Last month, Microsoft release version 9 of Internet Explorer browser. The release has definite implications for programmers focusing on the use of HTML5. HTML5 makes it easier to use multimedia and construct applications that run in the browser with the expectation increasing about applications running inside the browser. The browser will function as the GUI to cloud hosted apps.

Why is HTML5 important for browsers?

For running web applications in the pre HTML5 days there were two alternatives:

  • Use JavaScript, which eventually slowed down the applications
  • Install browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. Users might be willing to download a plug-in from Adobe, Google or Microsoft but they definitely would not be willing to download a plug-in for every app running the browser.

HTML5 changed this by specifying the range of capabilities that the browser must support including video, drawring, text manipulation and offline storage.

Internet Explorer is still the dominant browser (Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Browser Market Share) in the market and any HTML 5 development needs to be tested in the IE browser. Trident 5.0, the rendering engine of IE can render much of HTML5, CSS 3.0 and Scalar Vector Graphics (SVG). SVG uses XML to specify a drawing of text. It relies entirely on the browser to take the data elements and render them as lines, curves, colors and shapes. You can check the new web tools in IE 9 for developers here.

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~ Ramya

Reference: Information Week - April Edition M-Dev