IE9 and HTML5 session on WinDays 2011 conference

This week Rovinj is welcoming 11th Microsoft’s WinDays conference with focus set on cloud technologies. With more than 150 sessions and 1.500+ atendees this is by far the biggest Microsoft event in the region. Five Minutes team was invited to present and share our experiences with HTML5, Internet Explorer 9, and other browsers.

It was really exciting to talk about new Internet Explorer which brings support for HTML5, dramatic performance improvements and a lot of other new features. Some of the best new features are:
– currently the fastest production browser in SunSpider test
– support for HTML5
– integration of web pages into Windows 7 task bar and Start menu
– cleaner interface which puts focus on content

Unlike previous versions, IE9 has an almost perfect score in web standard conformance ACID3 test which means that you can be confident that your web page look the same like in other browser. This is a great news because, unlike before, there’s no need to do extra work and write special code just to handle Internet Explorer misbehavior. Second part of our presentation was about HTML5 and other upcoming standards like CSS3, geolocation, and SVG.

With now more than 10 years since last version, a new modern version of HTML standard is more than welcome. Some advanced things like multimedia that we use for granted on a modern web could only be achieved using proprietary technologies like Flash or Silverlight. With HTML5 this changes because we now have a special audio and video tags for playing multimedia.

Most exciting new features include:
– 28 new tags
– new tag attributes for use in forms and also “data-…” attributes for storing custom data
– client storage
– web workers for multithreading
– web sockets
– vector graphics using canvas element

Since new standard will achieve final version status in 2022, many people are not sure if it can be used today. With IE9 launch all major browsers now offer at least a basic support for new standards and this support will improve over time so my advice is to go ahead because you’ll be rewarded with great looking pages.

To help developers detect which features are supported we demoed a small but very cool Modernizr library. It uses a combination of CSS classes and JS code to provide info about availability of each advanced feature.

All in all, it’s been a great two days full of cutting-edge technology, great people, sun, and salty air. If you’re interested, here’s our presentation attached (in Croatian).