Tiffany B. Brown

Internet Explorer 8 round-up

My take: On IE8: Pragmatic and practical, but I still don’t like it

UPDATES:

Microsoft versioning: accessibility implications
What Internet Explorer’s change means for accessibility.
Best Standards Support
Sam Ruby offers a server-side suggestion for handling IE8 content requests.
Mike Davies argues that this should and perhaps could be the end of the line for Internet Explorer.
Microsoft᾿s “Super Standards” Mode: Important Facts
Jeff Schiller offers the clearest explanation I’ve seen about the changes coming with IE8.
Mistakes, Sadness, Regret
Ian Hickson on IE8, HTML5 and Microsoft.
Big Questions On IE8′s Big Progress

Alex Russell has some questions about how Microsoft will implement conflicts between meta tags.
Wisdom and folly: IE8′s super standards mode cuts both ways
Peter Bright over at Ars Technica gives a rundown of how this new ‘super-standards’ mode will work in IE8
Meta Madness
What seems to have slipped past the Microsoft Task Force of WaSP (or maybe it didn’t and they’re just playing coy) is that by implementing this specific feature in any other browser immediately either: A) Reduces its market size of viable web pages that will upgrade to new versions of the browser or B) Forces new versions of the browser to bloat, including backwards support for old-style rendering.John Ressig

Bobbing Heads and the IE8 Meta Tag
Shelley Powers blasts this IE announcement.
In defense of version targeting
Jeffrey Zeldman says: When I look at the scenarios of who is likely to do what where web standards and version targeting are concerned, the IE7 default for those who don’t opt in appears to be the correct design decision.
Versioning, Compatibility and Standards
The WebKit team says it won’t be joining this <meta> tag march.
Opt-out version targeting is spam
If they’ve included a DOCTYPE, they’ve declared they want to render to standards. If they did that in ignorance, it’s time they started earning their money instead of letting Dreamweaver do their jobs.Ben Buchanan

It started this morning with Aaron Gustafson’s article on A List Apart announcing a new method of versioning HTML documents in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 8. Reaction is coming in from around the web. A few notable posts are below. I’ll keep updating this post as I come across stuff.

Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8
Aaron Gustafson discusses Microsoft̵s latest effort to maintain web standards and also maintain backward compatibility.
Compatibility and IE8
Some background information relating to Microsoft’s decision.
Broken
Unless you explicitly declare that you want IE8 to behave as IE8, it will behave as IE7.Jeremy Keith
<META HTTP-EQUIV=”X-BALL-CHAIN”>
Mozilla hacker Robert O’Callahan weighs in on why this is (almost certainly) a bad idea.
IE8 to include version targeting
Jonathan Snook likes the approach.
From Switches to Targets: A Standardista’s Journey
Eric Meyer argues that maybe version isn̵t such a bad thing.
Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8
Aaron Gustafson discusses Microsoft̵s latest effort to maintain web standards and also maintain backward compatibility.
The Internet Explorer lock-in
Anne van Kesteren is not a fan of this Microsoft initiative.

6 Responses to “Internet Explorer 8 round-up”

  1. And where do you weigh in on the subject? The discussion (dare I say outcry) over IE8′s compatability is already making my head hurt. But I believe IE8 should render compliant IE8 “out the box”. Having to insert code to tell it to behave the way it was built to doesn’t even sound right. Then again, whichever way this goes, a bunch of sites will need tweaking.

  2. And where do you weigh in on the subject? The discussion (dare I say outcry) over IE8′s compatability is already making my head hurt. But I believe IE8 should render compliant IE8 “out the box”. Having to insert code to tell it to behave the way it was built to doesn’t even sound right. Then again, whichever way this goes, a bunch of sites will need tweaking.

  3. tiffany says:

    I agree with you and Jeremy: it makes no sense to have opt-in to standards compliance. And as someone said (I think it was on van Kesteren’s post), everything is already broken because of IE’s special way of implementing stuff.

    I think Microsoft has to go this route, though, because if a web site breaks, the user and developer will blame Microsoft instead of their own code.

    For example, one of the big complaints I heard about Netscape 4 among those who preferred IE was that sites just “look right” and “work better” in IE 4 (or maybe it was IE 5). What those folks didn’t know was that the HTML was crap and IE handled crap code better.

    Rather than risk being seen as a broken browser by folks who don’t know better (average web user, slack a** developers with old skills) and losing market share, MS is choosing to support bad code.

    I think it’s smart for Microsoft’s business. It’s an intelligent way to make the best of a bad situation and maintain backwards compatibility.

    That said, I’m annoyed about still having to do something special so that my sites still look and behave sensibly in a Microsoft browser — and not just behave sensibly, but behave as the specification(s) say they should. I think the execution of it sucks big fat donkey balls.

  4. tiffany says:

    I agree with you and Jeremy: it makes no sense to have opt-in to standards compliance. And as someone said (I think it was on van Kesteren’s post), everything is already broken because of IE’s special way of implementing stuff.

    I think Microsoft has to go this route, though, because if a web site breaks, the user and developer will blame Microsoft instead of their own code.

    For example, one of the big complaints I heard about Netscape 4 among those who preferred IE was that sites just “look right” and “work better” in IE 4 (or maybe it was IE 5). What those folks didn’t know was that the HTML was crap and IE handled crap code better.

    Rather than risk being seen as a broken browser by folks who don’t know better (average web user, slack a** developers with old skills) and losing market share, MS is choosing to support bad code.

    I think it’s smart for Microsoft’s business. It’s an intelligent way to make the best of a bad situation and maintain backwards compatibility.

    That said, I’m annoyed about still having to do something special so that my sites still look and behave sensibly in a Microsoft browser — and not just behave sensibly, but behave as the specification(s) say they should. I think the execution of it sucks big fat donkey balls.

  5. Compatibility vs. compliance is the classic trade off and Microsoft’s position has been the same for 30 years. So has Apple’s. And I have to say that breaking quicktime functionality in my $1000 copy of Final Cut Pro with a QT update that Apple kept bothering me to get (6.5 to 7.0) pisses me off a lot more than adding meta tags to my web apps.

    This isn’t to take shots at Apple but just to say that, from my vantage point at least, this issue really is a catch 22 that will burn a ton of people either way.

  6. Compatibility vs. compliance is the classic trade off and Microsoft’s position has been the same for 30 years. So has Apple’s. And I have to say that breaking quicktime functionality in my $1000 copy of Final Cut Pro with a QT update that Apple kept bothering me to get (6.5 to 7.0) pisses me off a lot more than adding meta tags to my web apps.

    This isn’t to take shots at Apple but just to say that, from my vantage point at least, this issue really is a catch 22 that will burn a ton of people either way.