Friday, May 4, 2012

Canvas Adoption in Major Browsers

(if you're reading this in an RSS reader, come to the blog to see some nice charts!)

dygraphs is based around the <canvas> tag, which first appeared in Safari in 2004. It was quickly adopted by other browsers, with one notable exception.

When I initially wrote dygraphs in 2006, Internet Explorer market share was 80–90%. When I released it in late 2009, <canvas> was still supported in less than 50% of browsers. Recently, however, that has been changing dramatically:

With over 80% of browsers supporting it, the conventional wisdom that <canvas> is not "safe" to use needs some rethinking!

There are two drivers of this phenomenon.

The first is Google Chrome. Since its debut in 2008, Chrome has achieved over 30% market share. Over the same time span, Firefox has gone from 26% to 25%. Nearly all of Chrome's gains, in other words, have been coming from IE:

The other driver was the introduction of IE9, the first version of Internet Explorer to support <canvas>:

Firefox and Chrome have been increasing <canvas> support for years by eating away at IE's market share. IE9 has accelerated the trend by making Internet Explorer a better browser.

What does this all add up to? It means that hacks like excanvas won't be necessary for much longer, as more and more web users get a first class dygraphs experience.

Data source: statcounter