Mozilla developer: IE9 is "two years too late"

IE9

Mozilla developer claims Microsoft browser's HTML5 support isn't as solid as it claims

A Mozilla developer has slammed Microsoft's claims that Internet Explorer 9 is a modern browser, saying it's two years too late.

Microsoft last week unleashed the release candidate for Internet Explorer 9, pipping Mozilla to the finish line, with Firefox 4 still in beta.

Paul Rouget, a Mozilla evangelist, took to his personal blog to question Microsoft's claims that IE9 has good support for HTML5.

IE9 is definitely better than IE8 and a step in the right direction

"IE9 is definitely better than IE8 and a step in the right direction, but I don't believe it to be a truly modern browser," he wrote.

Noting Microsoft's claim of 99% HTML5 support and 100% CSS3 compatibility, Rouget questioned the use of W3C tests and in-house IE9 tests as evidence. He said in-house tests are used to check for bugs in new versions, not to test standards compliance, and the W3C has warned against reading too much into its tests, which are still in the early stages.

Rouget turned to caniuse.com and html5test.com, which showed IE9 at 61% to Firefox 4's 87%, and 130 to Firefox's 255, respectively. He didn't note Google Chrome's scores: 88% and 255 out of 300.

He also listed several aspects of HTML5 and CSS3 that IE9 doesn't support, including forms and WebGL.

"The reality is that IE9 is two years late," he said. "Microsoft is glad to come out with the video tag, the canvas tag, SVG, and some CSS3. Like other vendors did years ago. Firefox 3.5 had the video tag, the canvas tag, geolocation, SVG in 2009. Canvas and SVG existed five years ago."

Microsoft's web product manager, Paul Quirk, told PC Pro last week that the company is only implementing parts of the HTML5 specification that it is certain won't be altered at a later stage. The World Wide Web Consortium said yesterday that it didn't expect the HTML5 specification to be approved until 2014.

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