Microsoft has issued a third Internet Explorer 8 beta that includes a list of compatible websites for users less than "web savvy".
If you *are* web savvy, you're not using IE.
Paris because, well, duh.
Microsoft has issued a third Internet Explorer 8 beta that includes a list of compatible websites for users less than "web savvy". The IE 8 Release Candidate is the third pre-release version of Microsoft's browser but the first to include a list of web sites that Microsoft says actually work with its browser. The …
As all this is caused by web developers putting in hacks to get sites to work with IE based on the user agent string why didn't Microsoft simply solve all these problems by using a different string. So sites set to make adjustments for older versions of IE wouldn't think it was IE and would deliver the non tweaked version.
No doubt some savvy web person will shoot me down in flames.
surely if the browser simply didnt call itself Internet Explorer in its User Agent string then the websites that have code specifically for IE would sniff it as "something else" and use True, Pure, w3c spec code and so render correctly?
ah, i see, the problem is sites that thing IE6 is the *only* browser and so dont make allowances for people Doing It Right.
feck. shoot the lot of them.
MS make a version of IE that is based on web standards..... and include a button for it to render in traditional IE ways in case a site only works for IE.
If MS only did the former it would break some sites. If MS only did the latter they'd get flamed for yet another non-standards based browsers.
What the fuck do you all want?!
Over the years, I've come across too many web pages which demand IE features to work. One was an online computer course, which looked morelike a webified Powerpoint presentation t o be used by a teacher.
With that sort of stupidity, I reckon the testing for IE version has a few dumb mistakes too..
Most of the damage will probably be caused by CSS with hacks to hide things from IE. IE7 stopped falling for many of these hacks, whilst not necessarily fixing all the bugs that required people to use them in the first place with IE6.
So this isn't really anything new, or surprising. There seems to be a curious unwillingness to use 'conditional comments', a feature supported only by IE which would allow you to modify the HTML or include different CSS when a page is loaded in IE. It made solving IE/everyone else incompatibilities pretty trivial to the point where it is now easier for me to handle IE bugs than it is to fix rendering differences between, say, firefox and safari.
We at Microsoft enjoy creating the best experience for you that we can, which is why we've created this list of technologies and locations suitable for our new flagship product, Microsoft Autmobile 8. You may wonder why you need to read this list. I mean, you'd EXPECT the world to keep up with the most recent standards and technologies, wouldn't you? I know *I* am not still watching VHS videon and listening to 8-track!
Unfortunately, there are still some stick-in-the-mud, die-hard fasc^H^H^H^manufacturers who insist on using old and out of date standards, and who believe that "tried and tested" is better "cutting edge"
So, without further delay, here's the list!
- Your Microsoft Automobile is not compatible with regular Petrol. You must buy your Microsoft Petrol from Microsoft Value Added Resellers.
- Your Microsoft Automobile is not compatible with regular roads. You must buy Microsoft Tyres to drive on Microsoft Roads, as the wheels are custom made for greater efficiency! Shiny shiny!
- Your Microsoft Automobile is not compatible with certain destinations. You may experience less than satisfactory performance from your Microsoft Automobile when attempting to visit Apple Stores, Open Source seminars, demonstrations against Digital Restr^H^H^H^H^HRIGHTS Management, and anybody with a VW Camper Van and long hair.
- Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0 Y3B0
Well, thanks for reading the list! We hope you'll have a wonderful time at sites we have approved!
*N.B. Parody. Don't sue.*
> No doubt some savvy web person will shoot me down in flames.
Sort of - only really badly written sites use browser strings to switch behaviour. It's too unreliable. The common ways are either CSS hacks that take advantage of the differing bugs/features of different IE versions to set different styles for IE (and often different versions of IE), or (technically better, but less common and harder to maintain) separate stylesheets switched by Microsofts proprietary conditional comments. Either way, you're rely on no-standard behaviour from IE to cope with IEs non-standard behaviour...
The problems of IE 8 are strangely similar to those of Vista.
Vista was dog because Microsoft has stubbornly stuck to their backward compatibility requirement for so long, that each successive generation of their OS has simply become a compounding of bad design decisions. IE is now about to suffer the same fate.
When users are getting a bad experience from both the latest version of Microsoft's OS, and from Microsoft's latest browser, what then? I bet questions like this are keeping Steve Balmer awake at night.
Can anybody else see the vultures circling over Redmond?
>> "As all this is caused by web developers putting in hacks to get sites to work with IE based on the user agent string why didn't Microsoft simply solve all these problems by using a different string. So sites set to make adjustments for older versions of IE wouldn't think it was IE and would deliver the non tweaked version."
This isn't quite the point - sites which are standards compliant but hack specifically for IE usually hack by specific IE version, not a blanket check. The point is that a LOT of websites out there aren't standards compliant at all and won't work in standards compliant mode, whatever the browser or user agent string. So all those sites which used to work in IE and not in anything else will now fail to function in IE OR any other browser.
Good grief. As if IE6/7 weren't making my life hard enough already. I don't have to worry about FF1 users not being able to view the sites I make, mostly because it's platform independent so users with an old OS can still have the latest version of the browser.
MS should make their browsers available to everyone, regardless of OS, and either force everyone to upgrade their browser or make their damn browsers all render websites the same. Getting IE 6&7 to run on the same machine was hard enough, but now I'll have to have two machines to cope with IE 8 as well. If IE8 really is 'scrambling' most websites then well done Microsoft, you've "broken the internet".
It was bad enough when IE7 hit, now this? It really burns my lasagne.
Opera doesn't change it's rendering mode though (by default) - the internal list of fixes it uses is based on recognising specific pieces of broken code and patching them on-the-fly. Of course, some of those fixes are specific to a single site, but the patches are smart enough that if the issues get fixed, then they stop being applied.
In MS's case, are incompatible sites going to have to apply to MS or join some kind of MS-approved register in order to be taken off the list? This doesn't sound good.
God, it is going to be so satisfying to watch this car-crash-in-waiting happen, when people slowly realise that, yes, Microsoft did 'break' the internet.
Sadly though, I expect that it'll be the (developers of the) web sites themselves that are going to suffer the brunt of the outrage rather than the people who really deserve it.
Any web dev worth thier salt will have a style sheets targetted for for specific versions of IE e.g.
<!--[if lt IE 8]><link href="../css/ie_7.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><![endif]-->
<!--[if lt IE 7]><link href="../css/ie_6.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><![endif]-->
Web devs who just write for IE, hack it until it works and ignore W3C specifications are the problem here, not MS (despite MS being easy to blame because they released a hunk of junk in the first place).
If people didn't take the easy way out we wouldn't have half the problems we have today, although I admit making it work properly in various flavours of IE after making the proper W3C site is a pain in the arse, but that's what web devs are paid to do.....
That's fine, so all the top websites are gonna be OK. But what about when I search for airwalk shoes and come up with my local skater shop? How about when my kids need some info for a science project and come up with Dr Majaros little site of science?
I do not use Internet Explorer, but my kids tend to because it is what they use at school. I can see their head mistress right now being thoroughly feked off when she cannot get sites to work in IE due to Msoft playing silly buggers.
All in all this sounds like a major boost for Chrome and FF.. The sooner it comes out of Beta and Msoft pisses of the rest of the planet the better :)
AC wrote: "As all this is caused by web developers putting in hacks to get sites to work with IE based on the user agent string why didn't Microsoft simply solve all these problems by using a different string."
Because that would be sensible and might actually *work*.
ps. There's really no need to hide behind your anonymity - you've already proven yourself more intelligent than the entire of Microsofts IE design department.
@Tom Cooke: Not a list of roads you can drive down, just a list of roads where you have to reverse down them because the road signs are all backwards. Come on, for once Microsoft is actually trying to get the browser right (or at least less blatantly wrong than before), now they're bending over backwards to compensate for people who botched their websites by depending on Microsoft's earlier mistakes as well - what more can they do, go out and fix all the broken sites for you?
I was just about to suggest exactly the same thing.
I can see one problem with doing this and that is that all the (mostly company intranet) applications that expect to see that you're using IE and therefore can execute some god-awful auto-download auto-install blob of Windows code wouldn't work. But this in itself is a crap-ism that should never have happened.
...but why fix a problem (or avoid it in the first place) with something dead simple when you can make it really contrived and complicated and non-standard? That's Microsoft "innovation" (something MS seem to like banging on about) for you!
But yes - you're right - this is what they SHOULD have done.
"The Most Secure, Reliable Version of Internet Explorer to Date" (provided you only look at websites M$ recommend), with a "Simplified Internet Explorer Administration Kit" (Everything switched on by default perhaps) and automatic crash recovery so that if a tab/page does crash, it is automatically restored and reloaded (So not that reliable)
Be afraid, be very afraid.
Jesus christ, I really think people just skim an article, click reply, then concoct a bash at MS.
If anything they suggest possible 'roads' you can drive down that will get you there faster with your car. MS is at least trying to dig themselves out of the standards compliant hole they put themselves in, give a little credit at least.
Go back to writing I love Linux poetry on the Ubuntu forums, fanboy.
Observation 1) MS are trying to put their compliancy fubar behind them
Observation 2) web designers have tried to compensate or used the idiosyncracies of IE to make their page look "nice"
Observation 3) MS will be damned if they do, damned if they dont.
Observation 4) It's going to get worse before it gets better
Hmmm, ActiveX what a triumph that was!
Making a big song and dance about stuff that any half decent browser has had for donkeys and due to their sensible choice of scripting abilities, will continue to reign over the abomination that is IE.
Congrats to MS for finally getting with the program, but -10 points for letting the poor user stew on a piss-poor app for so long, that everyone voted with their feet.
I wouldn't mind if IE8 in Standards Compliant mode was, well, standards compliant. It isn't - at least the Beta 2 version I've got installed isn't. It's better than it was but it still has (many) issues.
Ironically the Windows Update page doesn't render properly in IE8; the header bar along the top has gone distinctly squiffy and lost it's background image - although looking at the source code... it's not exactly pretty.
The only thing I ever use IE for at home though is looking for driver/hardware updates - many sites (Crucial, NVidia, Creative) all have little ActiveX widgets that allow their site to check your hardware and look for compatible updates... I'm lazy enough to use those.
I have to confess.. having recently had a Lynx marathon to have a thorough test of a website to prove the expected accessibility compliance - you've got to love it. I mean, if you really want to have fast loading pages and no JS security holes / dodgy JPGs / annoying flash getting in the way!
Just trying to work out how soon I'll have to upgrade my primary test machine to IE8 though... Since it is currently less than 2% of my site traffic and only just coming out of dodgy-beta-probably-broken stage. Firefox and IE6 are battling it out for second place at the moment (according to my site statistics), IE7 annoyingly still used by just under 80% of my visitors. So probably a little while yet before I have to go down that route. Have been unexpectedly impressed with Chrome for general browsing purposes, but still my browser of choice is Firefox.
"Thumbs up" (no hands up icon available) who gets bored after having tested the same things again and again in IE6, IE7, Firefox 3.x, Firefox 2.x, Safari, Chrome, Opera, Lynx, Firefox in "handheld" mode.... (and soon IE8).
All across Microsoft there's techies fulfilling "Business Analysts" wet dreams, thinking, "I wish I could be a business analyst, but I'm too qualified."
Their latest suggestion? Let's make a web browser that doesn't render the HTML that currently runs out there!!!
Thus far, IE8 in proper-standards-mode seems to have fixed a lot of the issues with HTML/CSS. There's still a lot more to do.
However, I've just fixed a website that had a conditional comment to fix the previous browsers:
<!--[if IE]> fixes_applied_here <![endif]-->
...which broke with IE 8. I had to change this for:
<!--[if lte IE 7]> fixes_applied_here <![endif]-->
Which meant that IE8 works because it follows the same standards as all other (non-MS) browsers. Which, to be honest, is "a good thing".
But, what happens if IE8 is running in compatible-with-Microsoft's-previous-broken-browsers mode because the (L)user doesn't know any different? In this case it *will* require the fixes applied to IE7.
Is there a special conditional comment - maybe IE8 in this mode responds to <![if IE 7]>?
More research required...
This is the point about those ignorant bastards in Redmond; it's us, the web development community, who get saddled with all the work to clean up Microsoft's shit.
You'd get websites saying things like:
"This website is best viewed in Microsoft Broken Grey Rectangle, version 4.0 or above"
(it never was too clear what this state of being 'above' was meant to actually *be* 'above'... but that's what they used to say)
Now we have Microsoft's Broken grey Rectangle telling us:
"This Broken Grey Rectangle is best used for viewing the following websites."
Next we'll be seeing Gartner reports about browser useage being refuted by Microsoft, who wish to highlight their own, contradictory, report, listing statistics from a list of their own, specially selected, websites!
this problem arises because Microsoft pandered to externally imposed standards instead of sticking to their de-facto position of being THE standard. For all the bedroom brigade's bile, this is a problem of simple allocation logic, not sub-human men in Seattle.
also: it seems web development became too pretentious and complex with OO, frameworks, AJAX et al; scripts get the job done in half the time, with double the maintainability.
This is going to be the next Vista beasting that MS unleash on the world.
If this thing ships with Windows 7, they'll lose even more market share to their competitors. Given that most copies of 7 will ship with this to the less 'web savvy' members of the public, the damage to MS reputation could be huge.
Not that I give a rats ass about MS software anymore...
I dont understand it? When MSN is out of date I am told that I cannot sign in until I upgrade to the newest version, Why cant IE6 do the same?
I have just spent another week working on a website that doesnt currently look right in IE6 (although it looks fine in IE7, IE8, Firefox, Opera and Safari), I am sick of wasting so much time correcting things that shouldnt need to be corrected, IE6 is single handedly costing me money. The fact that I even have to keep that Shitty Monstrosity on my computer to test sites that for some reason STILL have people using IE6 visiting it is beyond me.
I hate IE6, Microsoft need to just force an update through before websites start killing IE6 access themselves.
Just a minor point here, but OO *IS* maintainability... or haven't you got that far with your "scripts" yet?
(I'm guessing that by "scripts" you mean server side programming?)
On the main point, you're absolutely right: Microsoft have only moved IE towards standards compliance to pander to all those pesky little companies who keep bringing out HTML standards compliant browsers like Google and Apple. Honestly, its silly: why would MS feel threatened by Google or Apple?
Note: I would have marked up the above in <sarcasm /> tags, but I'm not sure that you'd be able to parse them...
go back to non standards mode by default. The standards mode by default experiment FAILS. It didn't even stop the freetards from complaining.
They should have a list of websites that work in standards mode instead (all those ACID 2 test pages must be the only websites that use it)
All this guff about "standards-compliant" websites fails to cater for how most web pages are generated. The CSS specs are so complex that the usual way to make it look how you want to is to twiddle with the styles, refreshing the browser view, until it looks right. Taking one step back, if that's how your content-management system has its CSS done, then any page made with it is only guaranteed to work in the tested browser. In short - nobody codes to the spec. Standards compliance is only achieved if a very standards-compliant and picky browser is used for testing.
I agree with you that CSS can be a bit of handful at first, but once you get your head around it, it is a hell of a lot easier and tidier that tables were. Not to mention the fact that it opens up the rich client possibilities a lot.
As regards testing: if you're not testing in IE 6, IE 7, FF and Safari at the very least then you're doing it wrong! That said: if you code for FF, then the only one you have to really worry about are the various flavours of IE.
The problem that MS have with IE 6 and & is that they are HOPELESS when it come to rich client / AJAX stuff. IE is slow, bloated and clunky, and as more and more web applications go rich, and SaaS becomes more widespread in the browser, IE is going to be marginalised unless they fix it. Hence Silverlight and IE8. MS can see the future slipping away from them, I suspect.
Did some testing. Small page containing:
<!--[if IE 7]> <h1>I'm IE 7</h1> <![endif]-->
<!--[if IE 8]> <h1>I'm IE 8</h1> <![endif]-->
Results: IE8RC1 in standards mode shows as IE8.
Incompatible mode (yep, that spelling works for me:-), it reports as IE7.
How do you test in all those versions of IE? They don't play together (because IE is so embedded in the OS, it can't share core system files).
Vista has a requirement that you get at least a certain version before you're allowed to run under a VM, so it can't be that (and you still have to have a brand new license for the image'd OS).
Firefox, opera or other sensible browser can be installed in all versions. You may have to create a new user to hold that version of browser, but they dont' dig in to the OS core and so common libraries are unaffected.
So, how do you do it? Is it expensive? Or piracy?
Does Microsoft actually TRY and hire good conceptual designers?
> # IE6-XPSP3.exe contains a Windows XP SP3 with IE6 VHD file
> # IE7-XPSP2.exe contains a Windows XP SP2 with IE7 VHD file
> # IE8RC1-XPSP3.exe contains a Windows XP SP3 with IE8 RC1 VHD file
> # IE7-VIS1.exe+IE7-VIS2.rar+IE7-VIS3.rar contain a Vista Image with IE7 VHD file.
Please re-read my query.
Not really sorted, is it.
ACID is supposed to fail, though. It tests the really dark and nasty regions of the code. You can pass ACID and still be shite at the normal rendering.
Although if you have a browser that isn't ACID1 compliant when ACID3 is out and less than ~80% compliant with ACID2, you have not been paying attention.
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