Microsoft has launched HTML5 Labs, an online developer centre designed to offer web designers the ability to work with HTML5 now, particularly to gear their websites up to be fully functional with Internet Explorer 9.
The difference between IE9 and HTML5 Labs is that the former will launch with “site-ready” features – i.e. the HTML5 features that have been given the green light by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). HTML5 Labs, on the other hand, will feature more experimental features that have not properly launched yet.
Microsoft is sharing two main prototypes on its HTML5 Labs website: IndexDB and WebSockets. The former is a draft web specification for storing large amounts of data in the browser, while the latter is designed to simplify bi-directional, full-duplex communications channels over a single TCP socket.
Microsoft gave a staunch warning that the specifications it’s offering through HTML5 Labs are unstable and that they “will break and will have to be re-written”. This is purely a developer tool.
The aim is to offer developers a way to experiment with HTML5 without needing to incorporate unstable features into IE9 itself. Microsoft believes its rivals are implementing specifications too early and risking inconsistency in the appearance of their websites over multiple browsers.
HTML5 Labs will be managed by Microsoft’s Interoperability Strategy Group.