back to article Microsoft jump starts IE 8 with community push

Microsoft will not just support new and popular technologies in Internet Explorer 8, it's also attempting to build community support for the historically standards-challenged browser. Not only will IE 8 - unveiled and launched as a beta today - support cascading style sheet (CSS) 2.1 from release, but Microsoft has also …

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  1. wim
    Gates Horns

    shouldn't that read ?

    ...developers spent too much of their scarce time just getting basic things to work

    ...developers spent too much of their scarce time just getting basic things to work in IE.

    only a small but significant difference

  2. Geoff Mackenzie

    @wim

    Hear hear.

    I actually wouldn't mind trying out the beta (and trying out some of my in-development web projects in it) to see how it goes. If it actually worked, I'd start testing in MSIE regularly again - if only that didn't mean I needed to buy a WinXP license and join the slow but inexorable slide to Vista. Ah well, if it's standards compliant now it won't matter if I just test in Firefox, Opera and Safari I suppose.

  3. James Shepherd

    How to create a website mock-up:

    (1) Get design [takes x hours]

    (2) Get working in Firefox [takes y hours]

    (3) Find any silly bugs using a validator, ignoring most warnings [z minutes]

    (4) Get working in IE [takes x+y+z]

    So then the client sez, "l I only want IE6, you have wasted half the time!".

    "You can't actually *develop* using IE - how do I know which bugs are mine..."

    I have to admit IE7 is better. But by now I always use *nix

    (Posted mostly for the civvies that read El Reg, this is a moot point for most here)

  4. Stuart Elliott
    Coat

    Microsoft's test cases have been published under BSD.

    Would that be Blue Screens of Death?

    /coat Mines the one with 'I really despise Linux' on the back.

  5. mattmoo
    Coat

    Why is this?

    Why is it accecptable to have to test in opera, safari and firefox and not in internet explorer? Given that IE has the biggest market share, should we not get it working in IE and then worry about the others?

    Too many elitests here that will flame my comments but from a customer point of view (and my customers/colleagues come first) it would be great to have it working in firefox and IE from the offset but if there are issues i will go for IE everytime.

    Matt

  6. Tim Parker
    Pirate

    @Matt

    Hi Matt,

    > Why is it accecptable to have to test in opera, safari and firefox and not in internet explorer?

    I'm not sure what this is about - AFAICS nobody is saying anything about testing IE being bad, and testing other browsers being good. The point being made here, I believe, is that it appears the particular Microsoft test suite is being pushed as something that everybody should use, or the results will be useless in a wider context -

    Quote :

    "until we standardize how we all test standards compatibility, no one can tell what everyone has done," IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch told Mix 08 Wednesday.

    - and that this stance may be counter-productive. More tests available are great but, as the author points out, other vendors do not appear to have problems testing against the standards anyway.

    > Given that IE has the biggest market share, should we not get it working in IE and then worry about the others ?

    No.

    Firstly, using a effective monopoly in the desktop market to push things through that are convenient to yourself may be an easy option, but it is at the very least extremely irritating and, more often than not, acts as a barrier for anybody else to compete. Compelling from a business point of view ? Absolutely. Responsible and enabling innovation in the market ? Decidely not. I suggest you contact a few web developers and ask them what they think of Microsofts record in this regard and how it has effected their working life.

    Secondly, from a developer point of view, for a complex problem like mark-up and layout, it is nearly always easier to write to standards than to re-invent it and patch it together as you go - it might not seem that way to begin with but, believe me, it's invariably true. I would have thought Microsofts internal developers would welcome the change, although some of the interim work may a little painful.

    > Too many elitests here that will flame my comments but from a customer point of view (and my customers/colleagues come first) it would be great to have it working in firefox and IE from the offset but if there are issues i will go for IE everytime.

    Well, it depends on who your customers are.(1) and it's also a little naive and rather selfish. If you write to follow the standards, and so does everybody else, everybody wins (there's a hint in the word 'standard' by the way) .. if not, you as a majority player may prevail due to your position, but your customers, the developers and everybody else loses out..

    There is more than an iota of truth in 'might is right' - but that does not make it a very palettable, let alone good, idea... it certainly doesn't help the vast majority of the people you say you listen to.

    One might even say it's a tad elitest.

    Just a thought.

  7. AlanGriffiths

    @mattmoo

    "Why is it accecptable to have to test in opera, safari and firefox and not in internet explorer? Given that IE has the biggest market share, should we not get it working in IE and then worry about the others?"

    Because most (not all) problems seen in opera, safari and firefox are down to mistakes in the page that can be corrected by reference to the standards documentation. That allows me to correct the errors in my code.

    Once my errors are eliminated, the remaining problems caused by browser bugs have to be worked around by searching the web for workarounds and experimentation.

    Starting with IE is harder, because there are so many browser issues that the cause of each problem is less clear and the appropriate approach to solving it is less clear.

  8. Maty

    mass market?

    "Why is it acceptable to have to test in opera, safari and firefox and not in internet explorer? Given that IE has the biggest market share, should we not get it working in IE and then worry about the others?"

    Ain't necessarily so. Among the geek community you will find a lot of Opera and firefox, and firefox is apparently >50% in some European countries.

    If you are coding a page for the general US public then you can use the HTML One D Ten T standard (abbreviated to 1D 10 T), but some audiences are more demanding.

  9. tardigrade
    Thumb Down

    For the love of all things sacred...

    @mattmoo Which version of IE do we code for then? Because that's part of the problem they all render differently. Not matter which way you go about it you have to hack your css / code to get it to display the same in all versions of IE. Your doing 4 times as much work for 1 browser.

    I've downloaded the beta of IE8 and guess what. Despite the standards compliance promise it breaks most of my sites that are both W3C standards compliant and working correctly in all other flavours of IE. So Microwhore are ( in the case of the beta at least ) introducing yet another layer of pain for the developer.

    Will they never understand why they are hated by developers for this so much? Check it out, it even breaks Micropimps own frikkin web sites!

    Doh!

  10. Elmer Phud
    Gates Horns

    More surprises?

    "Microsoft will not just support new and popular technologies in Internet Explorer 8 . . ."

    . . .they will come up with some more of their own 'industry standards' that won't work so well with other browsers.

    "the more it changes . ." or "'nother day, same shit"

  11. David Kelly
    Pirate

    nothing new

    Same old Micro$haft promises, they're as bad as politicians. IE is a web developer's worst nightmare.

  12. mattmoo
    Coat

    Alright alright you got me

    Fair points made by all, i do agree its a pain in the arse trying to things right for all versions of IE browsers and i do agree that IE should follow standards.

    /coat because i don't comment here much and Tim reminded me why. Think before you type matt :p

    matt

  13. Oisin McGuigan
    Gates Halo

    Real original...

    Nice to see that they are doing something original............They're pretty much gonna just copy Firefox 3, debrand and stick an nice little MS sticker on it and have a nice little PR launch for it!!! Geez M$, Prove me wrong!!!!!! I bet you won't.

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