With 2 new major browser versions to be released in the next couple of months, it’s time to start looking seriously at CSS3 and HTML5 features which will soon be available to a majority of web users. While Firefox has had support for many CSS3 properties for over a year now, it’s newest version, 4.0, is an all new Firefox with a better rendering engine and more support, helping it keep up with the competition from Google’s Chrome web browser.
The biggest release of the first quarter of 2011, however, is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9. Previous versions of IE have been notably lackluster in their support for HTML5 and CSS3, leaving web developers to use older development methods to support Microsoft’s browsers. With it’s ninth iteration, Internet Explorer is finally catching up to the browsers which have eaten much of its lunch this year. Depending on who you ask, IE9 is actually the leader in support for HTML5/CSS3 properties compared to all other browsers. Whether or not this claim holds true, it is good news for web developers and designers alike because it means forward momentum in technology support.
NEWLY SUPPORTED PROPERTIES
Probably the most commonly griped-about properties that IE did not previously support are border-radius and box-shadow. Lack of support for these properties meant developers had to either implement graphics for round corners and drop shadows, or to follow the principles of progressive enhancement and leave IE with squared off corners and a lack of shadows.
Another one of the most important CSS3 properties is RGBA and the ability to define opacity in colors and backgrounds without using images.
Microsoft is so proud of its new browser, it’s developed an entire site to showing off its powerful features. At the IE9 Test Drive site you can check out the demos created for IE9 to show off, but it will work in Chrome and Firefox 4 or 3.6 as well as the demos are standards-based in HTML5 and CSS3.
Ideally, IE9 will gain traction quickly and propel users into a richer web experience.