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back to article Internet Explorer 8 still not mingling well with 2,000 highly-visited sites

Microsoft confessed yesterday that over 2,000 well-known websites still remained incompatible with Internet Explorer 8. The software vendor said that the number had dropped by about 1,000 sites compared with figures Microsoft spat out a year ago when more than 3,000 web portals needed “Compatibility View” support to show up on …

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Er... Who's in step?

You say, "Microsoft confessed yesterday that over 2,000 well-known websites still remained incompatible with Internet Explorer 8"

Shouldn't that be "Microsoft confessed yesterday that Internet Explorer 8 still remains incompatible with over 2,000 well-known websites."?

MS needs to conform with web standards, not vice-versa.

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Not quite.

This story is about sites that have been coded with all the crappy hacks needed for IE6, but are just feeding IE8 that version rather than a properly standards compliant page that IE8 can handle. IE8 then has to be told to pretend to be IE6 to render 'properly'.

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FAIL

Still MS's fault

The chose to ignore the standards in IE6 and IE7. So they have made this rod for their own back. People hacked their pages to display to the largest possible customer base (IE6 and IE7 back in the day). Mozilla et al have had to deal with this crap, now it's MSs turn.

They cannot blame devs for having to code down to their vomit-filled implementation of HTML.

And when the world moves to the HTML5 stanards....will IE follow?

I rather doubt it, we'll get a partial implementation at best which will (guess what?) force dvs to write for the sub-standard, sub-set that IE8 provides.

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WTF?

"[...] incompatible with Internet Explorer 8"?

Why does this remind me of the comment by the guy from the Dolmansaxlil Shoe Corporation in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide:

"His feet are the wrong size for his shoes."

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FAIL

Slap those high traffic sites

When at my old job, the bosses got worried about IE8, thinking that a lot of the sites we had created (for some high profile clients) would break in it - guess what, they didn't! All you have to do is use standard xHTML and CSS (and use it right) and it'll play nice in 8.

Those high traffic sites need to fire their current lot of developers if they can't write a properly cross browser compatible website.

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Anonymous Coward

For crying out loud

How do they expect to persuade the unwashed masses to upgrade when it won't work, or at least not easily, with the majority of sites people want to use on a day-to-day basis.

Rubbish.

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It's not what Microsoft describe as "Quirks" mode

It's quirks mode: that's what it's called.

When a proper DOCTYPE hasn't been assigned for a page, or when elements of that page do not comply with the DOCTYPE specified for it, the browser can no longer trust that the page owner's assertion of the DOCTYPE is correct, and has to fall back to programmed-n assumptions about what they actually meant.

Mozilla has a quirks mode, Opera has a quirks mode - every decent browser has a quirks mode - because many 'web developers' are so shit at their jobs.

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Flame

Can't win

And if the site, strictly coded to the standards, does not load in your browser; you'll be the first to blame the web devs rather than the true culprit (your browser).

MS is 100% to blame for all this crap we have to suffer today (web devs and end-suers). They gave us IE6, IE7 and now IE8. Maybe by IE10 they with have got with the FUCKING PROGRAM and produced a strict implementation of HTML6 (or whatever happens to be around at that time).

Somehow I doubt it though.

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Re: Can't win - The BigYin

That's completely missing the point of the article. In fact, you have take two entirely separate (although, admittedly, related) points and joined them into one. Yes, MS created the problem. No one denies this. Even MS. But that isn't what this argument is about. This is about how to get out of the problem now that it exists. Just shouting "It's your fucking fault" doesn't really help - unless you are a fan of daytime chat shows.

The problem is, how to write a browser that is fully standards compliant - but that also works with the billions of web pages that are not standards compliant. Just shouting streams of obscenities won't make those billions of pages go away. Yes, their existence is MS's fault - but how does that help us move forward? (the answer, in case you weren't following, is that it doesn't).

MS is trying to create a system whereby web developers who know their sites are not standards compliant, can tell the browser this so that the browser can still present the page properly to the user EVEN THOUGH that browser is fully capable of rendering fully standards compliant pages.

It sounds like your solution would be to say "fuck you" to the web developers AND users and let them wallow in their own filth for following MS - hardly a constructive solution and, actually, letting MS off the hook.

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Pint

Party Out of Bounds

Today, the wise web developer writes to that subset of HTML+CSS which is standards-compliant and also renders the same on the most popular web browsers.

The "standards" thing is an insurance policy against future web enhancements, and the "popular" thing is a nod to the reality of the marketplace at a given point in time (where I live, you have to make things Just Work if you want to have a job).

But time marches ever onward.

"Standards" at one time USED to mean "however IE does it." You can scream bloody murder that this is wrong, wrong, wrong, but at a particular point in time, it was not an unwise choice.

Now, "standards" has a different real-life definition. There's a transition period. It's the way life is, in the face of change.

[in beer-o, veritas]

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Happy

The occasional fuck you...

Good point, but I have to admit that the occasional "fuck you" does help, especially when you consider some of the other shit M$ have pulled =)

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FAIL

What amazes me is...

...the number of things that render fine in other web-standards based browsers that STILL don't render properly in IE8 (in standards mode). And some of these are things that actually worked ok in IE7!

I think the best thing Microsoft can do is put up yet another of the Browser Choice options like they've just rolled out to Europe but with the slight change that it doesn't actually have Internet Bloody Explorer as one of the choices AT ALL. Then they should totally abandon development IE9, IE10 et al and leave that sort of thing to those who CAN actually write browsers.

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Happy

Oh the ironing!

I have always wanted to use the phrase 'hoist by their own petard' - thank you Microsoft.

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How about the other end...

How many MS development tools are still producing "works best in IE" crap code.

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Gates Horns

Gasp

I think anyone with a brain saw this coming when Microshaft had to create a Compatibility mode to make IE8 work like it's own predecessors (Excel also has some stupid "compatibility mode"). Sites should never have been fudged to work with IE - a simple "Sorry, your browser is not compatible" message was the way to go, but everyone wanted to suck up to the clueless steamroller from Redmond. I do love how their own sites are on the list though.

The legacy of Gates' technical incompetence and insatiable market greed will hold back the IT industry for years, if not decades.

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Alert

Correction

"The legacy of Gates' technical incompetence and insatiable market greed will hold back the IT industry for years, if not decades."

Ummm

HAS held back the IT industry for at least a decade.

My estimate at the moment is about 15 years.

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Gates Horns

Somewhat Harsh

Although I agree that everyone should have shown two fingers to Redmond when building websites, for many organisations, that is simply not practical. Some 75% of users who visit our websites use a variant of IE, of those, almost half currently use 8, almost half use 7 and the rest is a very small minority of 6, 5.5 and 5 users.

To say that any company should take a stand against idiot developers in Redmond is very noble, but no company in their right mind would give up three quarters of their customer base, and any developer who tried to do such a thing would be fired in favour of one who wasn't such a prat.

I know its a crazy state of affairs which in pretty much any other industry in the world would not be tolerated. The automotive industry would never allow a manufacturer to build a car designed to be accelerated and braked with your hands and steered with your nose whilst hanging upside down, for instance. Yet web developers do, nay, have to. And why? Because Microsoft is so ingrained in IT culture that doing anything which means excluding them means excluding a very large number of potential customers, and no business will ever consider that to be a viable option.

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RW
Alert

MS-SVG

Why, oh why, do I have certainty that whatever MS does with SVG, they'll get it wrong?

Is there a test suite for SVG?

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Anonymous Coward

Errr

I'm not a webmonkey by any standards but other browsers manage ok. I even noticed the other day IE was being advertised on TV in the UK. Are they that worried people will drop it altogether? Would you be surprised if they did?

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Gates Halo

Made a standard that the standard didn't support...

Web dev's made "standards" that weren't supported by the de-facto Standard Browser for the vast majority of the world at the time. That's a lot like me making an accelerator pedal for all cars and all the big automotive companies calling it the new standard, though it only fits and works in an obscure soviet produced model only sold in a country that no longer exists.

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Anonymous Coward

SVG

The reason SVG is such a difficult thing for them to get right is that "get right" means deviate from the standard in a subtle enough way that it can be called an accident. It's not like the good old days when they could be obvious about it and nobody cared.

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Gates Halo

A title

There seems to be a lot of people with very short memories. When IE6 was released all browsers were crap at following web standards, frequently because those standards were either too limited or too vague and not really well understood. At that time the innovation was being driven by the browser makers, MS included (AJAX anyone?). Just because the standards have mostly caught up, and the newer upstarts (hello Firefox, Chrome etc) have started off with something decent to code to doesn't mean you should heap blame on IE6. The only reason it is the only really 'rubbish' browser around is that all the others from the same time period got killed off.

I use IE8 on a day to day basis and rarely see anything wrong with any of the sites I visit and with the web development I've done recently anything I've done has ended up pretty much exactly the same in all the major browsers with only the occasional hacking needed to get IE6 to look right.

The only real problem was when MS decided to not bother with anything internet related for a number of years, which is the main reason IE6 is still in widespread use. Other than that everything seems fine to me, IE8 is a lot better than IE7, which is a lot better than IE6. So stop complaining ffs.

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Stop

Eh?

Having your site display properly in IE8 is easy. Any sites not doing that are fail. It's not Microsoft's problem, it's rubbish web developers.

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Grenade

Ditch quirks and shoot developers that rely on them...

Things suck less with standards compliance.

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FAIL

All aboard the fail-browser

They should be forced by law to stop making browsers, they obviously can't do it. You just have to compare firebug to the ie equivalent developer tools option or any graph showing javascript engine speed to see that they are so far behind the competition it isn't even funny. I honestly can't think of a single thing that ie does better than it's competitors, if ms had any gumption at all they'd apply the resources they spend in producing the consistently worst browser on the market and reinvest it in the areas that they are actually good at.

If at first you don't succeed try, try again but if you've try, try, try, try, try, try, try, tried again and you're still feckin woeful it might be time to consider doing something more constructive with your time.

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@Bassey

"It sounds like your solution would be to say "fuck you" to the web developers AND users and let them wallow in their own filth for following MS - hardly a constructive solution and, actually, letting MS off the hook"

So its OK for MS to say "fuck you" to web developers - or rather deliberately try an make life hard for them - by re-writing the web on the fly?

This is 100% MS fault. No one else's. MS should apologise to the developers for taking them so far off track. Perhaps they should quote Animal House in large red letters 'You fucked up. You trusted us!'

But the developers are going to have to fix their sites - the sooner they move to proper standard the sooner they will gain control of their own data and maybe learn to use standards not MS fox trot fixes. (quick quick ................. very very slow).

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Gates Horns

Why does nobody mention Opera?

Opera iwas the only browser to maintain a policy of full compliance to web standards. And the net result was that everybody ignored it.....

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Opera also has a Quirks Mode

Ever since Opera started using the Presto rendering engine, it has had a Quirks Mode.

http://operawiki.info/OperaQuirksMode

Like pretty much every modern browser, the switch is triggered by the DOCTYPE declaration.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dodgy Geezer

I don't think it's entirely true to say that 'everyone ignored' Opera - and if its take up is lower than it could have been it's not because of its excellent standards compliance. My only reason for using FF rather than Opera is that I can get my hands on the source. It's not a particularly good reason I'll admit given that I don't actually use that freedom often but I'm like that and I suspect I'm not the only one.

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Coat

Solution is easy.....

Dump IE and use one of the alternatives - plenty available..............

Mine's the one with a Firefox in the pocket........

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RE: All aboard the fail-browser

The problem with that is, if Microsoft stop making IE, we'll end up in a worse situation than we are now. In 2015, IE8 will still have a large market share and be a pain to code for when all the other browsers have moved fully to HTML5.

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Troll

wow, I've seen some retarded comments on these pages before...

but MS _finally_ make their browser standards compliant, only to discover that around 2k of websites have insuficient browser checking and offer up _NON_standard code, and you blame MS?

Wow, wait there a minute, I'm just gonna ask the nurse to ratchet the belt on the back of your jacket up a notch.

As others have correctly pointed out, IE6 wasn't standards compliant because back then, there were very few, if any standards, and the entire landscape was in constant flux.

This is web development, we're talking about? You know, the industry that has to measure time on dog years because of the sheer pace of change? If you can't keep up, then get out.

If you haven't been able to correct your browser identification code by this late stage in the game (very nearly 7 web development years after IE8s release), you've failed. No ifs, not buts.

If we're gonna slag off the redmondian browser, pick something that is actually the browsers fault, like it's truly appalling javascript performance, which causes browser instability on sites with heavy usage.

On the other hand, the accelerator text highlighting facility is brilliant. The ease at which you can add your own custom searches makes it a genuinely useful and productive feature.

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Guys it was a team effort...

Between all Microsoft AND all the companies who produced horrendous html, usually in a desire to make their sites look a little more whizzy than the next one. Depressingly often it was the web developers wanting to show off with flash bits just as often as it was managers requesting them. And don't get me started on graphical designers.... Basic html always has worked...

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