The Worldwide Web Consortium has released the results of its first HTML5 conformance tests, and according to this initial rundown, the browser that most closely adheres to the latest set of web standards is...Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.
Yes, the HTML5 spec has yet to be finalised. And yes, these tests cover only a portion of the spec. But we can still marvel at just how much Microsoft's browser philosophy has changed in recent months.
The W3C tests — available here — put IE9 beta release 6 at the top of the HTML5 conformance table, followed by the Firefox 4 beta 6, Google Chrome 7, Opera 10.6, and Safari 5.0. The tests cover seven aspects of the spec: "attributes", "audio", "video", "canvas", "getElementsByClassName", "foreigncontent," and "xhtml5":
The tests do not yet cover web workers, the file API, local storage, or other aspects of the spec.
Not do they cover CSS or other standards that have nothing to do with HTML5 but are somehow lumped under HTML5 by the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. As Mozilla man Asa Dotzler pointed out, when Microsoft released its IE9 platform preview 6, it said that its "HTML5 features include CSS3 2D Transforms."
"WTF, Microsoft? Are you trying to add more confusion to the conversation?" Dotzler wrote.
"HTML5 features include CSS3? That's seriously confused. Please stop this. HTML5 is HTML. CSS3 is CSS. The two are not the same thing."
But at the same time, Dotzler praised Microsoft's browser. Its terminology may be wanting, but at least Microsoft has finally acknowledged the existence of web standards. "I'm a huge fan of IE9," he said. "I predicted many months ago that it was going to be a killer release for Web standards and that's definitely happening." ®