Archives For browser

Browser Market Share Updates

October 11, 2011

As I’m in the midst of writing a book on JavaScript, I’m hyperaware of browser market share at the moment. Although my “Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design” book takes a progressive enhancement approach, which means the end result will work reliably across all browsers and devices, it’s still good to pay attention to what people are commonly using. At the very least, watching the browser market share helps you to know what devices and browsers to test on first. Anyway, InfoWorld had an article last week discussing how IE’s market share is dropping towards 50% (really? still that high?), based on statistics from NetMarketShare. As the article points out, in the mobile realm, Safari remains the clear leader, even increasing its share to over 50%. This despite the fact that Android phones far and away outsell iPhones. But Safari is also running on the iPad and the iPod Touch.

An interesting note to me is that the two most commonly used browsers–IE on the desktop; Safari on mobile devices–are not the browsers that most developers and designers are using, at least not as their primary tool. This is another example of the developer’s primary hurdle with any Web site or application: bridging the gap between what the developer thinks is right and what people will actually do!

I’m doing a final round of research before I begin writing my forthcoming JavaScript book and I came across some pretty good resources that I thought I’d share. (Actually, this is more of a half-truth, because I’ve already started writing the book and I’ll no doubt continue doing research while writing the book, but this is my last “have I forgotten anything that I should cover?” review.)

I’ve been targeting JavaScript information, so it’s no surprise that Mozilla, keepers of the JavaScript flame, would have wonderful information about the language on their site. This includes the JavaScript reference materials (i.e., all the objects, methods, etc.), a JavaScript primer, and some good articles. But Mozilla’s developers pages also do a great job of discussing HTML and CSS. The Mozilla “Learn How To Make Websites” section is particularly useful, especially for beginning Web developers.

One of the links at Mozilla’s pages took me to the developer’s section of the Opera Web browser’s site. I would recommend reading Opera’s WebPlatform Docs, a series of 51 articles on Web development, from design, to HTML, to Accessibility, on through CSS, and JavaScript. Another 11 articles have been added covering HTML5.

If Mozilla and Opera have good developer resources, it seems only logical that other browsers would, too. What I’ve found, though, at Apple’s (Safari) and Microsoft’s (Internet Explorer) Web sites isn’t on the same level as what Mozilla and Opera offer. In short, the resources at Apple and Microsoft tend to be more specific to their browsers. But check out the references mentioned above, you’ll have more than enough reading to do for some time!