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Windows 8 will arrive in consumers’ hands later this week and with it will come the first official release of Internet Explorer 10.

It used to be that a new version of IE meant a new set of headaches for developers, but thankfully that’s no longer the case. In fact, when it comes to web standards support IE 10 stacks up pretty well against the competition.

IE 10 adds support for nearly a dozen new HTML5 APIs like Web Sockets, Web Workers, the History API, the Drag and Drop API and the File API. You can look over a complete list on Microsoft’s IE 10 Guide for Developers. There’s plenty of CSS support in this release as well; Animations, Transitions and Transforms are among the many new CSS tools. IE 10 also has experimental support for next-gen layout tools like CSS Grid Layout, CSS Multi-column Layout and CSS Regions.

For all that is good in IE 10 there are a couple of gotchas web developers should be aware of.

One is that, while IE 10 supports CSS Flexible Box Layout, it appears to support the older, now non-standard version of Flexbox (the documenation still uses the old syntax). Hopefully Microsoft will fix this with an update, but for the time being only Chrome and Opera have implemented the updated Flexbox syntax.

The other quirk of IE 10 is related to how the browser behaves on Windows 8 tablets. There are two “modes” in Windows 8, the classic desktop and the Metro UI. When IE 10 runs in Metro mode (which is the default) there’s a feature that allows you to “snap” a window to the side of the screen so you can have a browser window open alongside other applications. It’s a nice feature for users, but it has one quirk developer should be aware of — when snapped, IE10 ignores the meta viewport tag for any viewport smaller than 400 pixels in width. That means that your responsive layouts for smaller screens won’t trigger in snapped mode and your site will be scaled instead. Luckily there’s a fix. In fact developer Tim Kadlec has two solutions, one that uses pixels and one that does not. See Kadlec’s blog for full details.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft is supporting the @viewport declaration rather than the viewport meta tag (IE 10 uses the prefix: @-ms-viewport). While the viewport meta tag is more widely supported (and used), it’s not currently part of any W3C spec, draft or otherwise. For more on @viewport, see the Opera developer blog. (Opera is currently the only other browser supporting @viewport.)

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GDC 2012: The Bleeding Edge of Open Web Tech

(Pre-recorded GDC content) Web browsers from mobile to desktop devices are in a constant state of growth enabling ever richer and pervasive games. This presentation by Google software engineer Vincent Scheib focuses on the latest developments in client side web technologies, such as Web Sockets, WebGL, File API, Mouse Lock, Gamepads, Web Audio API and more. Speaker: Vincent Scheib
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GoogleDevelopers
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48:33
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csstransformsslide

@edr is the man. He did amazing things at Yahoo! and now at his new role at Google he continues in the same vein. This time he has created the coolest set of HTML5 slides ever, using the technology inline.

Take a walk through the woods and learn about all things HTML5. Starting with the JS APIS (selector API, storage, appcache, web workers, web sockets, notifications, drag and drop, and geolocation).

Then delve into the new HTML semantic tags, link relations, micro data, ARIA, forms, audio and video, Canvas, and WebGL.

Finally, the holy trinity finishes with CSS and selectors, fonts, text, columns, stroking, opacity, HSL, rounded corners, gradients, shadows, backgrounds, transitions, transforms, and animations.

Top draw Ernest. Top draw (he based his work on a presentation from Marcin Wichary).

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Michael Carter et al have been working on js.io, a client library that gives you networking, including Comet like support, via JavaScript.

The low level work can sit upon Comet APIs, and in the future, Web Sockets, and you get high level APIs to protocols such as:

  • amqp
  • imap
  • irc
  • ldap
  • smtp
  • ssh
  • stomp
  • telnet
  • xmpp

There are some demos such as LiveHelp that uses Orbited as the backend.

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