Every Browser is the New IE (to me)

A list of all the pet features I want in browsers

July 31, 2015

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “the New IE”. Heck, the Verge even tried to hang all their performance problems on it. There’s also been a lot of great (and not-so great) criticism about it all.

One common sentiment in those posts was: “This feature I want does not exist therefore vis-à-vis ipso facto the Web is Dead and this is the new IE”. So I got to thinking about what pet features I have that are currently missing from browsers:

  IE/Edge Firefox Chrome Opera Safari Mobile Safari Android Chrome Opera Mini
<picture> × × ×
SVG External Content ×
xlink:href CORS × × × × × × × ×
position: sticky × × × × ×
<img lazyload> × × × × × × × ×
PointerEvents × × × × × × ×
CSS Font Loading × × × × ×
Service Worker × × × × ×
Installable Web Apps × × × × × × ×
Web Components × × × × ×

This is my chart. It’s a living document. These are the things that I want. These are the things I think my Users could benefit from. This is not meant to shame browsers to my will, but it’s a genuine list of things I’m using day-to-day or would like to use. Your chart probably looks different.

Maybe this chart justifies PPK’s call for a moratorium since no two browsers are alike and that makes my job and websites dumber. When I look at my chart though, non-evergreen (or “annual release cycle”) browsers tend to fair the worst1. For me a moratorium isn’t a solution, I’d rather have a collective prioritization.

For me the priority stack rank is Security and Things-That-Directly-Affect-User-Experience. I’m not really concerned about ES6 bonerpants features, but if they eliminate large chunks of JavaScript (like jQuery) I’m a fan. 60FPS maybe falls on that list but silky smooth animation ought to be such an enhancement, I don’t think it deserves the priority it is currently given.

So I have this chart now. I’ll add to it and whenever the Browser Fairy visits, I’ll pray that my wishes come true. Maybe one day the Web will be perfect and complete and I will not need to reach for polyfills. However, if that happened I think I’d stop being interested the Web because it would then be a stagnant pond and not a surfable ocean.

  1. Maybe some bias, but I cut Edge some slack because they just switched to an evergreen model.