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Microsoft Internet Explorer Programming The Internet IT Technology

Site Compatibility and IE8 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-but-different dept.
Kelson writes "As the release of Internet Explorer 8 approaches, Microsoft's IE Team has published a list of differences between IE7 and IE8, and how to fix code so that it will work on both. Most of the page focuses on IE8 Standards mode, but it also turns out that IE7 compatibility mode isn't quite the same as IE7 itself."
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Site Compatibility and IE8

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:27AM (#27192639)

    HTML as a standard has been so bastardized over the years that the kind of incompatibilities that the article discusses exist not only across different browsers but also between browser versions.

    Maybe it's time to start over. Flash and Java applets seem like a good place to start.

    • by Samschnooks (1415697) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:30AM (#27192661)
      Agreed.

      And at the bottom of your web page, instead of having some non-sense such as "This page best viewed with IEx", have something that says, "Page best viewed with standards compliant browsers, such as X,Y, and Z".

    • by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:54AM (#27192857)

      Maybe it's time to start over. Flash and Java applets seem like a good place to start.

      I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or serious, or if you're saying that we should move back towards Java applets and use more Flash or if they should go away. Care to elaborate?

      Personally the idea of bringing Java applets back makes me cringe. I also have FlashBlock set to block all Flash by default, so you can guess my stance there as well. In fact the trend to include more Flash and the increasing use of Silverlight has me wondering what the future HTML and CSS will be if they have one at all. (I say as I format my post with HTML tags...)

      • The nice thing about Flash though, its fast. Sure, some of the plugins enjoy eating up 100% of CPU occasionally, but as a whole Flash is a rather fast language, I haven't ever seen a fast Java applet on the other hand...
        • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:14AM (#27193015)

          I haven't ever seen a fast Java applet

          This is a temporary problem. As computers get faster, this problem will go away.

          • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:19AM (#27193045)

            This is a temporary problem. As computers get faster, this problem will go away.

            Um, it has been stated that its a temporary problem ever since Java applets were introduced in the '90s, and even today with dual-core multi-ghz CPUs commonplace as Gigabytes of RAM, the problem still hasn't gone away.

            Similarly, Flash seemed just as fast on a Pentium III with about 128 MB of RAM as it does today on the latest quad-core box.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Somehow Flash isn't as fast to me.
              I can barely watch a Flash animation in low Q mode at half Speed

              I have a Athlon XP, 2 GB RAM.

              • Plugin version? OS? There seem to be some versions of the Flash plugin that are super-fast, other versions enjoy eating your CPU and RAM. Usually, Mac/Linux versions aren't that great compared to the Windows version, but here on Flash 10 R22 on Ubuntu 8.10 running on a Athlon 64 3500+ with about 700 some MB of RAM, it works fine, no Flashblock, no NoScript, no Adblock (though I do have a hosts file configured to block most ad servers) running on Firefox 3.0.7
              • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @02:15PM (#27194621) Journal

                Yes, let us please kill that lie right now. Working with SOHO and SMBs I can tell that there are most likely millions of machines still doing their jobs in offices accross this country, as well as in many customers homes, that are between 1GHZ and 3.6GHZ with anywhere from 256MB to 2GB of RAM. In fact for purpose of this example i am typing this on a refurbed office machine I have had working as a Nettop(long before there was even such a word) for the past 9 years. This machine is a 1.1GHz Celeron with a maxed out 512MB of PC133.

                For the Internet it works beautifully EXCEPT if the evil known as flash is allowed on. In fact let me quote the system requirements for Linux Flash Player 10 that a fellow Slashdot reader posted(Thanks McGuirk) "Minimum Requirements: Modern processor (800MHz or faster) & 512MB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory For "Standard" and for HD playback:Intel Core Duo 1.8GHz, AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 4200+ processor (or equivalent) & 512MB of RAM & 64MB of VRAM"

                I'm afraid I have to agree with his comments after reading the specs "Good God...that's more than many games" and you want to use THAT as the "standard" for making web pages? I have many 3d video games that aren't that damned bloated! But to me it simply highlights why Flash is bad: It is made by Adobe. No offense, but Adobe has always been a "throw more RAM and CPU at it" kind of company. There products have always gotten more bloated and buggy with every release. That is just who they are. But wanting to turn the whole WWW, which is used by countless millions across the planet, including businesses, charities, users rich and poor alike, into a giant flash site because the HTML and CSS code has gotten sucky is just insanity.

                If the HTML and CSS standards suck, then have a fit and demand they change! But don't turn the web into a giant bloated playground for a single monopoly. We went through that in the 90s with "This site is designed for IE only" and I'm not really wanting to go back to that, Are you?

                • I hate to be pedantic but Macromedia, not Adobe, is the originator of Flash. There have been changes since December '06 but I doubt there has been a rewrite.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by martinX (672498)

                    Well, going back a little further, FutureWave Softwave made FutureSplash Animator, which was bought by Macromedia and became Flash 1.0.

            • Bring back JAVA (Score:5, Interesting)

              by bussdriver (620565) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @12:24PM (#27193603)

              JAVA: ahead of its time! NOW the things we want to do are what it could have been doing way before Flash could have filled the demand.

              Applets were dismissed back when our needs were simple and our computers were slow.

              1) Javascript is SLOWER than JAVA! (browser and flash use it)

              2) Flash started out as a vector graphics format; now its a Director/HyperCard mess that is moving towards becoming an Applet platform itself. Flash 10 is NOT anywhere near the same as Flash 1. Its not just an animation format.

              3) We have battles over JavaScript 2 at ECMA trying to turn JavaScript into a clone of Java and now the browsers are runtime compiling the script-- next will we start seeing pre-compiled javascript bytecode? (Maybe in Flash?)

              4) "safe" platform independent access to web cams and audio hardware-- we have people running ARToolkit in FLASH from a webcam in real time! Its not a vector format anymore... its another kind of applet.

              5) Java Applets need better integration; they've not progressed since people dismissed them in the 90s. Now its open; we should be trying to integrate it; catch up to where it should have been now if it were not so ahead of its time.

              6) Java was designed to take on massive projects; flash and javascript are not. Java Applets should get DOM access so complex web apps can be made without making javascript a rerun of java-- this means tight integration and FASTER startup times. It could be done.

              7) New formats can be done using Java without installing client-side plug-ins. Sure, it is not quite as fast and has overhead; these issues can be addressed-- Flash games are not so simple to startup-- its pre-loaded with the browser... and it has built-in loading screens... Java sure beats being unable to access something in Flash 10 when your setup is too old to install Flash 10. JVM is open now; flash is still risky (and crashes my browser more than anything else.)

              • 6) Java was designed to take on massive projects; flash and javascript are not. Java Applets should get DOM access so complex web apps can be made without making javascript a rerun of java-- this means tight integration and FASTER startup times. It could be done.

                Well. Java Applets and Javascript have an interface. You can call functions of the one in the other.
                So you can code-up some wrappers for the DOM functions in less than half an hour, if they are not already accessible in Java.

                Besides: I agree, with all your arguments. Java really is nice for these things.

                I just thing that we need two major changes in the nsplugin API.
                First, Applets should be able to render as any document element, and flow with the layout like them. Then you could seamlessly integrate plug-i

              • by Toonol (1057698)

                1) Actionscript is slower, although with 3.0 it's gotten much better. However, the flash interface and UI may be more responsive then Java. As far as user perception goes, Java often feels slower, because of its really bad UI.

                2) Yeah.

                3) I'd like that; Actionscript 3.0, is a really nice little language, completely apart from the Flash environment. Easy to program in.

                4) Yep.

                5) Yes, and tied with 6:

                6) Yes. Java is just too big. Very overengineered for most sorts of web applications. Good for big apps, bu

            • by skeeto (1138903)
              Whoosh!
          • by Toonol (1057698)
            And as computers get faster, the relative performance of Java compared to other languages doesn't improve one bit.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Java is plenty fast. It's just that applets haven't been used for anything worthwhile in a long time, so you remember Java performance from back when CPUs had clock rates in the double-digit MHz range. The only real problem with Java performance is the comparatively slow startup time of the runtime environment.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by DiegoBravo (324012)

            From my observation, Java Applets and Flash run at similar speeds (indeed, there is no real reason for them to differ.) The single and big problem was the Java Applet startup time that was really BIIIIIG and consumed resources to the point of freezing the PC.

            Since many people in the 90's used Applets just for trivial and short animations, that startup time turned to be the principal contributor to the total user experience.

            Flash had a lot less ambitions (in the beginning), so their initialization time was a

        • by sjames (1099) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @12:58PM (#27193969) Homepage

          It is fast. It's so fast that it can screw up spectacularly faster than I can make it stop. I must admit that nothing gets your message across faster than an all flash index page.

          Unfortunately, that message is "we're sorry, but our message is all hype and no substance. We were afraid you might figure that out if we didn't guide you firmly through our message with no opportunity to look behind the curtain, or for that matter, to think about what we're saying and realize that it adds up to nothing at all. On the bright side, since you block flash by default, at least we know you're the sort of "critical thinker" who we can never win over with gibberish.

          I'm not saying flash is all bad, it seems to have it's place in the world (though it needs to be replaced with an equivalent that actually works on all platforms). I block it by default, but do have it installed for the few cases where it actually makes sense.

          Too often, flash is resorted to to get around the apparent fact that MS has a whole division that does nothing but come up with the oddest and most brain damaged possible interpretation of a standard and makes sure that's what gets implemented. Their motto: "Those weirdnix [ups.edu] guys are rank amateurs"

        • So what are some examples of Java applets that you have problems with?

          Without a doubt there were a lot of shitty Java applets out in the past. After all it was the first way for a lot of people to build multi-media websites and as such it suffered by it's easy entry point and the fact people didn't have any previous examples of what they should doing with multi-media on their website.

          However I would say most applets aren't a problem. Most of my wait time on Java based gaming is the downloading of cont
        • Re:Target a standard (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:34PM (#27196025) Journal

          You're kidding, right? Please tell me you are...

          Flash certainly is popular, but I would not describe it as "fast". Its power comes from how easy it is to create flash stuff. Not from having a great backend.

          Problems with Flash:
          -Huge memory leaks
          -Shitty scripting performance
          -Mediocre rendering performance of rasterized graphics
          -Poorly designed input handling (makes it unsuitable for games - ironically)

          Problems with Java:
          -Slow start time
          -No easy to work with vectorized graphics
          -Java is "Java", and thus is bad (because java is bad)

          Here's the proof.

          Claim 1: Flash rendering performance is very poor.
          http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/408513 [newgrounds.com]

          Most flash game designs do silly stuff like putting a semi-transparent invisible square over the screen to manage fading. Those alpha-shades every rendering operation on the CPU, and precludes all hardware acceleration.

          This game has very poor performance on a 2.2ghz Athlon XP w/ 1GB RAM + 7800GS. It uses many final-fantasy-style sprites/graphics, in addition to vectorized graphics for dialog and the interface.

          In Java, even in an applet, simple sprite blits like that would run fine on a 300mhz P2. However, character portraits and the interface would have to be rasterized to work in Java.

          Verdict: Both have negatives. Flash runs (very) slow, but is fast to create. Java runs fast(er), but is (very) slow to create.

          Claim 2: Flash input handling makes it unsuitable for most games.
          http://armorgames.com/play/2893/achievement-unlocked [armorgames.com]
          http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-542 [adobe.com]

          When a flash "movie" tries to run at a high framerate... Flash allows it. And then it fails.

          Flash rendering slows down, but input does not. This means that if a game wants 200fps, but the computer can only render 20fps, input can lag up to ~10 seconds because of how the flash input handling works. It buffers input, but doesn't skip any slots in the buffer. You get 200 slots per second at 200fps, but if it takes 10 seconds to clear the buffer, oh well. Once the buffer is clear, it accepts another second of input, then waits for it to clear again.

          This makes playing flash games on slower computers (such as netbooks) quite challenging.

          It's worth noting that flash also interferes with general IO. While the input buffer is overflowing (the time between the first second of receiving input until the buffer is clear) it garbages your keyboard presses and mouse movement/clicks, and also does something that screws up other IO on your system.

          It has been reported that flash messes up monitoring software like SpeedFan, MBM, etc.; it's like it gets caught in an endless loop saturating all IO. I've seen systems reboot because they thought they were overheating, because of a flash movie not playing at 100% speed.

          Adobe is ignoring these issues.

          Verdict: It falls to the developer to pick a framerate that will run on slower systems.

          Claim 3: Flash data handling makes it unsuitable for most games.
          http://www.thewayoftheninja.org/n.html [thewayoftheninja.org]

          Remarkable game. Unfortunately, your saved games may be cleared upon upgrading your flash player. Also, there's the insane input lag on slower systems.

          Frequently I go to a website after upgrading my flash player, and all my old scores are gone. Oh well? I guess that may be a good thing - it also means every flash tracking cookie vanishes at the same time.

          Verdict: Flash needs a second kind of storage - persistent storage - which is guaranteed not to be cleared at random intervals, or by upgrading the player.

          Claim 4: Flash leaks like a bitch.
          http://www.warpfire.com/ [warpfire.com]
          http [armorgames.com]

      • He's being sarcastic. He's saying we should start by redesigning Flash and Java. (or basically, cutting their backwards compatibility to glean a simpler non-bastardized codebase)

    • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:02AM (#27192909)
      That's odd. All the webpages I create work just fine with flat text, maybe a .css file to capture the style, and no dancing bears of any kind. Keeping the silly behavior on the server side makes them vastly more robust, handicapped accessible to people with text->speech needs or with large typeface needs, and generally keeps their bandwidth and support requirements way, way, way down.
    • by FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) <fuzzybad@gmail.cBALDWINom minus author> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:23AM (#27193063)

      HTML rendering is actually pretty consistent among standards compliant browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome & Opera). The problem is that the largest browser vendor by marketshare (Microsoft) has a poor history of standards compliance; rather they ignore parts of standards for their own proprietary implementations, which change from version to version.

      This has caused Microsoft their current position, where it becomes difficult for new versions of their browser to match the quirks and partial standards compliance of the past versions. It's hard to remove features from a browser when a popular site coded years ago is still using them. In essence, they have painted themselves into a corner.

      The problem is not in HTML, the problem is the long term effect of proprietary technology instead of standards compliance. Vendor-owned technologies such as Flash or Silverlight are not the answer, in fact they're characteristic of the problem!

      • Re:Target a standard (Score:4, Informative)

        by aurispector (530273) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:47AM (#27193267)

        They had all the resources they needed to produce perfectly compliant browsers, so one must inevitably conclude that the incompatibilities were deliberate. If your average clueless Joe has trouble with anything but the bundled IE, there's big incentive not to change, right? It's not done 'til Firefox won't run!

        It's quite ironic that MS's shenanigans are coming back to haunt them.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by aztracker1 (702135)
          First off, most of the quirks that are specific to IE come from before the standards were well defined enough that an implementation was clear.

          Not to mention that the big boys at the time had very differing implementations, and the w3c-dom spec really doesn't resemble either. IE6 implemented a lot, but was left to stagnate while gecko, khtml/webkit and others passed it. IE7 kind of split the difference, and IE8 is a godsend by comparison.

          I'm sorry, but I just don't see the point in bitching about 8-
      • Actually Microsoft did include functionality to allow people to build a site that would have made it dead easy to cut out the proprietary crap, the hacks, etc. in the form of IE conditional tags.

        Had developers and designers made good use of these then it should be relatively easy to convert the bulk of the crap.

        They could have done more to promote these but then again you shouldn't call yourself a professional and include CSS hacks for IE6 in your main stylesheets.
    • by Sleepy (4551) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @12:40PM (#27193789) Homepage

      >Maybe it's time to start over. Flash and Java applets seem like a good place to start.

      Yes. Because Microsoft has bastardized open standards like HTML and CSS, let's move a vendor-controlled standards.

      After all, it's not like Microsoft went out of their way to bastardize Java RIGHT?

      Never mind how locking up valuable data in ANY proprietary format, has NEVER turned around and bit mankind in the ass time and time again.

      Our intranet has been standards-only for 5 years, and our public website is XHTML strict, with a few (validating) hacks to support IE 6 and 7.

      The momentum for standards compliant browsing is pretty strong. The biggest obstacle are the people who make webpages in FrontPage or Office... they're getting calls from customers who can't read white text on a white background, because the MS tools still go out of their way to (deliberately) suck.

      Big comment FAIL. Hope you weren't serious and not a troll

    • by bonch (38532)

      Gopher!

  • My favorite (Score:3, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:29AM (#27192659) Homepage Journal

    This is actually a pretty good list and will allow me to encourage action on some standards-compliant bugs I know of in sites I work on. (e.g. Some programmers previously relied on getDocumentById searching "name" elements.) However, there is one bug in this list that has me both bemused and disgusted:

    Object Detection

    Object detection works great when used correctly. However some pages assume the existence of one feature based upon the presence of another, leading to problems when both features are not implemented in the same release.
    if(window.postMessage) {
            window.addEventListener(
                    "load",
                    myHandler,
                    false
            );
    }

    SOLUTION: Perform proper object-detection for each feature used.

    if(window.addEventListener) {
            window.addEventListener(
                    "load",
                    myHandler,
                    false
            );
    }

    Hmmm... maybe that's because Microsoft didn't implement the fucking standard correctly? The standard is more or less DEPENDENT on DOM2 events. (At the very least, I doubt anyone expected someone to implement the standard with a dysfunctional DOM.) That's why you can assume that you can use addEventListener to set a postMessage event receiver. But Microsoft didn't implement DOM2 events, despite helping develop the standard 10 years ago.

    IE8 standards compliance is a joke. A sick joke played out by millions of unsuspecting users everywhere.

    • Re:My favorite (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RomSteady (533144) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:57AM (#27192887) Homepage Journal

      I think you are missing the point of the example given.

      Microsoft isn't saying that they didn't implement both window.postMessage and window.addEventListener.

      They are saying that if you want to test for the existence of feature A, you check for the existence of feature A and you don't infer its existence by checking for the existence of feature B.

      • Re:My favorite (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:04AM (#27192933) Homepage Journal

        I think you're missing my argument. The assumption that addEventListener should exist if postMessage exists is a good one. Why? Because postMessage relies on addEventListener. However, Microsoft decided that proper DOM support wasn't important to standards compliance, and implemented a bastardized version of the spec.

        The example they gave as a solution is actually buggy. The original code checked for cross-document messaging and presumably would have fall-back logic if the feature didn't exist. Microsoft's "corrected" code does not correctly check for cross-document messaging. It simply assumes it exists and registers an event for it. Which is likely to break a lot of truly standards compliant browsers while "fixing" IE8.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014)

          This is getting into the philosophy of ontology.

          AKAImBatMan says: If exists(A) -> exists(B) and exists(A), then we should be able to assume exists(B).

          RomSteady says: it it possible to test for exists(B), then we should test for exists(B), even if we believe exists(A) -> exists(B).

          I think that you are both right. It comes down to a simple principle of design: contain unnecessary assumptions.

          A web app developer, assuming that the browser won't violate your expectations is bad unless there is a compellin

          • by Gorshkov (932507)

            Developers when coding should deal with concepts rather than implementations, and creators of platforms should make this feasible as far as humanly possible.

            First, "humanly possible only goes so far.

            Second, concepts are design, and coding IS implementation.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Hmmm... maybe that's because Microsoft didn't implement the fucking standard correctly? The standard is more or less DEPENDENT on DOM2 events. (At the very least, I doubt anyone expected someone to implement the standard with a dysfunctional DOM.) That's why you can assume that you can use addEventListener to set a postMessage event receiver. But Microsoft didn't implement DOM2 events, despite helping develop the standard 10 years ago.

      IE8 standards compliance is a joke. A sick joke played out by millions of

      • WTH? Relax? Fuck that.

        You obviously fail to understand the gravity of the situation. Does the web seem like a trivial thing to you? Are you one of those people who says "oh, it's just another thing on the Internet -- no need to take it seriously"?

        You think that it's okay to pain "a very, very small percentage of the population" with compatibility problems? I guess you wouldn't give a damn about sewer system engineers or transportation system engineers or power grid engineers either, eh? That's pretty

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)

          Is this a joke, or are you serious?

          Does the web seem like a trivial thing to you? Are you one of those people who says "oh, it's just another thing on the Internet -- no need to take it seriously"?

          No. No.

          You think that it's okay to pain "a very, very small percentage of the population" with compatibility problems?

          Sure.

          I guess you wouldn't give a damn about sewer system engineers or transportation system engineers or power grid engineers either, eh?

          I'd wager that the web environment already has *orders of ma

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Onymous Coward (97719)

            Standards don't benefit anybody except web developers.

            This is the foundation of your failure to understand.

            If you can't see how fragmentation impacts more than the people who build the websites, you are shortsighted. If you don't see how Microsoft's incompatibility is a matter of their choice, you are blind.

            The fact that you started your career writing "actual software" may be what's got you confused. The web is basically a single platform. It's not a proliferation of distinct operating systems that require ports. Microsoft intentionally creates and allows

        • Jesus fuck, aren't you so important.

          This always reminds me of the DRM arguments.

          The recording industry wants software makers to support DRM schemes whether or not users want them because it makes some industry people's lives easier. That's bad.

          The web industry wants software makers to support Web Standards whether or not users want them because it makes the some industry people's lives easier. That's good.

          Yeah, you can draw a line between the two. But so many of these arguments DON'T. Especially when yo

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But they're making a good try here at fixing the problems

        Not these ones. They've done no work on DOM2 Events at all, even though this particular feature depends on them. They skipped ahead and used a hack to make it look like they are catching up, when in reality this is a huge deficiency. Why don't you check out the bug report for lack of DOM2 Events on their public bug tracker - it was closed with their equivalent of WONTFIX.

        fucking relax already

        I've personally put in probably over a thousand ho

  • Come on! If I wanna make something standards compliant, I can.

    Only not quite.

    Sorta.

    Kinda.

    When the stars align in the heavens just so...

    ...ish

    And now Microsoft has given us a new wrinkle^H^H^H^OPTION...option! Yet another way of almost (but not quite...sorta...kinda...YOU GET THE IDEA!) emulating IE7! A most wonderful *COUGH*, stable *COUGH!*, standards comp...AW FUCK! WHO AM I KIDDING?

    Yup. Just another pooch-screw waiting to be exploited in some particularly nasty manner!

    Status quo!

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:50AM (#27192811) Homepage Journal

    How about following the standards the rest of the world uses instead?

    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:58AM (#27192889) Homepage Journal

      How about following the standards the rest of the world uses instead?

      Habits are hard to break ;)

    • by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:07AM (#27192953)

      The rest of the world where? I'm as pro-standards as anyone else, but I hate to break it to you that most of the world is still using IE [hitslink.com].

      Yes, standards-compliant browsers are gaining more support every year, but it doesn't change the fact that with such a huge market share MS is still setting the defacto standard. This is especially true in the corporate environment. The great majority of corporate intranets are still using IE as their supported/required browser, and there is still A LOT of legacy web applications out there that rely on technologies like ActiveX to function. All that being said I'm glad to see Microsoft is finally starting to get with the program with IE8. Whether or not businesses start following suit and update their sites to be standards compliant is another question entirely, but I would hope that would be the case.

  • Great.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chrono11901 (901948)

    Wow now i need to test my site in at least 4 browsers, this is getting fucking ridiculous.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Poor baby. If you were writing a desktop app, you'd have to test it in:
      Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 (possibly Server 2000, 2003, 2008 also)
      Mac OS 10.3, 10.4, 10.5
      Linux -- God knows! 3-4 versions of top 5 distributions, perhaps.

      The only people who cares about web standards are web developers, and web developers already have less QA work than most other software fields. I feel like breaking out the tiny violin when I hear stuff like this.

  • I say forget IE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vu1turEMaN (1270774) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:10AM (#27192985)

    My websites will block IE8, and a message will pop up telling people to go download Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.

    I tried IE8, and it is a pitiful joke. I'm not going to work around it, and Microsoft should realize I'm not gonna jump through hoops just to please their idiotic decisions.

    *fully extends third finger in direction of Microsoft*

    • Re:I say forget IE (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Samschnooks (1415697) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:22AM (#27193059)
      I would suggest, if I may, that instead you show the web page without IE specific code showing all its ugliness and with a message that states that IE isn't standards compliant, you don't have the resources to code around IE's hacks, and that the user would be best served by Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.

      This accomplishes two things: one, it shows that their browser isn't that good, and two, it shows other browsers are available and lastly, it doesn't just throw those folks out - otherwise, they'll just move on; unless you're the coder for the Wall Street Journal or some other website where the viewers are captive.

      • by bjourne (1034822)

        Oh come on. Either most web developers are just unusually incompetent or just lazy bums. It isn't that hard to abstract out platform differences and to build your site using those abstractions. Developers have been doing exactly that for decades. They have been working around OS incompatibilities, C standard library incompatibilities, JVM incompatibilities, shell incompatibilities, hardware incompatibilities and a whole host of other stupid and annoying things that wouldn't exist in an ideal world. All that

    • Re:I say forget IE (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kozz (7764) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:24AM (#27193069)

      My websites will block IE8, and a message will pop up telling people to go download Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.

      For those whose whom their website is not tied to their livelihood, I suppose one can afford to be smug.

      • One could also consider that the time is ripe to throw IE off of its throne, and trying to conform to such shitty standards might actually make your website worse.

        If MS really cared about the quality of their products, they wouldn't be releasing something that is this poor. In reality, they want to have their own set of standards for people to follow. We followed them for IE6 and IE7, and IE8 is where I draw the line.

        • by Kozz (7764)

          You know, I can't say I disagree with anything you've said in the above post, save for "drawing the line".

          I do despise IE for a multitude of reasons. It is the enemy. See http://tomaskral.cz.nyud.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/antiexplorer.jpg [nyud.net] which I have posted in my cube.

          And yet there will be a large number of people who will use IE8. And we'll have to make at least a token effort to get our pages to render properly there, too. Because our jobs depend on it. As it's said, there's "in theory" and the

      • by fermion (181285)
        Yet for years web sites blocked IE for no apparent reason, other than this was an option the MS pushed on web developers. Even if this were only 5% of the market, I hardly think that any business wakes up in the morning and says I am going alienate 5% of my customers. I don't know, maybe they do and that is why we are in the situation we are in. We are so,a s you say smug, that firms see themselves as a entity customers must pay tribute to, rather than the other way around.
        • I hardly think that any business wakes up in the morning and says I am going alienate 5% of my customers.

          Maybe not wuite like that, but, historically, at least banks and other financial institutions required IE due to perceived security reasons. (Banks tend to be extra careful with people's money, at least on the web.) Presumably, they simply didn't want to spend the time/money to test in other browsers. And they already have your money and I highly doubt customers are going to close their accounts and

    • by kestasjk (933987) *

      I'm not going to work around it

      You will :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      So you dislike IE's lack of standards support breaking the web. And in response, you ... break the web.

      Brilliant!

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:21AM (#27193055)

    People, the web is fine for multimedia and information presentation, but why is there this constant push to integrate everything into the web? There's all this crap being tacted onto what constitutes a "web browser" that it's becoming less and less a browser and more and more a platform every day. This is not the direction we want to go right now. A lightweight browser that can present information in a variety of devices is where the web needs to stay: Accessibility is more important than features. HTML, XML, CSS, and maybe some javascript is all the farther anyone needs to go. But then Flash came along and suddenly you've got crap that can't be indexed and is inaccessible to people who are blind or deaf, and increasingly devices like mobile phones which have enough power to do the basics aren't enough because the standards are getting jacked up to the point that we have to cram a laptop's worth of computing resources into a form factor that can fit in your hand, and a battery life of less than a day.

    This so-called progress is a step in the wrong direction. We need to work on a set of standards that can be implimented with minimal computational resources, is flexible enough to offer a range of presentation options sufficient for most information (images, text, some video and audio) -- and leave it at that. By extending the web into areas reserved for applications and then trying to do everything at once (cross-platform, intensive computations, entire application suites stuffed into web browsers) we are opening a can of worms that promises to segment the web into a million incompatible methods.

    We need to work on making this information as available and accessible as possible, not coming up with fancy new ways to make it inaccessible to larger and larger groups of people in the name of progress.

    • People, the web is fine for multimedia and information presentation, but why is there this constant push to integrate everything into the web?

      That's easy. The desktop OS market is monopolized and innovation has slowed to a crawl. The market is attempting to route around the damage. It's not working well, but that's what is happening.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hkmwbz (531650)

      why is there this constant push to integrate everything into the web?

      Because web is, in theory, accessible from anywhere, from any kind of device, any kind of connection. It's easy to develop web applications. It's faster and easier to develop web apps than native apps.

      But then Flash came along and suddenly you've got crap that can't be indexed and is inaccessible to people who are blind or deaf

      Which is why web standards need to replace Flash, and that's exactly what Mozilla, Opera, Apple and others are w

      • Because web is, in theory, accessible from anywhere, from any kind of device, any kind of connection. It's easy to develop web applications. It's faster and easier to develop web apps than native apps.

        Anywhere availability is nice in some domains, not so important in others. The corporate world is an area where people tend to use web apps overmuch.

        As for it being faster and easier to develop web apps than native apps. Ahahaha. Seriously? Tell me you're joking? Not even in the same league - a good desktop GUI development toolkit will _always_ be much more effective.

        Which is why web standards need to replace Flash, and that's exactly what Mozilla, Opera, Apple and others are working on with HTML5 and such.

        I guess it's nice when some commercial entities anoint themselves standards makers. How nice for them. The problem is people are sick a

    • "it's becoming less and less a browser and more and more a platform every day. This is not the direction we want to go right now"

      no, this IS the direction we want to go. google isolates all chrome tabs as individual processes, (so crashes are isolated)

      they are focusing in lightning fast javascript, so that the browser IS the OS

      just look at netbook sales: cheap because the issue is just getting on the web. everything everyone wants to do is on the web, this IS the future. the future is dinky os, without even

    • Things like integrated spell-check are overrated?

      Seriously though, you rail against pervasive accessible multimedia. I think yours is probably a contrary view to that of the populous who wish their telecoms, music, video and such to be seamlessly presented across various devices. The commonality for that seamless presentation is the internet and, for the persistent media, the web.

      What you are proposing appears to be the equivalent of suggesting everyone should only read for entertainment/information gatheri

  • by krou (1027572) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:30AM (#27193107)

    Am I missing something here? Why the hell even introduce the idea of "Compatibility View"? That's just pure sloppiness.

    Since when was it the browser user's responsibility (or even the browser's) to decide what mode a page should be viewed in? Isn't it the developer's job to tell the browser how to behave, and the browser does so accordingly, in a consistent fashion?

    • Early Microsoft web frameworks, circa 1998, generated code so ugly it should qualify as crime against humanity. The stench has contaminated many enterprises, which are stuck with those unmaintainable festering sores.
      Looking at the javscript those beasts produced is fascinating; they could put ";" in places you never expected.

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Saturday March 14, 2009 @01:42PM (#27194351) Homepage
      Even Firefox has different rendering modes depending on what sort of site it's looking at. Most web-dev plugins for it will tell you whether it's rendering in Standards mode or Quirks mode.

      It's more about pragmatism than sloppiness; they need to support new sites which need a correct implementation of standards, and they need to support the old sites used in corporate internets which are kludgy messes, that no-one would dare try and update.
  • ACID 2 Test (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caffeinejolt (584827) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @12:25PM (#27193617)
    Currently less than 25% of browser usage can pass the ACID 2 test [statowl.com]. It will be interesting to see how the release of IE8 affects this. Luckily for JS developers, projects like JQuery make cross-browser scripting WAY easier and less error prone. Hopefully broad support for an increasing subset of web standards will make cross-browser layout quirks less annoying for web developers. Overall I think the ACID tests are a good thing to measure this.
  • Reject IE8 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Onymous Coward (97719)

    Please don't encourage yet another browser we'll all have to support.

    If your job depends on addressing the market, then write to standards (test in Firefox and Safari and Opera) and IE7/IE6. That's where the market's at right now.

    If your boss says you should anticipate IE8, point them to this graph [wikimedia.org] and this graph [wikipedia.org]. Tell them your anticipation is that IE8 will add work without adding substantial market benefit. You can put off IE8 support until it proves it can achieve the same penetration as IE7.

    • Try to push things towards using a single standard so that move towards "write once, run everywhere".

      Hinder further fragmentation of the code you have to write. The two major versions of IE already complicate things unnecessarily, so discourage adoption of IE8 every chance you get.

      Internet Explorer is lame.

      When you think about it, you realize it's true. Generally the cool kids aren't into IE.

    • by pbhj (607776)

      You can put off IE8 support until it proves it can achieve the same penetration as IE7.

      You know how IE7 achieved speedy penetration don't you? MS flick the switch that says "push the new IE to windows update". Kaboom, instant market uptake. I'm pretty sure eventually they'll do that again, there's less reason not to now as they've the IE7 compat' mode.

  • ...IE8 will be with Webkit/V8 based browsers and with Mozilla based browsers.

          Until we get much closer to parity with these things, many of us are still going to work very hard to do most code to the least common denominator -- avoiding if(IE){ } whenever possible.

  • This one caught my eye simply because it's caused issues for me so many times...

    The method getElementById is now case-sensitive and no longer searches name attributes. (emphasis added)

    For me, that right there expresses what's been fundamentally wrong about IE development for many years.

  • If you haven't seen the move 'Johnny Dangerously' you probably won't get it. Sorry, but these bastards screwed up all the web standards. Just fix the damned thing and move along, please.
  • I hate IE8 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @03:19PM (#27195037)

    We have an online shopping cart system that renders correct in most browsers even going back to MSIE 5. We have a lot of users still browsing the site with IE 6 because of where they work and their lack of ability to install anything else. Still 70%+ of the traffic is MSIE. It renders fine on all platforms with Opera, FireFox, Safari, and Chrome. Even works on most cell phones with a javascript enabled browser including LG phones, Opera Mini, Blackberrys with 4.7 or greater installed, Blackberry storm, android, and of course the iPhone.

    But MSIE 8.....the div with the "Add to cart" button doesn't even render. In MSIE 7 compatibility mode, it renders, but it splits the div into two elements on separate sides of the page for no reason that I can find. I am considering redirecting MSIE 8 users to page that says:

    "Due to incompatibilities Microsoft creating in MSIE 8, we are unable to support your browser type. Our website will work with previous versions of MSIE or any standards compliant browser such as firefox, opera, safari, or chrome. We recommend you switch to one of these browsers for improved browsing of the internet."

  • As the release of Internet Explorer 8 approaches, Microsoft's IE Team has published a list of differences between IE7 and IE8, and how to fix code so that it will work on both.

    Compatibility issues can be solved very easily: Remove the detection code that detects IE8 as an obsolete browser and prevents you from visiting the website that requires you to upgrade to a later version [wikipedia.org].

    Hell, it's already happened with Opera 10 [sitepoint.com], which gets detected as Opera 1.0.

    • by Rockoon (1252108) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:16AM (#27198133)
      Well Opera is "officialy" only at 9.64, so they got 36 more versions to actualy tackle this problem before it adversely effects its users.

      Quite honestly, I love the browser. I have always been an Opera user from way back when I ran Win3.1. Opera was the smallest fastest graphical browser at the time and is still one of the best by those metrics. It has also always been ahead of its time in the feature war.

      And even though its "browser share" is pretty pathetic, that doesnt count the real business that Opera is in: Browsers for devices, where it is pretty much the indisputed king.

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