Tag Archives: Safari

When Can I Use posts a usage table

When Can I Use has posted a nice browser usage table, which includes mobile browsers and a breakdown by browser version. Compared with the browser market share analysis at Wikipedia, the numbers do line up quite well for the major categories, although there are some interesting discrepancies when you get down into the weeds.

I love looking at statistics and seeing what jumps out at you. What I see from these numbers today, here in September of 2011, is this:

  • IE is only 39% of browser market share now. Remember ten years ago? Yeah, times have changed.
  • Chrome is doing quite well. It’s going to overtake Firefox at this rate. 21% – that’s amazing.
  • Going by the When Can I Use analysis, if you combine Chrome, Safari, iOS, and Android, you have about 29% market share for WebKit browsers.
  • If these trends continue, and I see every indication that they will, Google Chrome will become the dominant browser platform sometime in the first half of 2012.

Fascinating. I’m going to need to make more popcorn.

MathML+WebKit

If you’re the kind of person who likes to download WebKit nightly builds to tinker with emerging features (and who isn’t?), then you’ll be interested to try out MathML support which is now turned on by default.

MathML is supported server-side in several wiki platforms I regularly deal with (such as Confluence and MediaWiki), and it has always been an important requirement for support from my colleagues in the science community who do any kind of math research (but second place to LaTeX). This is the first time I’ve seen it supported in a major browser platform though. The mathematics community will be very interested in this sort of thing, and I expect at some point in the future we’ll just be embedding MathML into markup and publishing it rather than having to rely on a server-side library to parse it. Yea! 😀 I know it sounds more geeky than usual, but this is pretty cool in my book – especially from an applications perspective.

The only thing more geeky about downloading WebKit nightly builds is getting excited over new XML functionality. 🙂 Also slightly related: both SVG and HTML5 canvas will be supported in IE9, making it doable in all modern browsers when that finally gets released and older versions become rarely used. It will become an increasing trend to represent data in these formats, natively in markup, rather than relying on 3rd party server-side libraries or plugins. Standards eventually win, usually…

RGBa and -webkit gradients: Yes.

When @malarkey asked if RGBa worked with -webkit gradients, my own curiosity couldn’t resist a quick and fugly test to see. Yes indeed, it works:


Screen shot showing green bleed-through on a -webkit gradient div

The madness of screens vs. browsers on the mobile web

This evening as I was doing some research on mobile web development, I got myself on a tear about the wild differences we face as web developers regarding screen sizes and default browser installations, and came up with this:

Make Model Resolution Default Browser Engine*
Amazon Kindle 600 x 800 NetFront
Apple iPhone 480 x 320 WebKit
Apple iPod Touch 480 x 320 WebKit
BenQ M315 128 x 128 Opera
HTC G1 320 x 480 WebKit
Kyocera Mako S4000 128 x 160 Openwave
Motorola Hint QA30 320 x 240 Openwave
Motorola Krave ZN4 240 x 400 Openwave
Motorola KRZR K1 176 x 220 Opera
Motorola RAZR V3 176 x 220 Opera
Motorola ROKR E2 240 x 320 Opera
Motorola SLVR L7 176 x 220 Opera
Motorola V980 176 x 220 Opera
Motorola VE240 128 x 128 Openwave
Motorola ZINE ZN5 240 x 320 WebKit
Nokia 6300 240 x 320 Opera
Nokia 2605 Mirage 128 x 160 Openwave
Nokia N81 240 x 320 WebKit
Nokia N810 800 x 480 Gecko
Nokia N82 240 x 320 WebKit
Nokia N95 240 x 320 WebKit
Nokia N96 240 x 320 WebKit
Palm Centro 320 x 320 NetFront
Palm Treo 680 320 x 320 NetFront
Palm Treo 750 240 x 240 Internet Explorer
Palm Treo 755p 320 x 320 NetFront
Palm Treo 800w 320 x 320 Internet Explorer
Palm Treo Pro 320 x 320 Internet Explorer
RIM Blackberry Bold 480 x 360 Blackberry Browser
RIM Blackberry Pearl 240 x 320 Blackberry Browser
RIM Blackberry Storm 480 x 360 Blackberry Browser
Samsung Behold T919 240 x 400 NetFront
Samsung BlackJack SGH-i607 240 x 320 Internet Explorer
Samsung Epix i907 320 x 320 Internet Explorer
Samsung Eternity SGH-A867 240 x 400 Openwave
Samsung Highnote M630 176 x 220 Polaris
Samsung Omina i910 240 x 400 Internet Explorer & Opera
Samsung Rant M540 176 x 220 Polaris
Samsung Rugby A837 176 x 220 NetFront
Samsung Saga i770 320 x 320 Internet Explorer & Opera
Samsung SPH-Z400 176 x 220 Obigo
Siemens SX66 240 x 320 Internet Explorer
Sonim XP3 128 x 160 Opera
Sony Ericsson C702a 240 x 320 NetFront
Sony Ericsson C905a 240 x 320 NetFront
Sony Ericsson TM506 240 x 320 NetFront
Sony Ericsson W595a 240 x 320 NetFront
Sony Ericsson W760 240 x 320 NetFront
Sony Ericsson X1 800 X 480 Internet Explorer & Opera

*Some service providers will opt to use a different browser than the ones listed here.

It is interesting to note the diversity on these fronts. Screen sizes are all over the map, and the browsers here are not the usual suspects we see on the desktop. As for browsers, while it is certainly possible on many of these platforms to install a different browser (Opera being the usual choice), most users don’t bother. Regardless, Opera is the dominant player in this space, with significant marketshare owned by all the other actors on the mobile stage. As I research this topic, the WebKit engine proves to be the vast trendsetter and it is interesting to see how many platforms besides the iPhone are picking this one up. And trends show that this landscape is evolving rapidly as mobile capabilities increase and users begin surfing the web on their mobile devices with greater and greater frequency. ABI Research sees web browser installations on smartphones expanding from 130 million in 2008 to 530 million by 2013. The mobile web is a vastly unexplored frontier in web design and we should start seeing more and more attention getting paid to this aspect of the online world.

Update: Amazon Kindle’s Basic Web is based on NetFront – table updated to reflect this.

Browser Joy

Downloaded Firefox Three Point Oh this evening and I must say I’m impressed. Last check was a few beta revisions ago, and this is much improved in the one area I am most concerned with: stability. I have been running it all evening and she’s been perfectly stable so far.

PPK has posted a quick roundup of the current browser state of affairs today. Seems we have beta 2 of IE8 due out in August, which is good because I don’t want to deal with it until then. 😉 Of course Firefox 3 is out and looking fabulous, and a Firefox 3.1 alpha is now available with alleged full CSS3 selector support. Safari 4 is a developer preview, and Opera 9.5 is already live.

So the great news is, things are not stagnant – things are moving forward at a lovely clip. IE6 is soon to be ancient history – two revisions old – and the rest of the browser market is vibrant and embracing standards and innovating on coolness all around.

Gruber has noted that when you hit the Firefox 3 page you get a comparison with Safari if you’re on Mac, and other users seem to be getting the IE to FF comparison.

Most of my essential plugins are working great. There is a Firebug 1.1 beta available on the releases page if you’re missing that. ScribeFire and the del.icio.us plugins seem to be fine and really the del.icio.us plugin wins in the most improved category. Still no HTML Validator yet for Mac, but I’ll be watching the skies on that one…

OK back to to practicing…