With all the new versions of browsers being released lately we wanted to take a good look at each. We use all the major browsers to test the websites and HTML templates we build. We need to be sure the HTML will be rendered identically on all of the browsers and operating systems that might ever be used to view that particular code.
The older Acid 3 test for browsers was a great test to check browsers for XHTML 1.1/CSS2 compatibility. Indeed, some currently popular browsers fail the older Acid 3 test, but most pass it easily.
What we wanted was a test that checks for HTML 5/CSS 3 compatibility and we found that at html5test.com, this seem be a very detailed test of the HTML 5 capabilities of a particular browser.
Let’s take a look at how the latest browsers are doing on this new and improved test, html5test.com is nice because it gives details about which features will work for each browser and which will not in addition to a numeric score.
Starting with Internet Explorer, the most commonly used browser, we began testing using the new HTML 5 test site. We started off with Internet Explorer 9 which has just been released recently by Microsoft.
If those numbers are not easy to see IE 9 got a 130 out of 400 points on Windows 7. For comparison Internet Explorer 8 scores 32 on the HTML 5 test on Windows 7. So the newest version is many times better.
Next, we took a look at Firefox 3.6 which scores 155 and Firefox 4, which scored a 255 and seems to be much more compliant with the HTML 5 standards. Both of those results were on Windows 7, on Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.6.7 Firefox 4 scored 240.
According to the latest browser use statistics Google Chrome is the next most commonly used browser. Testing Google Chrome 10 resulted in a score of 288 when testing on Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6.7 and on Windows XP the score is 273.
Google Chrome 10 gets the best scores overall on the HTML 5 compliance tests, nice work Google.
Safari 5 does pretty well with a score of 228 on Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6.7, but only 187 on Windows XP:
We also tested Opera 11 and it scored 234 out of 400 possible points on Windows 7, Mac OS X and Windows XP.
We are glad to see that Internet Explorer 9 is supporting so many more HTML 5 features than IE 8, but we hope you’ll use any one of the other choices. Google Chrome is clearly the best browser out right now for general use browsing based on these tests.
Many developers depend on Firefox plugins such as Firebug, and some may doubt the Google track everything approach. Due to these reasons many will probably end up keeping Firefox as a daily use browser, due to it’s highly customizable nature and add-ons.
Safari has a nice interface and Opera is a secure and reliable browser as well. Internet Explorer 9 is a big improvement over IE 8 but IE seems to still be scoring fairly weakly on this test scale.
Although scoring high on an HTML 5 compatibility test doesn’t mean a browser will work for your particular needs, it is helpful to know which browsers are the most compliant.
All the browsers were fresh installs with no plugins or add-ons.