Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > The Web/Virtual Worlds/Social Networking

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend Testing HTML5 Features

Testing HTML5 Features

I previously suggested starting up a more recent version of Firefox or Chrome to try out the FileAPIDemo application. I did not suggest starting up Safari or Opera because this application doesn't work with these browsers. Because support for HTML5 features varies from browser to browser, you should test how well browsers support these features before deploying feature-dependent HTML5 applications.

In the following sections, I test browser support for the HTML5 audio, canvas, and File API features. The browsers I'm using to perform these tests are Chrome 6.0.472.63, Firefox 3.6.10, Firefox 4.0 Beta 6, Opera 10.63, and Safari 5.0.2. I'm not testing with Internet Explorer because version 8 is extremely limited in its HTML5 support, and version 9 doesn't support my Windows XP platform.


I began to test browser support for the HTML5 audio feature by running AudioDemo.html in each of the previously mentioned browsers. Only the Chrome and Safari browsers were able to play the referenced 111491075.mp3 file.

I subsequently converted 111491075.mp3 to an equivalent 111491075.ogg file by using an online OGG converter tool. I discovered that Chrome, both Firefox versions, and Opera could play 111491075.ogg.

I next focused on trying to play 111491075.mp3 or 111491075.ogg via the DOM's Audio API; for example, var audio = new Audio("file://c:/temp/111491075.mp3"); audio.play();. I was able to use this API to play the MP3 or OGG file as determined by the browser.

I did not perform additional audio element/API tests (such as determining preloading support) because I found the previous tests sufficient for designing the audio portion of the HTML5 application that I present in Part 2. Accordingly, it must play an MP3 file under Safari, an OGG file under all other browsers except for Chrome, and an MP3 or OGG file under Chrome.


HTML5's canvas feature originated as an Apple creation and is probably the most widely supported of all HTML5 features. When I tested a simple canvas on the aforementioned browsers, I was able to observe the same graphics on each browser.

The canvas feature's API evolved over time and this API's text functions (such as fillText()) were not initially supported. To determine if a browser supports these functions, it's sufficient to check for the presence of fillText() via typeof context.fillText == 'function', which returns true when this function is supported. This expression returned true for all of the aforementioned browsers.

File API

Unlike the audio and canvas elements, there is much less consistent support for the File API. The first of my File API tests examined file chooser activation and support for the FileList interface. Of the various browsers, only Opera failed this test, as follows:

  • Opera does not support the <input> tag's multiple attribute, which means that only a single file can be selected.
  • More seriously, Opera does not support FileList and a files property, so there is no way to obtain the selected file. In FileAPIDemo, files = document.getElementById("files list").files; results in the files variable containing the undefined value, and a subsequent attempt to evaluate files.length results in the following error message: Uncaught exception: TypeError: Cannot convert 'files' to object.

I also encountered a strange anomaly when testing the file chooser under Safari. When the file chooser appears over a link, and when the mouse cursor is moved over that part of the file chooser that sits above the link, the mouse cursor changes from a pointer to a hand, even when the mouse cursor is over a filename.

If I press a mouse button, the link is activated; the file is not selected. The (awkward) solution is to drag the file chooser dialog to a portion of the browser where no links appear (or even off of the browser window). I've observed this anomaly with the Windows XP version of Safari; it might not occur with the Apple version.

My second test involved determining whether or not the FileReader interface is supported. I discovered that Safari and Opera do not support this interface. In contrast, the other browsers support FileReader. (Firefox presents an expanded File interface with alternative file-reading methods such as getAsDataURL(). FileReader replaces these methods.)

My final test involved determining whether or not the Blob interface is supported. Blob lets you read a smaller section of a file, instead of having to read the entire file's contents. For example, where fr.readAsBinaryString(files[i]); reads the entire content, fr.readAsBinaryString(files[i].slice(0, 128)); reads no more than the first 128 bytes. I found that only Chrome supports Blob.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020