back to article Microsoft preps IE 8 for the web-challenged

Internet Explorer 8 will feature a user-generated list of "compatible" web sites, after trials found many ordinary surfers and major web sites can't work with Microsoft's next browser. The browser's planned list will be targeted at users that Microsoft considers not "web savvy". By opting to use the list with IE 8, they'll …

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Paris Hilton

Huh?

'Furthermore, Microsoft said it will "reach out" to sites on the list and tell them what a horrible experience their users are getting when they use IE 8 to access them. Microsoft will then, thoughtfully, explain how the sites can get off of its list. If a site contacts Microsoft to say it's opting out of the list, Microsoft will then remove it in the next scheduled update.'

So Mozilla and Opera can write standards-compliant browsers that nonetheless can work with most badly-written pages to present something viewable to the user, but the best solution MS can come up with is "our browser's too stupid to figure your page out, so you'd better change it"?

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Here we go again

Looks like standards compliant web developers are going to be in another world of pain. With tons of IE8 bugs possibly unfixed and no beta 3 or interim releases to verify whether or not any real work was even done before the RC, Microsoft and IE continues to waste precious web developer's time and resources. You only need look to the following URL to realise the only positive way forward is for the world to switch to better browsers.

http://www.gtalbot.org/BrowserBugsSection/MSIE8Bugs/

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Have you got it backwards?

Shurely shome mishtake: by "compatibility list" are you sure you didn't mean "incompatibility list"?

I note with amusement that only M$ can get a 'compatible' browser so wrong. If they had half a brain they'd simply use the Webkit engine like everybody else.

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Alien

Microsoft? Standards compliant? No!

If you will insist on contorting standards for decades its not exactly fair to expect the whole web world to throw budget at undoing all the workarounds when u are standards compliant in the middle of a credit crunch no less especially when most users wont adopt the browser for ages yet.

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Flame

Web developers

There's more crap code in the average organizations web front page than in all the other systems in the rest of that organisation put together. Most web coders (not all, but most) seem to be the D- students.

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Flame

WTF should the sites pay?

MSFT wants to shove this crapola down people's throats. They should hire a call centre full of $3/hour slaves to click the whole internet.

MS are really losing the plot. Getting the users to pay to be rogered is no longer a valid business plan.

.

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Gates Horns

Classic!

M$ breaks the web by allowing sites to use crappy code - then breaks it again by using allegedly standards compliant code!

You couldn't make it up! The horned beast for obvious reasons...

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CTG
Flame

As you sow, so shall you reap...

So Mickeysoft spends years forcing developers to hack their websites into a god-awful mess so their broken browsers can use them, then suddenly get all standards-compliant and expect everyone to throw away all the hacks overnight?

If they had just complied with standards in the first place, there wouldn't be all this mess to clear up. So why doesn't Microsoft do something about it, like give free tools to developers to help them identify and get rid of all the IE-5,6 and 7 cruft that is the cause of the problem?

It constantly amazes me that Microsoft can be as thick as they are, and yet be so successful.

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Anonymous Coward

portable version?

If they really want site developers to build in IE8 compatibility they should release the beta as a portable app.

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Gates Horns

The web guys should be setting the standard...

and not Microsoft. If IE8 makes stuff look shit then people can always use Opera, Chrome or even Firefox. Why would someone like the BBC who is the largest content provider in europe want to pander to Microsoft's tardy introduction to standards, if MS wants browser share then it's up to them to make their browser make the BBC look good. Users who don't like what they see after IE8 is foisted on they through windows update can always switch.

A few days after IE8 slips out through windows update is when FF et al should go on the advertising offensive... do web pages suddenly look pants for you? If so download Opera/FF/Chrome!

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Gates Horns

in other words...

In other words, it seems to me that Microsoft intends to use it's continued quasi-monopoly on the OS to browbeat website owners into breaking their websites for anyone else but Microsoft products? Or perhaps force them spend even more making their websites "compatible" with both established web standards AND Microsofts inability to adhere to those standards? I take it this is part of their "extinguish" approach to web standards, by forcing websites to choose between supporting 20% of the market, or the 80% of the market that Microsoft thinks it controls?

The continuing switch to Firefox and other browsers must be making them nervous perhaps? Or are they still that arrogant? I guess they haven't been hit hard enough yet.

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Microsoft...

So how come Firefox, Opera et all can correctly render pages designed for old versions of IE, but the new version cannot ?

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Coat

Compatibility

"Dickens specifically cited the BBC, CNN, Facebook, and MySpace as sites with pages that still don't work with IE 8."

Um, if these (and other) sites work in web standards-compliant browsers then surely it's IE8 that's borked, not the sites.

Oh, wait a minute - web standards + compatible + Microsoft - I'm having an oxymoron moment...

Mines the coat with the FF HTML Validator extension in the pocket...

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Alternative

They could run the IE7 and IE8 engines against the sites and compare the results pixel by pixel. If they differ subtantially, then use the IE7 engine.

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Jobs Horns

Like being Vista Compatible?

Wow. Let's see, I seem to have heard this before?

Get compatible before we release the final RC.

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Pirate

Class

From a company that has produced non-standards compliant browsers since day dot, I think it's high time they got a taste of their own medicine.

Not exactly 'Peter and the wolf' syndrome, but the analogy is similar.

"Oooh, we're doing things properly now - please spend ages fixing your websites so it looks nice in IE"

I haven't used IE in years thank goodness, and neither have 90% of my PC bitches that I support.

Firefox is making great inroads and it looks like it will grab even more market share with IE8 ;-)

Skull and crossbones, because they've thieved lots of my precious time in the past....

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And in news today

Microsoft is making sure no-one knows about any other OS, browsers or products by making sure IE8 does not serve "unwanted" websites to the users.

You can just see it, can't you?

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Unhappy

So...

Years of incompetent browser coding will be rectified by bitching at web designers...

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Anonymous Coward

Savviness standards

What are "ordinary" non techincal users doing downloading and using the Beta? they must be of a resonable tech level to be able to find out about it, download it and install it...but they can not then use a simple button...

me thinks we are not getting the full story here!

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Jobs Horns

Standards compliant?

What the dilly-o? Microsoft are contacting website owners to tell them how bad their pages look in IE8? Have they not considered looking for the problem somewhat closer to home? I develop standards compliant web sites and applications and, without fail, IE8 is the only recent browser that does not render any of them correctly (and we test sites in IEs 6, 7 and 8, Firefoxes 1, 2 and 3, Safari 3 for Mac and Windows, Opera 9 and Google Chrome).

I understand them stating that their "standards compliance" is a reason why pages designed only for Internet Explorers 7 and earlier may not render correctly, but this cannot extend to pages that were written to be standards compliant in the first place. It makes me wonder about precisely what standards Microsoft think they are following.

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Joke

prompt

Why don't they have something which pops up and asks "I see you're trying to use the internet, does this website look okay? YES | NO"

It could have a friendly animated icon so that people won't mind. Like a paper clip or a dog or something.

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Gates Horns

Something amiss with this?

OK... Assuming sites such as the BBC, and Facebook, and all the sites MS is complaining about work with Firefox, Opera et. al... which ARE standards compliant... then why should IE8 be any different? Why should it be that a site works in one standards compliant browser, but not in another standards compliant browser, unless one of those browsers isn't actually standards compliant ???

And why is it that it's ALWAYS IE that's the problem? IE 5.5 through 7 - web designers headache (ie: code for standards, and then hack it to make it work on IE)... and now it seems again, IE8 is proving to be a problem; a problem that doesn't appear to be experienced by the current standards compliant browsers and their most recent implementations.

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Thumb Up

Ah, it's good to hear the pigeons coming home

It's good news to see that Microsoft appear to be still sticking to web standards rather than taking the easier route and follow their past bad practices.

Most rendering problems will be caused because those websites followed the old Microsoft ways and probably already render badly on non-Microsoft browsers, so are in dire need of fixing. Developers who have used kludges/hacks have known for years that this is bad practice and only have themselves to blame -- the only valid hack is the conditional comment (probably IE's most innovative feature).

Please keep on this difficult path Microsoft; it's a one-time hit and will result in much better websites for everybody in the end. Not to mention easier to build websites that will look the same on all (OK, most) browsers.

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wim
Happy

Easy solution

let IE8 disguise itself as FireFox or Opera and then the sites that load different scripts/layouts/css for IE will treat it like a stadards compliant browser.

A bit like now Firefox or Opera has to declare itself IE to access some sites but reverse.

It would be a nice ironic twist to the whole browser war.

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What's wrng with IE8?

Odd. I can visit those sites with Firefox, Opera, and Safari, all highly html4 and css2.1 compliant, without running into problems. What are the issues with IE8, and why am I not facing them with present modern browsers?

I'll grant you there are poorly built sites, and idiot developers that are IE5 oriented and have no concept of the standards. Those sites fail in all modern browsers. Any sites that render well in good browsers ought not cause problems for a standards compliant IE.

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Anonymous Coward

Confusion

Surely they mean an 'incompatible' list?

I just hope that when the shit hits the fan for the 'average' home user, the media doesn't shirk on it's responsibility to point out that the whole sorry affair is a result of MS abusing it's dominant market position by ignoring international standards as a way to force proprietary lock in.

Every site I have designed has been coded to CSS and XHTML standards first & then browser detection scripts serve up a different page for the IE clients. The IE version of the site always contains a page explaining that IE is a sub standard browser and providing links to Firefox and Opera.

Spread the hate!

Where's the laughing my tits off icon?

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Gates Horns

One of thoe WTF moments

"Microsoft said it will "reach out" to sites on the list and tell them what a horrible experience their users are getting when they use IE 8 to access them. Microsoft will then, thoughtfully, explain how the sites can get off of its list."

So Microsoft are going to start advising people to switch to Firefox? Excellent!

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Linux

Come back BillG we love you

Once again Microsoft introduces software that imposes extra costs on the users and businesses. Fortunately there are other very good browsers available,

We don't have to use Microsoft products. Vista should have been a lesson to them.

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Anonymous Coward

M$ does it again.

Yes. This definitely sounds like Micro$oft. If the browser does not work, it must be the websites' fault.

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Gates Halo

Hmmm not surprised really

Given the popularity of alternatives that are standards compliant, this should come as no surprise. MS had only two ways to go - the old way and give even more people a reason to change or go with what the majority of other browsers do,

Not the death knell for IE or MS by any means, but is perhaps an indication that MS does not hold the power that it once did.

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Coat

Memo To microsoft Bright Ideas Dept

Instead of compiling this useless list, why don't you inform all those 'Popular' sites that don't work with IE8 in STANDARDS MODE, to get their ass in gear and make them Compliant.

This way even Joe sixpack/plumber will be able to view them without consulting said useless list every time they want to go to a new site.

Surely the onus is on MS to get all those sites who had to go through hoops to get them to work with older versions of IE to update their sites to use w3c standards.

Unless, MS is only playing lip service to web standards?

Who knows.

Mines the coat with a USB Stick in the pocket containig Firefox & Thunderbird and all my data.

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Joke

Don't web savvy end users ...

use Firefox/Opera/Insert browser of choice here, but NOT IE?

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Gates Horns

As ye sow, shall ye reap

Got to love the product planning cycle at MS at the moment:

1: create new version of product to tackle critics and add neat new paradigms

2: realise that it breaks things horribly, and customers prefer to keep the old version

3: ?????

4: fail to profit

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Paris Hilton

Short term pain

Long term gain - hopefully

Paris cos you just know who is gonna be on the most broken sites...

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Flame

Pot, Kettle, Black

Microsoft telling others to adhere to international standards!!

Has April Fools Day come early???

My own research has shown that people incapable of pushing a simple button to unscramble a web-page; especially after being stupid enough to down load a Microsoft BETA also listen to "Breathe FM"

Breathe FM??? All day it broadcasts "Breathe in........Breathe out.... Breathe in.....Breathe out...."

A good flame will heat my house a reduce my leccy bill.

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Coat

Wrong User Agent

IE8 users just need to change their User Agent to "Mozilla ..."

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Gates Halo

E3

Embrace, Extend, then cut off own tentacle?

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Dan
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Stop

"Savvy end users"?

'Dickens noted that "large groups" of users have therefore not been clicking into compatibility mode and are consequentially getting the screwed-up page views. He claimed the button was working for "savvy end users" but not the great majority of web users who don't meet Dickens's savviness standards.'

"Savvy end users" use IE?

Note: apart from employees in antivirus companies who need to download malware as part of their job so they can analyse it.

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Stop

Oh for crying out loud.

They can't fix their browser so they want the internet to be fixed instead?

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So.....

Is it that IE8 is actually broken, or as I suspect that IE8 is actually working properly as the first standards compliant browser and breaking websites that were designed for IE6/IE7?

So either way it is Microsofts fault, either through breaking their new baby or for having a broken one for such a long time and persuading everyone to break their websites in the same way.

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Heart

Fishy

Since the BBC web site works fine in Gecko-based browsers, Webkit-based browsers and Opera, it must be relatively web-standards compliant. So presumably garbling in IE8 is due to IE-specific pages being served. Does this mean that Microsoft is now naming and shaming sites which have actually gone to the trouble of developing IE workaround styles for their crappy browser? Are they seriously that fucking arrogant, to have required people to bend over backwards in the past, and now to browbeat them to lurch in another direction now? Why conduct this discussion in the media, for goodness' sake! What a bunch of tossers.

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Boffin

Micro$oft's attempt to rule web fails?

So now Microsoft has finally decided to adhere to the standards that everyone else is following, they're worried that users won't be able to see websites that have had to be specifically developed to cope with IE's "idiosyncrasies"? Or should that be Micro$oft's ten year attempt to persuade the world that their way is better?

The only reason I ever have IE on my machine is because so much of Windows (and MS applications) won't work without it. And strangely, so many of these websites (Facebook, BBC etc) seem to work fine in Chrome, Safari and Firefox that also purport to be standards compliant.

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Gates Horns

Death to IE5, 6, 7, 8, ..., N

May this piece of shit sink without trace.

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Stop

Wait for it....

Firefox, blah, blah, blah...M$ evil blah, blah blah...opera joke, blah blah blah...

Can we have a yawn, heard it all before Icon?

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Why the fuck...

should the websites have to check if they're compatible with another sub-standard (emphasis on the 'standard') product from microshite.

The onus for compatibility, and compliance with web standards is on microsoft, otherwise they're being allowed to dictate web standards by default.

IE8 is clearly unfit for purpose, at least at this stage.

Fuck of and fix YOUR problem, for once microsoft. Don't leave it to the rest of the world. Again.

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Gates Horns

Serves 'em right

That's what they get for being so standards non-compliant for so long. If they'd have fixed the problems (or just started out trying to be compliant,) then they wouldn't be in this boat now.

Hoist on their own petard

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Anonymous Coward

Solution

Internet Explorer 8, Son of Revenge of Internet Explorer Begins... These version numbers are starting to sound as prepostorous as Rocky VIII and Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps it's time for Microsoft to leave the historically non-compliant Internet Explorer brand behind and create a new browser brand with a (hopefully) better compliance reputation.

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Gates Horns

MS can go get fucked

Arrogant fuckwits.

The web has finally settled down enough so that i rarely have to come out of my beloved Opera and fire up the hole-riddled IE for the occasional site thats stupid enough to follow MS standard and not web standards.

This is a step back to the bad old days. Do they WANT to push even more people to Firefox?

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Stop

Compatibility Mode

The problem with a Compatibility Mode is that users will learn to switch it on, and because it "fixes" the problem they're having at the time, they will regard it as a magic bullet, and leave it on, all the time. Unless it switches itself off on a site-by-site basis, in which case, users will log thousands of "I switched it on and it switched itself off again" calls with the nearest Helpdesk.

Standards are standards. Not complying with them is a problem for everyone. Since IE is now supposedly compliant, millions of lazy or misguided web programmers will have to get off their arses. What a shame.

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