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Mozilla's Chris Heilmann: Breaking Out of the Browser

· Web Dev Zone

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Chrome has just now, and just barely, overtaken Firefox; but Mozilla's almost ridiculous rapid-fire release schedule is building some kind of momentum (even if it's not the kind that translates into higher market share).

To some extent, that momentum seems to be directed toward pushing web standards forward -- at least if Mozilla's Chris Heilmann has anything to say about it. (Just take a look at his recent blog posts.)

That intensely focused, forward-looking gaze made Chris the perfect opening speaker at the Beyond Tellerand conference in Dusseldorg last month.

One of his major points: sure, not every browser supports every standard, and the standards themselves are always changing. But this complaint paints all of HTML5 with the same brush -- quite inaccurately. In fact, plenty of HTML5 features are (a) awesome enough to be worth using, and (b) totally harmless to use, no matter what browser people are using. So Chris usefully distinguishes HTML5 features into 'sweet features that aren't quite standards yet' and 'features you have no excuse not to use right now' (around 5:40). (For example, what do you lose by including semantics?)

The talk is a nice mixture of pragmatic encouragement and slightly geekier 'here are the amazing things the technology allows us to do'. Check it out below, perhaps along with a browse of Chris' blog.

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