IE9 HTML5 Tests 99%… BOGUS

February 16th, 2011 by Mike Wilcox


I’m really getting sick of reading how “HTML5 compliant” IE9 is. The IE team keeps pushing their testing chart that shows it passes 99% of the tests while the competitor browsers are no where close.

99% is a load of crap. It’s not close to that.

I stumbled upon this fact because I had just created a new HTML5 Uploader for Dojo (I’ll post a blog on that soon). So naturally, since IE9 is 99% HTML5 compliant it supports multiple file uploads right?

Wrong. In fact, IE9 is missing almost every form feature. HTML5 allows for a lot of form functionality including calendars, sliders and number spinners. It has built-in validations so you can make an input an “email” or an “url” or use ranges. Opera was the first to implement these elements, including a robust calendar popup widget. Webkit and Mozilla have come quite close to full implementation, though they have subtle differences and don’t have the calendar popup. You can see these new form features for yourself in Opera’s excellent HTML5 Forms Example.

IE9 has none of them, nor does it have any validation, or ranges or the new types… and worst of all for my Uploader widget, still, after all these years, does not support multiple file uploads. So the 99% isn’t 99% of all HTML5 features — it’s 99% of the tests that IE implemented. This is like writing your own test and bragging that you passed it.

This past weekend I was doing research for a blog post, where I was planning on blasting the IE team on the bogus test results. But hey, I was saved the effort by Paul Rouget. He blasts them pretty hard and collected pretty much the same links and has the same argument I had. Kudos to him! (The picture above is linked to from blog). Read his excellent post here!

In the meantime, I hope IE stops the smoke and mirror show and focuses on not only the IE9 release, but the IE10 and IE11 which needs to come immediately after. Yes, I am happy that IE9 is coming out and M$ is getting with the 21st century. But in order to remain current with web standards and new HTML5 and CSS3 features, they need to release more often than their schedule of one browser every four years. We need something closer to four releases every year. At which point I can consider dropping if( isIE ) from my code.

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9 Responses to “IE9 HTML5 Tests 99%… BOGUS”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amir Harel, Club AJAX, MKN, HN Firehose, Newsery 2 and others. Newsery 2 said: IE9 HTML5 Tests 99%… BOGUS – http://bit.ly/eCvN2K – [Hacker News FH] [...]

  2. Chris says:

    I have been saying that MS needs to be releasing a new browser every year. Their release cycles are too slow for the market.

  3. Craig says:

    > Forms

    Specification here:
    http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/forms.html

    See at the bottom where it says: “This is a work in progress!”

    Or from the actual working group:
    http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/

    Quote: “This is a work in progress! This document is changing on a daily if not hourly basis in response to comments and as a general part of its development process.”

    How can you honestly expect IE to support this now?
    It would actually be a disservice to web developers for years because whatever unfinished version would then become fixed and final. This is an even worse situation.

  4. Mike Wilcox says:

    @Craig,
    If things were based on what you say, how can IE ever claim any percent of completion at all if everything is a work in progress? The WHATWG announced that HTML will never stop changing… does that mean IE should never implement it? So yeah, I’m mad that some features that are important to me aren’t making the cut, but what I’m really mad at is that at the same time they’re claiming 99% compliance.

    The WHATWG holds the actual work in progress draft stuff. When it gets into the WC3, it’s pretty much set. When they say things might change, they are talking about pretty minor stuff, or under-the-hood specifics like calculating the regular expression of a pattern attribute is a slightly different way. And regardless, as web developers – aren’t we by used to browsers being “slightly” different?

  5. Javier says:

    @Mike

    IE9 doesn’t say the browser supports 100% HTML5 specification, they just say the browser passes the 100% (or 99%) of the official W3C test suite. You should go back to school and learn to read.

    And, by the way, the WHATWG is not an standarization group. Whatever they do, you can clean your ass with it. Only W3C opinion and papers matters in the HTML5 standarization process (which, I don’t know if you know it, but won’t be finished until 2014 according to W3C official opinion).

  6. Mike Wilcox says:

    @Javier

    The “back to school” comment was belligerent and unnecessary. Please keep things respectful.

    No, the IE team doesn’t say the tests represent 100% of the spec – but they don’t say it doesn’t. And there are dozens of blogs and articles around the net that says it does and the team is not disputing that. You can even go to their test page. Show me where it says the tests are not comprehensive. It’s misleading by omission. The test is not the official WC3 test, it’s IE’s test that they are submitting to the WC3 as a proposal to be the official test.

    Your dismissal of the importance of the WHATWG shows a lack of understanding. They are the writers of the specification, and as sections are completed they are submitted to the WC3. Without the WHATWG we’d be building web pages with Flash and XML.

    The 2014 announcement was only a few weeks ago. The WC3 probably doesn’t even know what that means. HTML6? What if there are bugs in HTML5? They get left in it? I think they just announced that date because they caved to the pressure of people freaking out about “a living standard”. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  7. [...] But you could, if you knew that you weren’t using IE… ever… yes, even IE9, which doesn’t include HTML5 form support… include the HTML5 plugin the same [...]

  8. Mummy Ninja says:

    I knew it! IE9 is not 99% HTML compliant. I think it’s just around 50%. IE9 doesn’t even support the hgroup tag. For instance, if you want to hide a text inside hgroup by declaring display: none in your CSS, the text will still show in IE9, but not in all other browsers like Safari, Chome, Opera, at Firefox. Oh boy… the hgroup tag is just a basic HTML5 tag, but they can’t properly render it. I hope they’ll release IE10 soon!

  9. SnakeGod says:

    @Chris,
    I agree with you, but the trend is a new version of IE comes with a new OS (which is every 3-4 years)… but that will never change with them anytime soon from what I see. I would like it if they did patch up IE like they use to during Win95-Win2000 and rarely with Windows XP (to the best of my memory anyway) so that IE can render modern W3C HTML and CSS standards.

    @Mummy Ninja,
    Check out Windows 8 Consumer Preview for IE10, if you already haven’t. I haven’t even done any extensive HTML5/CSS3 testing yet. I am still trying to get a feel for Windows 8, and Windows 8 Server.