Skip to main content


Browsers that use modern operating systems more directly deliver better experiences. Browsers that compromise (by spreading across too many OSes and OS versions) face challenges.

We can't decide if we want IE to drive Windows adoption or Windows to drive IE adoption.

The best HTML5 is native to the operating system, so Web sites have the fewest translation layers to pass through.

The browser is part of the OS. The browser has always been part of the OS. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Native HTML5 support in Windows with IE9 makes a huge difference in what sites can do.

We're really, really sorry about IE6. Not sorry enough to disable Windows activation and allow all the software pirates in China to upgrade, but sorry nonetheless.

Web sites and HTML5 run best when they run natively, on a browser optimized for the operating system on your device.

I think we can all agree to hate XUL.

We're about three weeks into development of IE10, and based on the progress we've made, we want to start engaging the development community now.

Imagine how much progress we could have made if we hadn't ignored the web for ten fucking years.

Native HTML5 ... native HTML5 ... run natively ... most native ... only native ... native graphics ... native ... Native HTML5 ... Native HTML5 ... native and robust ... native applications ... Native implementations ... non-native ... native HTML5 ... native ...

I am high as a kite.

When this post was initially published, I forgot to include the onerror event handler for the HTML5 video element. This caused the video to not play in browsers that don't support MP4/H.264 video. That has been corrected.

The irony of using the phrase "same markup" nine times while delivering different markup to other browsers is entirely lost on me.

The only native experience of the Web and HTML5 today is on Windows 7 with IE9.

We would like HTML5 better if it were spelled "ActiveX."


First off, I would like to thank Microsoft for regrouping, restaffing, and developing Internet Explorer 9. There is much to be thankful for. Very soon, new Windows 7 users will have, by default and without any installation, a browser that supports

This is quite remarkable. I've been busily updating Dive Into HTML5, changing phrases like "no version of Internet Explorer supports..." to "versions of IE before 9.0 did not support..." I never, ever, ever thought this day would come. Thank you, Microsoft.

So here's a downer: what if this is it? What if, after years of increasing evangelism and fever-pitch hype and demos and speeches and books and talks and blogs and tweets and logos, Microsoft shifts direction once again, destaffs the IE team, and "deprioritizes" any notion of an IE 10? And all these promising technologies die on the vine, or at most, grow up to smack hard against the glass ceiling of "no version of Internet Explorer supports..."

What if this is as good as it gets?


My big accomplishment of 2010 was finishing the first edition of Dive Into HTML5 and working with O'Reilly to publish it on paper as HTML5: Up & Running (as well as several downloadable DRM-free formats). I also accomplished a few minor personal things, but in this post I'm going to focus on the book.

The book went on sale in mid-August and earned out almost immediately. "Earning out" is a publishing term which means that the book has sold enough copies that my cut of the profits has paid back the advance payments that O'Reilly gave me during the writing process. Which means that I'm already receiving royalty checks for real money. Of the four books I've published through traditional publishers, this is only the second book to earn out. (The original Dive Into Python was the first, and it was on sale for over two years before it earned out.)

I write free books and people buy them. It works out surprisingly well.

"HTML5: Up & Running" sold over 14,000 copies in the first six weeks, of which about 25% were digital downloads and 75% were books on paper. Folks sure do love them some paper. The book continues to be available online for free, as it was during the entire writing process, under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution license. This open publishing model generated buzz well in advance of the print publication, and it resulted in over 1,500 pre-orders which shipped the day the book went on sale. Res ipsa loquitur.

The online edition at includes Google Analytics so I can evilly track your every movement find out what the hell is going on. The analytics tell me many things. Some highlights:

  • Throughout 2010, the site served 2 million visitors and 3.9 million pageviews. Each chapter is on its own page because that's how I wrote the book (in HTML5). I don't need to inflate pageviews for non-existent advertisers (I work for Google so I'm not allowed to put ads on it anyway), and I never got around to writing a split-chapter-into-multiple-pages script.
  • 40% of the site's traffic came from search engines. 30% came from direct traffic or non-web applications like Twitter or email clients. 30% came from one of over 8,900 referring sites.
  • 98.7% of the search engine traffic came from Google. Less than 1% came from Bing. The rest came from search engines that I didn't know still existed.
  • John Gruber sent me three times as much traffic as Bing.
  • The most popular chapters tracked closely with the most popular incoming search keywords. HTML5 video was the most popular topic, logging almost half a million pageviews alone. #2 was web forms, followed closely by canvas, semantics, and Geolocation. Microdata was in dead last. Seriously, the shit that nobody gives about my beloved Peeks, Pokes & Pointers chart is rivaled only by the shit that nobody gives about microdata.
  • My little history of HTML logged almost a quarter million pageviews, and the average visitor spent almost four minutes reading it. (Only the video chapter was higher, at 4:45.) Folks love them some Internet folklore.
  • 6% of visitors used some version of Internet Explorer. That is not a typo. The site works fine in Internet Explorer -- the site practices what it preaches, and the live examples use a variety of fallbacks for legacy browsers -- so this is entirely due to the subject matter. Microsoft has completely lost the web development community.
  • 4% of visitors read the site on a mobile device. Of those people, 85% used an iOS device (iPhone + iPad + iPod Touch). 14% used Android, and the rest used mobile devices that I didn't know had browsers.
  • The site itself, its typography, and the book's live examples have led to bug fixes in at least four browsers and one font. Hooray for living on the bleeding edge.

Although it makes little sense to talk about "editions" of a web site (you can see a changelog if you like), O'Reilly and I have already discussed the possibility of doing a new edition of the printed book. Besides rolling up all the updates since August, we've discussed one chapter on Web Workers and another on web sockets. Since all the world's browsers have recently disabled their web sockets implementations due to a subtle (but fatal) protocol-level security vulnerability, the Web Workers chapter will probably come first. No promises, you understand. No promises at all.

If there are new chapters someday, I will urge O'Reilly to provide them for free to everyone who has already bought a digital copy. But understand that the final decision is not mine to make. Not mine at all. In any event, it will be available online at for free, like the rest of the book.

I'm not big on predictions, but I do have one for 2011: HTML5 will continue to be popular, because anything popular will get labeled "HTML5."


The phrase "implausibly illustrated" garnered virtually no hits before I published that piece on Web Workers, and now I totally own it. Could be the start of a new brand, if I cared about that sort of thing. Which I totally don't. Unrelated: you should all be reading Tweetage Wasteland and then unplugging everything you own, just like I am and have. True fact: I am blogging this on paper while playing Prince of Persia on a solar-powered Apple //e. Oh yeah. Just kidding about the solar part.