A new study from Mozilla shows some fascinating data.
Some of the results mean more than others. For example, according to the study, more app developers are targeting the Web than, say, iOS and or Android. Maybe that’s broadly true, or perhaps that’s what you’d expect from Mozilla developers. (The Mozilla Foundation is the organization behind the Firefox browser.)
Let’s look at some of the results from this study, published last week.
Starting with libraries, jQuery ran away from the pack:
jQuery Mobile 51%
Sencha touch 15%
Mootools mobile 16 3%
M project 0%
Uxebu Bikeshed 0%
I have a lot less experience with jQuery Mobile, which is a newer HTML5-based library that supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone and others. But clearly, it’s got traction. If you use jQuery Mobile, I’d love to get your comments about it — why you like it, what you think needs to be improved.
I was most surprised by the question, “Do you test on non-WebKit browsers?” The majority, 71%, said “yes.” But fully 29% said “no.”
Unless you are truly targeting only a specific mobile platforms (like the iPhone/iPad or Android devices), it’s foolish to create Web applications and only test on a subset of HTML layout engines.
Of course, WebKit is popular — it’s the foundation of Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, after all. But Firefox and Internet Explorer don’t use WebKit — they use Mozilla’s Gecko and Microsoft’s Trident/MSHTML layout engines, respectively. If you care about the desktop, ignore them at your peril.
According to the Mozilla survey, only 24% of the folks who said they only test for WebKit cited that it because they were developing for fixed platforms. That’s totally understandable. If you’re building for iPad, you only need to test on iPad.
However, the biggest group of WebKit-only testers — 55% — said “lack of time to support more browser platforms.” And 42% said, “lack of incentive — I don’t know what the benefit of supporting more is.”
Ugh. How short-sighted is that?