Browser Standards: HTML5 Test – Best Results

Since the number of the available browser is constantly growing, it becomes every day more important to adhere to international standards. Until the last year, every developer was interested about how much a browser supported the XHTML 1.0 or 1.1 specifications and the CSS 1.0 or 2.0 specifications.

Nowadays things have changed a little bit. We are entering a new dynamic era of internet browsing. Browsers will be even more capable of serving and displaying media contents. Doing what? Correctly implementing the HTML 5 standard and the CSS 3.0 specifications.

HTML5Test

To help developers in the understanding and/or evaluation of the behavior of a browser, Niels Leenheer has written the HTML5Test web page. This page uses a little bit of Javascript to trick your browser with common HTML 5 implementation test cases, and collects all data in a really clean report. I suggest you to try that page now with your current browser, just to get an idea.

This test gives each browser a score, based on how many HTML 5 elements or features can handle correctly. The max score a browser can reach is 300, plus some additional bonus points for not-strictly-necessary features.

I gathered some results for the main web browsers, in the chart you can see below. I tried to use the more recent version for each browser. Just to get an appetizer of what will be next, I also tried a beta/alpha/nightly version of each of them.

This is the list of the browsers:

  1. Internet Explorer 8 (8.0.6001.18702)
  2. Internet Explorer 9 (beta 9.0.7930.16406)
  3. Firefox 3 (3.6.12)
  4. Firefox 4 (beta 6)
  5. Opera 10.63 (10.63 8450)
  6. Opera 11 alpha (11.00 alpha 1029)
  7. Chrome 7 (7.0.517.41)
  8. Chrome 8 (8.0.552.11 dev)

Results

You can see the results here:

HTML5Test scores

As you can see, Internet Explorer is still the worst browser when we talk about standards compliance. With the new IE 9 beta version, Microsoft has really improved the results of IE 8, reaching a score of 96 points, but still is a long way behind the other competitors. This is quite sad because we are reaching the end of year 2010, and Microsoft is still not demonstrating to be a good challenger in the web browser competition.

Firefox 3 is  worse than all the others, but with the latest beta version is making a big leap forward. Opera is pretty bad too, scoring just a little more than half the maximum score. The upcoming main Opera version shows some improvements (+20 points), but we still need something more.

Safari runs towards the top of the standings (with a clean score of 208), but the real winner is Google Chrome. With the latest stable version Chrome 7 scores 231 point (plus 12 bonus points), and with the developer snapshot of Chrome 8 it reaches a really good score of 241 (plus 13 bonus points). That’s about a 20% higher score than the nearest competitor!

No one has still reached the top, but surely they will in the next future. Quickly HTML 5 is becoming the next big thing in the internet, and it will revolution the way we think browsing and interacting with web applications and pages. Who stands behind (i.e. IE) will probably fail and disappear, so we have to hope every one makes a big work aiming at supporting the main web standards.

What’s up next

This page will clearly get frequent updates, as new browser versions will appear over the web. And probably in the next few days I will write a short post comparing all these browsers again. But this time I shall test their CSS 3.0 standards compliance.

See you next time.

Update

On September 15th Microsoft has release the first public beta of Internet Explorer 9. I have just now updated this post to reflect these changes. Microsoft has improved, but not so much.

Update 2

October 25th: I updated the article with the recent main releases of Firefox 3, Opera 10, Opera 11 alpha, Chrome 7 and Chrome 8 dev. Chrome is still miles away …
I am waiting for a public release of IE 9 beta preview 6. Keep on touch!

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