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Internet Explorer 7 RC1 Released 216

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the new-and-improved dept.
Kawahee writes "Microsoft, in conjunction with the announcement that they have finished Windows Vista RC1 have released Internet Explorer 7 RC1. Further commentary from the IE Blog post: 'The RC1 build includes improvements in performance, stability, security, and application compatibility. You may not notice many visible changes from the Beta 3 release; all we did was listen to your feedback, fix bugs that you reported, and make final adjustments to our CSS support.'"
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Internet Explorer 7 RC1 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, but does it run Linux?
  • CSS = ACID? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:21PM (#16029843)
    does this mean it passes the acid test?
    • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:5, Informative)

      by viniosity (592905) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:27PM (#16029864) Homepage Journal
      I'm really curious to see what kind of CSS modifications I'll have to make to support IE7 vs. Firefox. There are a number of well known hacks for IE6 and it'll be interesting to see how people keep those in place without jeopardizing the layouts in IE7.
    • by kubevubin (906716)
      From what I understand, their improvements in CSS rendering are rather limited. I don't think that it even comes close to passing the Acid Test, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Firefox still doesn't pass that test...
        • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:5, Informative)

          by linuxci (3530) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:39PM (#16029900)
          Firefox 2.0 won't pass the Acid test because the rendering engine in 2.0 is based on the same gecko as 1.5 (1.5 uses Gecko 1.8 and 2.0 uses 1.8.1), however Firefox 3.0 should pass the acid test because a lot of work has been done on the rendering engine (Gecko 1.9).

          Basically most of the changes in Firefox 2.0 will be in the frontend, 3.0 will have a lot of improvements to the backend.

          However, 2.0's CSS support is vastly superior to that in IE7.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jekler (626699)
            It is absurd that it takes less time and money to design and build an unmanned vehicle to explore mars, launch the vehicle, and complete the mission, than it does to design and build a rendering engine which passes Acid2 (or is otherwise compliant with HTML 4.01, CSS1/2, and DOM Level 1). Nevermind CSS3, SVG, or any newer technology, it is shocking that after 9 years of development on the Gecko Engine, it's not even CSS1 compliant. It seems foolish to bother developing subsequent standards until foundatio
            • by daniil (775990)
              It is absurd that it takes less time and money to design and build an unmanned vehicle to explore mars, launch the vehicle, and complete the mission, than it does to design and build a rendering engine which passes Acid2

              Our experience in building space vehicles: 50 years.
              Experience in building HTML rendering engines: ~15 years.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              If Mozilla had $820 million [wikipedia.org] and several hundred rocket scientists [nasa.gov] working full time and over time on only the Gecko engine for three years [cornell.edu], then yeah, I think it might pass Acid2.

              I'm not saying it's reasonable that it hasn't, I'm saying it's unreasonable to compare a bunch of cowboys that do stuff for fun with a few paid employees along with them to JPL making robots and sending them to Mars.
      • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pe1chl (90186) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:45PM (#16029915)
        It is a step, but it is very questionable if it is a good thing to make a step when they are still so far of the target of rendering common CSS constructs that all other browsers render without problem.
        (I do not mean the ACID2 test!)

        Now we will have yet another browser to make special exceptions for, different from IE5 and IE6, and we still cannot feed IE7 the same CSS as Firefox, Opera or Konqueror.
        That is a step, but is it the right direction? I don't know.
    • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:5, Informative)

      by linuxci (3530) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:30PM (#16029873)
      No, they said from the beginning that IE7 would not pass the ACID2 test. Maybe in a later release.

      They neglected the browser for years (not the IE devs fault but management decision) so it'll take a long time to get upto speed with the rest.

      One thing that we must make sure NEVER happens is that IE gets as dominant as it was pre-Firefox otherwise they'll just stop IE development again. It's happened once, it can just happen again. Fortunately, despite the hard work of the IE team, there's still a lot of benefits to be gained from using Firefox or Opera (or Safari, etc)
      • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icepick72 (834363) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @01:03PM (#16029983)
        One thing that we must make sure NEVER happens is that IE gets as dominant as it was pre-Firefox otherwise they'll just stop IE development again

        The popularity of IE7 cannot be stopped because it's bundled with Windows and made available through Windows Update web site which almost every Windows user frequents, knowningly or not. Therefore the browser doesn't have to be popular because it will be widely used regardless.
        I've been a Firefox-only Windows user for years however if IE7 supports many of the features I like about Firefox, I will have no qualms using it instead. I want the Web, not a browser. The ACID tests are important for standards, but we know Microsoft usually doesn't adhere fully to standards that aren't their own, so it's no a surprise. With IE7 Microsoft seems to be adhering to the 80/20 rule -- in this case 80% of what the better brwosers have become with 20% of the effort expended. This is smart business practice despite the other aspects.
        Microsoft has copied popular features introduced by other browsers (as they have done from each other). I know we're going to see less Firefox on Windows when IE7 is published to Windows update. Most users don't care for the ACID tests (only the developers). It's amazing the dominance the old IE browser still has even though Microsoft hasn't updated it in years. It's inevitable that IE7 will make big wave and grab back a large % of browser share with its copied features.

      • by Columcille (88542) *
        One thing that we must make sure NEVER happens is that IE gets as dominant as it was pre-Firefox

        Last I checked IE is still pretty dominant. I think we can say/see that Firefox has put some pressure on Microsoft, but MS still has what, 90% of the browser market?
    • All the reviews I've read have pointed out that IE7's interface is way nicer than that of Firefox -- even in first betas. The default theme that comes with Firefox looks awfully outdated. Now, you may say that it doesn't matter because hey, there's all these themes and extensions you can install, but the truth is, not many people use themes (even the most popular ones only have at most a hundred thousand downloads) it will take an ordinary person only one look at IE7 before they dump Firefox. I'm very sorry

      • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin AT amiran DOT us> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:05PM (#16030191) Homepage Journal
        I actually haven't been reading that at all.

        Most of the reviews I've read chide MS for creating an interface that looks far, far different than anything else in the OS.

        The average person does NOT like MS's new interface design. For the most part, there is a huge majority of people who run XP in "classic" mode, enjoying all applications in a one-size-fits all, boxy, ugly as sin, tan/grey everything Windows 2000-style interface. In particular, placing tabs above the menu bar seems to incite hatred; people find it confusing.

        Joe Blow doesn't like UI changes; even if they could potentially increase efficency. The only people that are really moved by whiz-bang UIs are young gamers and UI engineers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amliebsch (724858)

          For the most part, there is a huge majority of people who run XP in "classic" mode, enjoying all applications in a one-size-fits all, boxy, ugly as sin, tan/grey everything Windows 2000-style interface.

          You are claiming that the "huge majority" of people who use Windows XP run in "classic" mode. What is your source for this?

        • by Zerbey (15536) *
          They do? Where? Most people hate the classic theme in my experience. Maybe most in the IT world, but certainly not consumers.
        • by westlake (615356)
          For the most part, there is a huge majority of people who run XP in "classic" mode,

          Classic mode is more or less identified with W2K. But W2K was never mass market.

          I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that most users don't know and don't care that there is an alternative to "Luna."

      • by kerrle (810808)
        Everyone I've seen using IE7 really hated the new layout.

        Personally, I think it looks pretty decent in Vista, where the toolbars and window border sorta flow together, but in XP, they should have gone with the classic toolbar layout. It doesn't particularly look good in XP, and it's not what people are going to be expecting.

        Also, Microsoft seems obsessed with removing the menubar in all of their latest apps (Office, most Vista components, IE7) , and I really don't think it's a good idea.

        Firefox 2 will actua
      • "All the reviews I've read have pointed out that IE7's interface is way nicer than that of Firefox -- even in first betas."

        I don't know where you're reading these reviews, because I haven't seen any of them. Most all the tech reviews I've read - or, heck, even places like pcworld.com - just point out the places where it's added a feature that Firefox, Safari, and Opera have had for years (e.g. tabbed windows, dedicated search box). When the reviews talk about how IE has differentiated itself, they generally
      • by dave562 (969951)
        All BS aside, I think you've been toking the Microsoft crack pipe a bit too long. We are all entitled to our personal opinions, but when your broad generalizations are out of wack, I'm going to call you out on them. Specifically...

        IE7 is much easier to use than Firefox and it will be the way to go for the majority of Internet users.

        I completely disagree. I've been using the Internet since the days of 14.4 SLIP connections and I've gotten used to the "standard" interfaces. IE7 changed the interface up

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by WhiteWolf666 (145211)
      The ACID test is not a CSS compliance test. It's more like a CSS torture test.

      IIRC, Konqueror and a heavily patched Webkit (they share a similar code base, of course) are the only browsers that pass ACID 2.0 . Oh, and Opera, of course; but that's because Opera tends to be light years ahead in terms of rendering engine design (I do dislike the Opera UI, though). Even Opera on mobile devices passes.

      Take a look at the results here [howtocreate.co.uk]. Look at the screenshots. Firefox fails the test, but it's pretty close. IE7 is
      • IIRC, Konqueror and a heavily patched Webkit (they share a similar code base, of course) are the only browsers that pass ACID 2.0


        The ACID patch changes in WebKit have been shipping with Safari for a while now.
      • Re:CSS = ACID? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:05PM (#16031013)

        But either way, the test is not terribly relevant; ACID is a test of invalid CSS, to see how the browser handles broken code.

        Please do not spread this myth. It is simply not true. If you had actually read the Acid2 technical guide instead of relying on Slashdot hearsay, you would know this. From a previous comment of mine [slashdot.org]:

        Have you actually bothered to read the Acid2 page? Because I hear this repeated all the time, and it's downright misleading.

        There is a checklist of about a dozen things the Acid2 page tests. Incorrect code is just one of them. It is necessary to include incorrect code in a test like this. How else are you going to check whether a browser follows the CSS error handling rules?

        It's incorrect code, sure, but it's incorrect code that has a defined rendering according to the CSS specifications. It's not something a compliant browser would trip up on. There is a correct way to parse the incorrect code, and the Acid2 page tests to see if a browser parses it correctly - among many other things it tests for.

        Where are you guys getting this idea that the Acid2 test is all about error handling? It's a very small part of the test, but plenty of Slashdotters seem convinced that the test revolves around broken code and nothing else. Was there a weekly meeting I missed wher eyou all got this myth drilled into your heads?

      • Actually that's not entirely correct.

        The ACID test is a test validating behaviour that is supposed to happen when errors occur, according to the standard. In other words, the error handling parts of the CSS standard are validated..
  • FINISHED?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Desolator144 (999643)
    I don't think they should be allowed to call it finished. They'll probably rewrite most of it in patches over the next few years like IE6. At least it has better CSS support. And now it works better with adware applications and maybe they finally added support for the "fixed" div style so we can all get attacked by screen covering super ads that can't be removed.
    • Re:FINISHED?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by linuxci (3530) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:34PM (#16029887)
      Apparently they've already written the roadmap for the next two versions of IE (probably called 7.5 and 8.0) so they're probably going to just make security patches for 7.0 and then fix bugs, improve compliance and add features in the future releases.

      Not much as been said on these future releases yet except that they're hard at work on them.
  • by legoburner (702695) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:25PM (#16029857) Homepage Journal
    From people who have been using IE7 betas/RCs, how does it handle backwards compatibility? If someone is detecting IE and then generating different javascript to get around IE6 glitches, will they now need to test for IE6 or below /and/ IE7 or above to handle the old glitches and the non-glitchy IE or do glitch workarounds not affect the output of IE7?
    • by pe1chl (90186) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:41PM (#16029903)
      The site at work (http://www.uw.nl/) outputs standard html/css to everyone, and uses "IE conditional comments" to feed IE5 and IE6 specialized CSS items to work around their bugs.
      A workaround sheet for IE7 has not yet been written, but it is very apparent (at least in beta3) that it is not up to the quality in standard CSS handling that the other browsers (Opera, Firefox, Konqueror) are. There are still positioning and stacking bugs.

      I hope they fix them before release, but I'm afraid they won't. So this will introduce yet another class of broken browser workarounds: not as broken as IE6, but still broken.
      • by amliebsch (724858)
        Make sure you are not running it in quirks mode! You must use an XML doctype declaration to enable proper formatting.
    • by eggoeater (704775)
      I do a lot of Visual Studio programming (both desktop/server and Web) and I was concerned that IE-Beta might break some of the integrated debugging features with Studio. So far it hasn't been a problem.

      Only once did I have a problem: I ran the debugger and then immediately clicked on an existing IE window. It usually opens a whole new IE window (vs a new tab in an existing IE window), but that one time it didn't do anything. I stopped and restarted the debugger and it worked fine.

  • If this is the version of IE that's in Build 5536, then I must say that I'm surprised that they haven't made any performance improvements to it. It's still a step up from IE6 in terms of security and whatnot, but it's absolute torture trying to use this browser when you're used to the speed and response time that Opera offers.
  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by also-rr (980579) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:27PM (#16029868) Homepage
    listen to your feedback

    So this version will actually let me punch internet trolls in the face remotley?

    I suppose you could say that if they are using Internet Explorer no further punishment is really necessary. Tell you what, I'll meet you half way - if it's detected that Flash is installed the face-punching module can be turned off and replaced with an endless loop of Joanna Smith's Video Blog Installment 19 (My Trip To Blackpool) instead. Do we have a deal?

    On a related note in a tainted and statistically useless sample (ie, mostly Slashdot users) even Mac users can be tempted from Safari [revis.co.uk] it seems - so why everyone assumes that on the release of IE 7 Firefox market share is going to die I have no idea.
    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by linuxci (3530) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:45PM (#16029913)
      On a related note in a tainted and statistically useless sample (ie, mostly Slashdot users) even Mac users can be tempted from Safari it seems - so why everyone assumes that on the release of IE 7 Firefox market share is going to die I have no idea.

      I definitely don't think IE7 will significantly hurt Firefox usage. Look at it this way:

      • IE7 is not available for Win2000 or earlier (or and non-Win OS)
      • IE7 user interface is totally non-standard on XP
      • IE7's installation is more of a hassle than Firefox - it's a larger download, needs rebooting and takes longer
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by rts008 (812749) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:58PM (#16029963) Journal
        You left out the part where WGA gets installed automagically during the IE7 install, even if you uncheck the box for "check for updates" at the beginning of the install.

        I watched that happen on one of my boxes at home- unplugged the cat5, and the install claimed it couldnt finish without internet connection. And that's after you go through the validation process just so you can download IE7 from MS.

        Be warned- if you don't want WGA, be careful trying to install IE7.
      • by aymanh (892834)
        I agree, IE7 market share will be mainly previous IE6 users, when IE6 was released, its market share climbed up and IE5's dropped down at approximately the same rate [w3schools.com]. IE7 market share will be mainly previous IE6 users. Firefox users will usually stick to it, even that IE7 features tabs support, Firefox still has a lot to offer, mainly the wide range of extensions available.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I definitely think IE7 will significantly hurt Firefox usage. Look at it this way:

        • IE7 will come down automatic update. Eventually it'll come shipped with computers.
          • IE7 is ripping off several FireFox features (tabs, etc.), thus making FF feel more like a pain in the butt to download for the average user since the differences won't be as large.
            • Microsoft actually markets their product.
      • IE7 user interface is totally non-standard on XP
        I'm a happy Firefox user, but have you seen what 2.0 is going to look like? They've updated it for a Vista'ish vibe, but it only manages to look like an absolute mess under XP classic.

        I really hope they get it fixed before release.
        • by jez9999 (618189)
          Depressingly true. I fear the pathetic new 2.0 theme will turn a lot of users off. I don't really know why they released it for beta review; huge numbers of testers are just telling them to revert and they seem determined to sleepwalk into disaster anyway. :-(
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
      > So this version will actually let me punch internet trolls in the face remotley?

      I'm sorry, but that would infringe on my intellectual property - the "Remote Bitch Slap Protocol", or RBSP/IP, which I came up with in 1994.
  • what (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bizzeh (851225) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:31PM (#16029877) Homepage
    welcome to last weeks news.
    • by Atzanteol (99067)
      What?!?! Thank you for the notice! I was enjoying the article until I realized that slashdot is just LIES! How can I ever thank you enough for notifying me of this? Can you perform this function on every article from now on? That would be quite useful.
  • "and make final adjustments to our CSS support"

    Does that mean that they make it fundamentally broken and still don't handle the box model correctly?

  • CSS Changes for IE7 (Score:5, Informative)

    by aymanh (892834) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:46PM (#16029917) Journal
    I couldn't find links to this page in the summary or IE7 blog entry, so I'm posting it here as I believe many would be interested in it: List of CSS changes in IE7 [msdn.com].

    It's mostly bug fixes, notable new features are enabling :hover for all elements, implementing position: fixed, PNG transparency support, and min/max width/height.
  • It still does not support this CSS propery. Which in my opinion would be extreamly useful for designing layouts.

    Although it does now allow position: fixed; and to specify, left: 10%; right: 10%; top: 10%; bottom: 10%; to make things centered easily.
  • by Quintios (594318) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:50PM (#16029931) Journal
    It still pisses me off that IE doesn't support the BLINK tag. What a bunch of crap, MS. :\
  • by Glenn R-P (83561) <randeg@alum.rpi.edu> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @12:52PM (#16029944) Journal
    PNG files with gamma=1/2.2 are still rendered differently from PNG files with the sRGB chunk
    and from untagged images. See http://pmt.sf.net/gamma_test [sf.net] where the 1/2.2 patches
    should match and the 1/1.96 patches should be lighter (use Firefox or almost any other
    browser to see how the page should be rendered).
    • sRGB does not use a gamma of 1/2.2

      sRGB uses a gamma consisting of a linear portion near black and 1/2.4 elsewhere, for a total result that is ALMOST 1/2.2

      "almost"

      in other words, "different"

      Of course, then there is the issue of reality. Gamma is usually wrong. Most anything between 1/2.0 and 1/2.5 is really a crude way to say "like some random monitor I used", which is essentially what sRGB is intended to represent. Probably half the files marked 1/1.0 are really sRGB as well. Other values (... 1/0.9, 1/1.1
      • by Glenn R-P (83561)
        1/2.2 is the closest fit of sRGB to a pure gamma curve and is not visibly different. The 1/1.96 that IE7 uses is visibly different. Different enough that it screws up any attempt to match a PNG with a background color. The best workaround that I know (other than requiring your visitors to use Firefox) is to remove the gAMA chunk from the PNG and only store the sRGB chunk. IE will ignore the sRGB chunk but that's OK; the colors will match the rest of the page properly. Other browsers will recognize the
  • by bogie (31020) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @01:24PM (#16030055) Journal
    I still can't believe MS won't allow you to move some of the features around, notably the home button. It is unbeliveable awkward to go to the top left to go back and forward and then have to move way down and right to get to the home page button. You want to put all of those other little buttons off to the bottom right? Fine. But move the fucking home button back next to the navigation arrows where it is supposed to go. Oh and smart move to hide the file menu and all the other menus. Nobody uses those menus anyway.

    Pluses?

    Tabbed browing - Welcome to the 90s.
    Shrink to fit printing - Gee why would we need that? I like having 15% of every page I print cut off.
    RSS Feeds - Does anyone even use this?
    Integrated Search - About time.

    Overall I think this is the browser that MS should have released 3-4 years ago. It is better than IE 6 in pretty much every way but I don't see Opera or Firefox users coming back anytime soon. I know that MS sees these changes as a big deal but I honestly expected more from a company that spends $1 Billion+ on R&D per year. With all of that money and talent the best they could do is copy features that other browsers have had for years and years? Talk about a total lack of innovation.
    • by Chaffar (670874)
      I honestly expected more from a company that spends $1 Billion+ on R&D per year. With all of that money and talent the best they could do is copy features that other browsers have had for years and years?
      It's Microsoft's tried-and-tested development model... it's worked for them from the mid 80's so why stop now ? :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by protohiro1 (590732)
      Minuses...it thrashes the layout on slashdot. I don't know why, but it does. I guess we are all going to be working on IE7 fixed for the next year...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        My guess, Slashdot autodetects and adjusts itself for the IE6 bug suite, and that this adjustment also occurs for IE7. To make it work on IE7, we'll have to have yet another bug suite.

        This is why the Acid2 test exists, folks. We are sick of having to do browser detection, especially for different versions of the same browser.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oyenstikker (536040)
      "It is better than IE 6 in pretty much every way"

      What?! User interface is non-standard and sucks. The CSS support is different but not right, so correct CSS is broken AND IE6 hacked CSS is broken. What way is it better in? Tabs. Thats one way, not pretty much every way.
      • by ErikZ (55491) *

        Maybe your CSS development is a bit more exotic than mine. I've just started working on CSS pages and having to re-work every page I create to look right in IE6 got old real fast. Easily doubled the time it to took make a page. I load the same page in IE7 and it looks fine.

        The CSS support may not be "Perfect", but it's close enough to the rest of the browsers on the market for me.

        The bad news is that I still have to design with IE6 in mind. It'll be years before it's useage rate is low enough to ignore.

        I al
  • Can a release candidate be released then? I just seems plain wrong to me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Shadyman (939863)
      What seems most "wrong" here is that Microsoft, of all people, put out a Release Candidate. I thought their methodology was to post real verions and wait for the bug reports?
  • IE7 is spyware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eneville (745111) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:04PM (#16030187) Homepage

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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