One of the challenges of developing web applications these days is browser compatibility. As part of our commitment to support the newest browsers and browser-technologies, the Messenger & Contacts Web Platform team is planning to utilize some of the latest HTML 5 standards in our future releases.

One of the first HTML 5 features that we now support is "Cross-document messaging." This feature provides reliable, fast and secure cross-domain communication. As mentioned on MSDN, the Messenger Library can be used by Web sites hosted in any domain and works by using cross-site API calls to the Windows Live Messenger service. So far, to implement cross-domain communication, The Messenger Library was using JavaScript URL-hash rewriting techniques. If the browser would support Adobe Flash, then Messenger Library would use that to facilitate cross-domain communication.

HTML 5 Cross-document messaging is already supported by Firefox 3 and Opera 9.52. The future release of Internet Explorer 8 and Apple Safari 4 will also implement this functionality. It seems that all major browsers are committed to implementing this and other HTML 5 features in the near future. We expect this feature to not only improve the performance and reliability of the Messenger Library but also enable Web developers to develop rich applications that can target a wider range of browsers.

This functionality is included in version 2.5 of the Messenger Library.

Offir Bakshitz
Software Design Engineer, Messenger & Contacts Web Platform