Compatible with HTML5?

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Visiting the IE Test Center site you may be forgiven for thinking that IE9 has scored 100% compatibility with HTML5. They have constructed a test results table that compares the current IE9 platform preview with current versions of all the other major browsers. IE9 scores 100% on all of their tests, even the one labeled “HTML5.”

However, on closer inspection, it’s clear they’ve only added tests for a very limited subset of functionality under the HTML5 label:

  • HTML5 JavaScript text selection API
  • Embedding SVG in HTML
  • The JavaScript getElementsByClassName function

HTML table of test results showing IE9 scoring 100% for all tests

So, it’s not really a HTML5 compatibility test. As Dave here at SitePoint HQ succinctly put it:

We’ve created this IE9 conformance test suite and we’ve concluded that none of these other browsers are IE9.

Visiting The HTML5 Test website paints a completely different picture. From the testing I did, the best browser was Google Chrome 5, which scored 142/160, Safari 4 achieved 120, Opera 10.5 received 38102, and Firefox 3.6 scored 101. The worst scoring browsers were IE8 and the second IE9 platform preview; both scored 19/160.

To demonstrate that anyone can play the test results game, the Internet Explorer 9 HTML5 Canvas Campaign site has published a set of HTML5 test results that demonstrate IE9 consistently scoring 0%.

Personally, I’m excited about IE9. Who’d have thought Microsoft would have ever natively supported SVG? It’s also way too early to tell how well IE9 will support technology like HTML5 and CSS3; we only have an early platform preview so far. I have high hopes, though!

In the meantime, blatantly misleading test results like this help no one and only create confusion and mistrust.

Andrew TetlawAndrew Tetlaw
View Author

iOS Developer, sometimes web developer and Technical Editor.

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