Make HTML5 work today with polyfills

This article first appeared in issue 238 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

We’ve all been in this situation: you’re coding a website and something in its design or behaviour would be so easy to implement if you could use a certain modern HTML5 or CSS3 standard feature. But your requirements dictate full support back to IE7, so you’re stuck either (a) forking your code by browser, or (b) ditching the standard entirely and using some bloated, hacky, error-prone workaround to replicate the functionality.

Fortunately there is a middle ground that has become increasingly popular: polyfills. This term refers to a specific type of shim that implements a standard web feature or API in browsers that lack support natively.

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