How To Ramp Up Quickly on HTML5 and Internet Explorer 9

Malcolm Gladwell’s book called Outliers says that to become an expert at something, you must put in 10,000 hours. I know that you don’t have that much time to become an expert (although you will eventually) on HTML5 and IE9, so I wrote this post to get you up-to-speed quickly. Although not intended to be a comprehensive learning plan, it can get you going in the right direction.

Books on HTML5 & CSS3

A Book Apart has released two small-sized books that are quick reads (you can finish one in an evening), one for HTML5 and one for CSS3. For more in-depth treatments on the subjects, Introducing HTML5 and Stunning CSS3 fit the bill. If you are not familiar with web development, HTML, CSS and JavaScript and need a comprehensive book, you should get Developing With Web Standards.

Links for Internet Explorer 9

There has been a lot of good material covering what is new in IE9. I recommend:

I highly recommend going back through the archive of the IE Blog. Not only does it cover a wide variety of topics, but also many times will talk about why the product team has made decisions that they have. If you really want to get into some deep, technical information, then subscribe to Eric Law’s IE Internals blog. Also, go to the HTML5 Labs to see how Microsoft prototypes early and unstable specs to get feedback on them.

Just Do It

You can read and review all the material above and that will provide a good baseline for your knowledge, but it still does not create a true comprehension of the material. I suggest that you learn by doing with two ideas.

One, you should give yourself a simple project to work on such as taking a website (or a sample site) and implement site pinning, jump lists, thumbnail toolbars and notifications.

Two, you should become familiar with the F12 Developer Tools that come with IE9. Yep, just press F12. You can look at IE Test Drive site or Beauty of the Web demos and decompose them to see how they were built. You can even manipulate and inspect them with the F12 tools.

Although not exhaustively comprehensive, this should give you a good start.

"A dramatically enhanced Internet Explorer 9 web browser will be added to Windows Phone in the second half of 2011. It will feature the same standards support (HTML5, etc.) and hardware accelerated graphics as the PC version."

As you can imagine, I am stoked about this. I have to admit that I was disappointed that we didn’t ship IE9 it right out of the box. With this announcement, I really look forward to being able to use HTML5 and related technologies across a wide variety of platforms and devices.

If you haven’t brushed up on your CSS3 Media Queries, I suggest you start.