What new browser features are available today?

By : Emil H
Source: Stackoverflow.com
Question!

It's the year 2009. Internet Explorer 8 has finally been released, and Firefox is coming up to 3.5. Many of the large browsers are starting to integrate features from CSS3 and HTML 5, or have been doing that for quite a while now. Still, I find myself developing web pages exactly the same way I did back in 2005.

A lot of progress has been made since then, and I think the reason that I haven't started taking advantage of these new possibilities is that it's so hard to know which of the new features that work in all major browsers. Since I'm mostly a backend developer I just don't have the time to keep up these developments anymore. Still, I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of cool stuff that actually would make my life a lot easier.

Thus my question is this: What new browser features (HTML, CSS, JS) are almost universally supported (ignoring IE6 and possibly IE7) and ready for mainstream use, but still mostly unknown?

By : Emil H


Answers

I would say display:table and a range of CSS2.1 selectors are the big wins for designers. display:table solves some unsolvable or difficult layouts like 100% height and inside borders without breaking semantics and using actual tables.

Multiple classes (.c1.c2)

I use min/max-width/height a lot.

Also working :hover and !important are awesome.

I would have liked to add SVG support to that list but naturally Microsoft messed that up.

BTW, big warning to those getting excited about HTML5 features. There is no official date for the adoption of this spec. It's even been implied it could take another 10 years (though I doubt that). The point is anything you do with HTML5 now is subject to breakage when the official spec does arrive and in the meantime you can expect plenty of browser inconsistencies, bugs and API changes (not to mention browsers that don't support the features at all).

By : SpliFF


Local storage should enable a bunch of new ideas now that some content can be saved on the users machine.

Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer

By : scunliffe


Font embedding through CSS, using @font-face. Webkit/Safari has been supporting it since version 3.1, Microsoft since IE4, Mozilla since Firefox 3.5 (browser support overview).

Also, the varied implementations of the Selectors API, which provides a browser-native CSS selector engine for use in DOM scripting.

For other examples, When Can I Use... seems to be a very good reference.



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