If like me you are predominately an enterprise developer, you will know how embedded Internet Explorer has become. Although the nightmares about IE 6 have now diminished, Microsoft are still playing catch up as regards HTML 5 specification and related technologies go.
IE 10 is a vast improvement over earlier versions, but web applications need to get more out of the browser especially when end users are going home and getting a fantastic experience when using Chrome or Firefox and then coming back in to the office demanding that 'Web App X' do this shiny new thing.
There is still a massive user base on Windows 7 with no sign of moving up to Windows 8 (or 8.1) just yet, so it is great news that Microsoft have released IE 11 for Windows 7.

So what does IE 11 bring to the party? Lets have a look.

Available in IE 11 but not in IE 10

Embedding Custom non-visible Data (HTML 5 Candidate Recommendation)

From the W3C specs these are data-* attributes that can be manipulated via script but is hidden from the end user for example:-
A script on this page could highlight the list item content by identifying its data- attribute.

Hidden Attribute (HTML 5 Candidate Recommendation)

Using the section element in HTML 5, you can now manipulate with ease the visibility of the section like this:-
You can also shorten this by simply using

Device Orientation (DeviceOrientation Event Specification Editors Draft)

This API uses the concept of alpha (for rotation around the device z-axis), beta (how much the device is tilted front to back) and gamma (how much it is tilted from side to side).
Axis for IE 11 powered devices
So for example:-
{alpha: 90, beta:0, gamma:0};
Is a device lying flat, but rotated so it is pointing west (360-90=270 degrees).

WebGL 3D Context (Khronos WebGL Specification Editor's Draft 2 August 2013)

Not actually part of any W3C specification, but adopted by many browsers to add 3D support for the HTML 5 canvas element.

MutationObserver (Mozilla Developer Network)

This API reacts to changes in the DOM by assigning an observer to a DOM element.

Fullscreen (Fullscreen W3C Working Draft 03 July 2012)

This allows an element to move to a fullscreen mode, ideal for video for example.
So there you have it, not a fantastic amount of new stuff and all of it has been available on recent releases of both Chrome and Firefox. But it is nice to know Microsoft are still willing to update their browser to stay competitive with the others.
Happy coding


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