Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

The State of Web Development 2010 – Web Directions

Category: Survey

What are the current Web Directions? John Allsopp is back, with results from his latest State of Web Development 2010 survey.

There is a ton of content here, and the data is made available. For the full report you can grab the PDF.

Fancy some crib notes? Here are some of the highlights from the report:

  • Few respondents use any form of Internet Explorer for their day to day web use, but IE8 is the num ber one browser devel op ers test their sites in.
  • Google Chrome has jumped dramatically as the browser of choice for devel op ers, to rank 3rd, at 17% just behind Safari at 20%.
  • Firefox remains the number one choice by some way, but respon dents were split between 3.5 and 3.6 at the time of our survey.
  • Firefox 3.6 was released only a week before the survey began.
  • Over half of respondents now use Mac OS X as their primary operating system.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (up from 16%) use Mobile Safari, while Android use is at around 4%.
  • JQuery has become even more dominant, with nearly 80% of all respondents using the library, up from 63% last year.
  • Desktop-??like application frame works, such as Cappuccino and SproutCore show little sign of wide spread adoption by developers. Perhaps the day of desktop-??like web apps is yet to come, or perhaps developers really aren’t look ing to build webapps which mimic the desktop.

When it comes to web devel op ment tech nolo gies, the big sto ries are CSS3, web fonts and HTML5.

  • More respondents (45%) than not (44%) use CSS3 and experimental CSS, up dramatically from last year (only 22% then were using CSS3 and nearly 70% not)
  • Last survey, only 4% were using font link ing using @font-face. This survey that’s climbed to 23%
  • HTML5 is now used to some extent by around 30% of respondents, up from under 10% last survey

Interesting stuff. Do you see any other trends from the data?

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:23 am

4.3 rating from 3 votes


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“Desktop-??like application frame works, such as Cappuccino and SproutCore show little sign of wide spread adoption by developers. Perhaps the day of desktop-??like web apps is yet to come, or perhaps developers really aren’t look ing to build webapps which mimic the desktop.”

And those who are looking to build those are put off by the poor support of browsers like Opera. SproutCore would’ve been perfect for one of my projects, but no Opera support – no SproutCore.

Comment by Jani — April 27, 2010

I’ve seen a couple other developers who say they want Opera support and it has always puzzled me since Opera has such a small user base (~2%). Why is it that you want Opera support? Is there some other factor here besides user base that I am missing?

Comment by chuckles1313 — April 27, 2010

Well the CSS3 and HTML5 usage definitely reflects my experience. At this point I pretty much have made CSS3 part of my workflow – it’s no longer a question if I’m going to use it or not, it’s just a question of how much of it I’ll try to hack into IE. HTML5 is something I cautiously use when it might give some benefit without causing any issues. In my work projects that’s been pretty much limited doctype syntax and input attributes, i.e. I would use type=”email/search/url” where appropriate, since in any browser that doesn’t support those they just default to “text” which is fine, and I also use placeholder.

I find surprising the numbers for Mac OS X. Developers/programmers aren’t the typical people I would expect to migrate to Mac. I guess as web developers do more and more design work they tend to move over to the dark side ;)
Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe more designers are becoming web developers, it’s interesting…

Comment by iliad — April 27, 2010


I think the OS X numbers make a lot of sense—being that OS X is a Unix that much more closely matches the kind of server environment developers would expect than Windows, and being that it has a huge (and growing) commercial software catalogue. It might that OS X is a “perfect storm” for web development features versus its competitors. Add that iPhone development requires a Mac and that drives even more adoption.

I don’t think it has much to do with designers (though it does help that designers working with developers can operate on the same platform), and really I think the designer market is probably much more skewed toward Windows these days than the web developer market. There’s much fewer compelling reasons to use OS X for design, all else being equal.

Comment by eyelidlessness — April 27, 2010

I think it’s very interesting to see that IE only got 2% as browser of choice for developers, but still is at over 50% for (our) users (IE6 to IE8). In theory, we should develop and test in the browser mostly used by customers to ensure the quality and their satisfaction. In practice, development is much faster in Firefox (and even faster in Chrome). And if you’re using javascript frameworks like jQuery or qooxdoo they perfectly encapsulate browser differences to give us the free choice of the (fastest) development browser. It just works in other browsers (ok… sometimes you have to move some pixels around or adapt to some browser capabilities). Thank you javascript frameworks! :)

Comment by maze — April 27, 2010

Why is Scriptaculous included in the libs list? Does its numbers affect the Prototype percentage (Scripty requires Prototype)? If Scripty is included then why not JQueryUI or Mootools ART or other framework addons/plugins?

Comment by jdalton — April 27, 2010

I too thought it very odd that they included Scriptaculous on the libraries list, since it and Prototype are almost always bundled together. I would have rather they included ExtJS.

Comment by Chiper — April 27, 2010

No mention of the Dojo Toolkit… I must be so yesterday.

Comment by theKryz — April 30, 2010

I was glancing over my logs this morning and was surprised to see that the browser distribution hitting my site seems to differ significantly from these stats. I assume most of my visitors are web developers checking out my AJAX date/time picker, yet the number of Safari hits was almost zero between 3am and 11am EDT. Firefox was ahead by leaps and bounds, with Chrome probably ~20%, Opera in third but far behind (maybe 5%), and IE making a very small appearance. Maybe Opera’s significance and Safari’s absence can be attributed to the time of day (I imagine more European visitors during that time frame). I’ll try to remember to check the distribution again this evening, when more West Coast (US) developers should be looking my way.

Comment by AMA3 — May 4, 2010

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