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Microsoft

Microsoft.com Makes IE8 Incompatibility List 358

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-head-just-asplodered dept.
nickull writes "Microsoft is tracking incompatible Web sites for its upcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser and has posted a list that now contains about 2,400 names — including Microsoft.com. Apparently, even though Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'breaking the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE."
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Microsoft.com Makes IE8 Incompatibility List

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  • Options (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Showered (1443719) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:57PM (#26922349)

    What if we could just define which rendering engine to use in pages, e.g. IE7 or IE8 in a meta tag...

    • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

      by should_be_linear (779431) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:06PM (#26922485)

      or, perhaps, fixing those pages comes to mind...

    • Re:Options (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:07PM (#26922503) Homepage Journal

      What if we could just define which rendering engine to use in pages, e.g. IE7 or IE8 in a meta tag...

      Oh if we only could! [msdn.com]

      Watching the development of IE8, the teams is taking great pains to make sure that site authors and owners have an overall say about how their page is rendered with respect to new IE standards-compliance. You can use both a META tag as well as a HTTP header to tell IE8 to use either the new rendering engine (default) or to fall back to the IE7 standards. Companies can also specify compatibility options using GPOs which should help keep older intranet sites working.

      I think it's a pretty good tradeoff between pushing for modern standards and not "breaking the web". Yes, it is largely IE's fault that there are so many non-conforming sites out there, but compatibility is important regardless, especially for "offline" sites which cannot be fixed easily or cheaply (CD help files, embedded web servers, etc). At least by having the new rendering mode the default it will encourage standards compliance (or at least IE's [admittedly improving] version of it.)

      • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

        by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:11PM (#26922551) Homepage
        the IE7 standards

        Isn't that a contradiction in terms? The whole problem with IE7 is, it's not standards compliant.

        • Re:Options (Score:5, Funny)

          by fireman sam (662213) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:27PM (#26922763) Homepage Journal

          That all depends on who's standards IE7 is being compared to. IE7 is not standards compliant when compared to the w3 standard, but is VERY compliant when compared to the MS standard.

          • Re:Options (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @07:10PM (#26923297)

            No it is not. You apparently never tried to program a real web application to work in that thing.

            It contradicts its own rules, based on random things like race conditions between the first execution of JavaScript in an <IFRAME> and the end of page the rendering routine.
            Been there, seen it, circumvented stuff like that in anything from 2 minutes to no less than two weeks of hard debugging.

            In the matrix of IE, you only have to remember one thing: There is no standard.
            Everything can change, and change back in the blink of an eye, for no reason at all.

            I fear that to be a Trident developer, you must be a genius to understand that mess, and crazy to stand it, at the same time.

            • Re:Options (Score:5, Interesting)

              by commodoresloat (172735) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:06PM (#26924219)

              This is exactly right. I don't know why but this company seems to be doing everything ass backwards and still getting away with it. I work at a very large organization, and a lot of Office documents get sent back and forth on email. Most people have not "upgraded" to the latest version of office (2007/8). The few who have send everything in the new xml format (docx etc), which is not compatible with older versions. This is annoying as hell when I have to explain that Word is incompatible with Word, or Excel is incompatible with Excel. Thankfully there are tools on the microsoft site that can convert these documents, but there is no reason people should have to jump through these hoops. Even worse, these programs have expiration dates -- just today I tried to open a docx document and was told the program had expired. I had to go to the MS website and download a minor point upgrade to the converter program (the link was hidden on a page [microsoft.com] that was mostly about Microsoft Messenger. Then I ran the program and it told me to quit Entourage, Word, and Excel - each of which had about 10 windows open - just so I could update this external application. Even as I'm typing this I just realized there is yet another minor point update on the website, so I'll need to upgrade to 1.0.2 now. What a nightmare.

              Here's another example of this sort of nonsense -- if you own MS Office 2004 for OS X, it has been updated to 11.5.3. But you can't just update from version 10 to version 11.5.3 in one swoop. If you installed Office years ago and kept it up to date it's a minor nuisance but if you're installing Office 2004 on a new computer, you need to use AutoUpdate like 15 times to get it up to date, one point upgrade at a time. Seriously, who has time for this nonsense? And who thinks up this crap?

        • Re:Options (Score:4, Insightful)

          by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:36PM (#26922849) Homepage
          IE7 doesn't measure up to w3c standards, but it's a de facto "standard" nontheless. People wrote lots of websites to deal with the way IE7 renders pages.
          • Yes, and if people had been making web pages W3C compliant in the first place 10 years ago, M$ would have been forced to come into compliance by their sheeple/customers.

            Besides, I feel left out, my site didn't make their list. OTOH I used linux programs to build it.

            Tuff titty M$, couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

            --
            Cheers, Gene
            "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
            soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
            -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
            Peace, n.:

      • Re:Options (Score:5, Interesting)

        by duguk (589689) <dug@nosPaM.frag.co.uk> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:14PM (#26922577) Homepage Journal
        I was testing my *new* site in IE8 yesterday, I'm using the "<!-- if ie" syntax. Works great in IE6 and IE7.

        Doesn't work at all in IE8; so I clicked the little compatibility mode button. It rendered it as IE7, but ignored the compatibility markup, totally breaking everything! Whats the point of an IE7 compatibility mode, if it ignores the IE7-specific markup?

        That's totally useless when it comes to testing IE8, and hover/dropdown menus still doesn't work correctly; however you try and do them.

        Disclaimer: Works perfectly in Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera/IE6/IE7, just not bloody IE8.
        • Re:Options (Score:4, Funny)

          by rrohbeck (944847) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:55PM (#26923127)

          Looks like you just found a reliable way to detect IE8.

      • You can use both a META tag as well as a HTTP header to tell IE8 to use either the new rendering engine (default) or to fall back to the IE7 standards.

        ...compatibility is important regardless, especially for "offline" sites which cannot be fixed easily or cheaply (CD help files, embedded web servers, etc). At least by having the new rendering mode the default it will encourage standards compliance (or at least IE's [admittedly improving] version of it.)

        This makes no logical sense. If the html is on a cd it can't be changed to include a meta tag to use IE7 format. Yet IE8 format is the default which will break the CD html rendering. You need to be able to switch the browser to IE7 mode default for this to work.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Simple. Quirks mode gets rendered badly, non-QM gets rendered right. Key off the presence or absence of a DOCTYPE declaration and you'll be right 404 times out of 405.

      • compatibility is important regardless, especially for "offline" sites which cannot be fixed easily or cheaply (CD help files, embedded web servers, etc)

        You can use both a META tag as well as a HTTP header to tell IE8 to use either the new rendering engine (default) or to fall back to the IE7 standards.

        So requiring offline and non-updateable pages to tell IE8 to fall back to IE7 rendering helps backward compatibility how? They are already written, already offline, and presumably already don't have the metatag that they will need to be (im)properly rendered.

    • by prandal (87280)

      You can.... X-UA-Compatible. 10 mins on Microsoft's IE blog would have told you that....

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by D'Sphitz (699604)
      I believe that's exactly what they're doing, you will be able to add a tag to your website to use a compatibility mode which is supposed to fix pages that don't work correctly in IE8.
  • Fuck IE (Score:4, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:58PM (#26922361)

    It can't even render simple fucking HTML properly. Simple little html table, written according to the guidelines. Looks spiff in Firefox, unholy mess in IE. The only way to make things line up properly in IE is to do illegal things that are correctly rendered as incompetent ass in Firefox.

    Fuck IE and the modem it was downloaded on.

    • by Seakip18 (1106315)

      Any chance you can post a link to a screenshot of this? My day could use a good cheap laugh.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Sorry, but which screenshot are you asking for? IE8 displaying elements not valid way, or that guy who posted original comment, doing activity with title of his post.
    • Playing devil's advocate here for a second:

      What do you mean by "simple little html table"? I just tried making a really simple table and it looked pretty much the same... the default font was slightly different but that's to be expected, and doesn't prove incompatibility by itself.

      Note: Sorry for responding to a flame, but I didn't have any mod points :-(
  • Where's the story? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:00PM (#26922403) Homepage Journal

    I don't get it. Why is everyone so surprised by this? Microsoft has been the biggest consumer of their own non-standard web technologies in both an effort to tie services to Windows and to convince other web developers to use their 'neato' technologies.

    Has no one ever noticed that Microsoft.com had various effects, direct system access, and other features not found anywhere else on the web? Or that Windows Update only worked through Internet Explorer? Microsoft WANTS to be as non-standard as possible. And if you don't believe me, check out this wonderful document [annevankesteren.nl] penned by none other than Bill Gates himself:

    One thing we have got to change in our strategy -- allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

    We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.

    • by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:14PM (#26922585) Homepage
      Or that Windows Update only worked through Internet Explorer?

      Well, what else do you expect? Windows Update works by taking advantage of a major security hole known as "ActiveX," and IE is the only browser that doesn't block it.

      • Well, what else do you expect?

        Um... that was kind of my point. That IE-only compatibility on Microsoft.com is exactly what people should be expecting. But for some reason it's a huge surprise to people that Microsoft.com is incompatible with standards.

        Shock and horror.

      • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @08:02PM (#26923715)

        Look, you can talk about bad security all you want, but the only difference between ActiveX and an xpcom plugin in firefox is that ActiveX would auto-install. Other than the fact that IE allows/allowed for auto installs, the two technologies are practically identical.

        The problem is not ActiveX, its that IE would automatically install them. Then they made it prompt by default (it was always an option) before installing, but most users blindly click whatever they think will get them the free prize. Then they started with the unsigned warnings, but nothing was signed initially, so that was useless for a while, which again trained users to ignore it. Of course the fact that signed doesn't mean it wasn't signed by a bad guy, and since no own really does anything to the bad guys, they just make sure they are signed and go on.

        I could list probably 20 things that could be changed that would have made ActiveX components not a threat, and none of those changes would actually involve changing an ActiveX component or the API in any way.

        If you prevent IE from installing ActiveX components on its own you are functionally equivalent to Firefox. That doesn't mean that you can't be exploited via a bug in the browser which allows for an unauthorized install, nor does it protect you from installed components that have exploits which have not yet be found. Those problems effect Firefox as well.

        Make a way for Firefox to have a page automatically install an extension and you've got the exact same problem.

        Note: I pick on Firefox here because I've developed plugins for Firefox and IE. I do not use Opera, nor do I have any experience with Chrome plugins so I really can't comment as to how they may handle things differently.

        Also I'm not saying you should use IE or that ActiveX is great. IE and ActiveX are crap for to many reasons to list here, but many of those same problems apply to the Firefox/XULRunner/XPCOM world as well, fortunately they just tend to be something you can fix in OSS software which takes away a lot of the validity of developers bitching about bad code, they should just fix it themselves :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tobiasly (524456)

          Look, you can talk about bad security all you want, but the only difference between ActiveX and an xpcom plugin in firefox is that ActiveX would auto-install. Other than the fact that IE allows/allowed for auto installs, the two technologies are practically identical.

          The problem is not ActiveX, its that IE would automatically install them.

          No, the problem is that Microsoft promoted ActiveX as a way for web developers to add extra functionality to their sites. Their goals were to compete with Java and lock users and web developers into IE and Windows. The auto-install bit is only a side effect of that, so that the user experience would be as seamless as possible, security be damned.

          So now there are still lots of sites (especially on large intranets) that require ActiveX for some business-essential functionality. I guess Microsoft succeeded to

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spuke4000 (587845)
      The real story is not that microsoft.com is on the list, it's all the other sites. Ostensibly this is a list of sites that are not standards compliant, which IE8 will treat in as non-standard so they display correctly. But if you check the list [zdnet.com] you'll find wikipedia.org, google.com, mozilla.com(!!). Are these sites really non-compliant? Or is IE8 just incompatible with them?
      • by Dionysus (12737) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:27PM (#26922757) Homepage

        validating Google.com [w3.org]. Don't think google ever tried to be compliant.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TBerben (1061176)
        According to the W3C validator Mozilla.org [w3.org] passes with 1 warning, Wikipedia.org [w3.org] passes with flying colours but Google.com [w3.org] fails miserably with 65 errors.
      • by psyclone (187154)

        I've checked the main page at a few of them including:
        tom.com
        qq.com
        mozilla.com
        google.com
        wikipedia.org

        They seem to either:
        1) Fail w3c [x]html standards
        2) Fail w3c css standards

        Google's rarely been standards compliant, failing to publish doctypes. Even if they did, many of their pages are built with javascript which do not create w3c-valid documents either. (But that goes for most javascript toolkits.)

        Mozilla uses several "-moz" prefixed CSS attributes t

      • by afidel (530433)
        Mozilla.com validates as xhtml 1.0 strict, as does wikipedia.org, msn.com, and live.com has 4 minor errors for XHTML 1.0 transitional. Those are the ones I found from validating the major sites of the first couple pages of the list.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gazbo (517111)
      That is a truly shocking email. And if it were 10 years ago it may even be slightly relevant.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:03PM (#26924197)

      Has no one ever noticed that Microsoft.com had various effects, direct system access, and other features not found anywhere else on the web?

      Not really, no.

      Or that Windows Update only worked through Internet Explorer?

      Windows Update has been a freakin' Control Panel and Service in Windows for a decade now. Please update the rhetoric to the 21st century, thank you.

      Yes, the web-based Windows Update still works. Yes, it requires IE. That's because IE is the only browser that ever implemented ActiveX. But the thing is, HTML was/is *designed* so that companies can extend it! (That's why HTML ignores tags it doesn't understand, for example.) ActiveX was fairly extended in the correct manner prescribed by HTML. Is it a good technology? No. Does it violate the HTML standards? Also no. Is there any technical reason Firefox can't implement ActiveX? No.

  • Google.com?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kramulous (977841) * on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:00PM (#26922405)

    I'm no web developer but how can google.com be on that list as well? It is one of the simplest websites around. A text field, few links and a bit of javascript.

    How the hell can a web browser, that let's face it, is probably going to be the dominant web browser, not render that.

    No wonder the general population get pissed of with 'the computer's not working again'. These days I tell them that I don't know Windows. I'm going to have to start walking around with a Ubuntu live on USB.

  • by kbrasee (1379057) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:00PM (#26922409) Homepage
    The worst thing on the internet is a site that only works in IE. I just ran across one the other day that displayed nothing but a blank screen in Firefox and Chrome. There are many more that have crazy formatting issues in anything but IE. So, this is a good way to force these sites to update from their 1997 crapfest to the standardized modern web.
    • by CrazyTalk (662055)
      Thats why I have 3 browsers (Safari, IE, Firefox, split across my Mac and PC). One browser cannot do it all. Gmail doesnt work properly on IE, my companys web version of outlook doesnt work on Safari, certain sites REQUIRE IE, etc.
    • I'm subscribed to a site that pays me to fill out surveys. All surveys from one, specific client of theirs hang on the first page in Firefox, under Linux. Curious, I stopped the page and checked the source. It's trying endlessly to load Real Player Gold, and I use a Linux plugin instead.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:01PM (#26922417) Journal

    So slashdot, what should it be?

    Break standards and keep compatibility? Or break compatibility and be standards compliant?

    Either way they'll be unpopular it appears. At least in the short-term.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:06PM (#26922491) Homepage

      One of the two will make them unpopular in the long term.

    • Last I checked, IE8 was still far behind everyone else in standards compliance, and that's with the same standards (XHTML, CSS, JavaScript) that have been with us for a decade. That says nothing of the brand-new standards people are inventing (HTML5, SVG/canvas) which IE hasn't even touched.

      I place the blame squarely on IE for the amount of Flash we have now.

      And yet, they're breaking enough compatibility that Google.com (and Microsoft.com) won't render properly. Which means they've chosen to make IE8 anothe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asifyoucare (302582)

      It needn't have been a rock and a hard place. If they hadn't deliberately flouted standards to start with they would not have a problem now. Web developers, and the people that pay them, would have been much happier over the last ten years.

    • by ari_j (90255)
      I don't know which answer is the right one, but I do know that we should use exclamation points as often as possible, without regard to their appropriateness!!!
  • Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'breaking the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE.

    Well then, why even try, right?

  • Broken or not... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by innerweb (721995) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:02PM (#26922427)

    If finally coming into compliance is what they are doing, then, Duh! By default the sites that are built for the not-compatible versions are going to be broken. I think it is wonderful. If Microsoft comes into compliance and renders web pages by the book (the W3C standard), then it is a great thing for all. Having broken sites is the price that companies pay for jumping on the bandwagon when they had the choice to do the right thing or not.

    Consider broken sites a small price to pay going forward to gain real compatibility and a much better web. Less time spent developing around the broken browsers means more time spent building true content - maybe even more time on better security.

    InnerWeb

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mc1138 (718275)
      Right on, maybe we'll see fewer sites coming back saying that you have to be using IE or it won't work. Trust me lots of places especially banks still do this.
  • So apparently people use IE8. I'd be interested to see a poll of ./ user's browser of choice (or lack of one).

    - IE8
    - IE - Firefox
    - Opera
    - Konqueror
    - Safari
    - Lynx
    - Who cares as long as it works
    - I browse CowboyNeal
  • This would be great if it meant that IE actually were standards compliant, but it's not. And that's the annoying thing. Now I am going to have to test in Firefox, Safari, IE8 and 7 (forget 6, sorry dudes. I also don't test Firefox 2 now, even though it runs differently than 3 in some cases. Or Chrome, or Opera. There's a limit to my testing patience. I hate testing actually).

    Eh, whatever. At least it gives a chance to mock Microsoft. I thumb my chin at you, Microsoft!!
  • So does this mean my boss(es) will let me stop fussing over IE6? PLEASE?!?!?!

    Not so much, I'm sure.

  • Oh great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moria (829831) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:07PM (#26922507)
    Now web developers will need to test two more assuredly incompatible browsers, IE8 standards mode and IE8 compatibility mode!
  • by Dracos (107777) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:09PM (#26922527)

    Microsoft's stance that fixing IE will break the web is counter intuitive propaganda. They broke the web when they failed to keep IE's standards compliance up to date, and since they strong-armed themselves to the top of the browser share pile, much of the web is built to satisfy their flawed implementation.

    MS is giving that chunk of the web an incentive to fix itself... it's already broken.

    If MS would approach this with some humility and logic, more people would understand that it's not the sites that are broken, it's the blue E.

  • by Anna Merikin (529843) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:11PM (#26922557) Journal

    About ten years ago, as Web-1.0 was beginning, I decided to learn to write HTML for a personal website. At that time, MS released a beta program (I forget its name) to automate HTML authoring and I signed up, downloaded and installed it. Then I found its output while great for IE, did not render pages well in Netscape or even Opera. So I uninstalled it and wrote with WordPerfect-7, correcting the code by hand.

    Some weeks later, MS emailed me (the beta program, of course, required registration with an email address) with a special offer: a free year-long subscription to an upcoming MS magazine if I would document my use of a feature on my home web page that worked under IE but not under Netscape -- that is, I would get a worthless pile of MS propaganda every month if I would break web standards to the benefit of IE.

    It was always MS' plan to dominate ("embrace and extend" was what is was called then) the internet.

    I believe if there was one event that caused them to change their minds and become web-standard compliant it was their losing fight with the EU monopoly courts and their punishment: to become standards-compliant with respect to APIs, networking and, apparently, at least in MS' mind, the internet as well.

    Perhpas MS could take a feature from the Opera browser -- user agent spoofing, and let IE-8 users impersonate another brand so they can view standards-compliant sites as the designer intended them to be seen.

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:14PM (#26922587) Homepage Journal

    ``the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE.''

    Which wouldn't be a Bad Thing if the sites were also standards compliant. However, it seems that I have been part of a very small minority of people who have cared to make them that way in the past decade. Even today, the prevalent attitude seems to be that you "support" one or two browsers, instead of keeping to standards and having your site Just Work in every decent browser.

    • However, it seems that I have been part of a very small minority of people who have cared to make them that way in the past decade

      So now we really know what happened to all that Webvan money!

      Sorry, but I'm just like one of those people that worked to be compatible with the most popular browsers. I know that in some abstract sense it might be good, but I see no reason to alienate the best part of an audience.

    • by k33l0r (808028) *

      I agree. When I create web sites I test that they work in Firefox, Safari, and Opera (and yes, IE, when I feel up to it) and I always check that they validate as proper XHTML.

  • This is just a simple case of The Left Hand Doesn't Know What The Right Hand Is Doing.

    Seriously, in any organization of Microsoft's size, these type of things will happen.

    I'll bet that the guys developing IE8 really want to make it 100% standards-complaint, but the web developers dudes didn't get the memo. (Or more sinisterly, there are forces in Redmond whose interests do not lie that way.)

  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:29PM (#26922775)

    "Apparently, even though Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'fixing the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work incorrectly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE."

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:31PM (#26922789)
    Microsoft had two choices:
    1. Continue rendering sites in the same broken way as previous versions of IE, making life a real pain for web developers.
    2. Render sites properly, making things better in the long run, but taking a public relations hit in the process.

    Amazingly, they chose the second option. Those of us who understand why this is important should be applauding right now.

    • So they are basically creating a VERY different browser. I bet if you did a spoof in IE8 of the headers and said something like Mozilla, rendering would be better, eh?

      So perhaps Microsoft should take this opportunity to rename the browser? Change the user agent and browser reported back to our code which handles browsers?

      I just added iPhone routines to some pages to render the footers better. I'm ready to add Microsoft Explorer 8 MSNIE to my list of what gets the NS/MZ pages. Those who aren't would ha

    • by Sleepy (4551)

      If this is true, I'm genuinely impressed. I'll wait and see :-)

      I can only imagine how stressful it is to work on any of the HTML rendering engines. With standards supported in IE, it might be possible again for ONE PERSON to completely understand a HTML rendering library. Right now it must take loads of people and far too many automated tests.

      As I said, we'll see when it's released. :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tobiasly (524456)
      Exactly. People can whine "well they shouldn't have broken the web in the first place" all they want, and while I agree with that sentiment, it doesn't change the fact that we are where we are and need to move forward. I think the approach they're taking is the best possible one.
  • Easy fix (Score:5, Informative)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:36PM (#26922851) Homepage

    The problem is that many sites will check if the browser is IE, and then do various workarounds. So Microsoft is stuck: they can fix the browser, but then the sites have to be modified to say (if browser is IE, but version 7 then do the hack)

    I think the only good workaround would be for Microsoft to change their user/agent string so it reports itself as Firefox :)

  • I used to block IE because it was not worth the extra work and feature removal, only to have the noobs of the Internet (which were not in my target group anyway, I'm a software developer) telling you your site was buggy.

    Now I do not block them, because most of them simply do not know what they are talking about. And it is wrong to insult them, for being tricked by someone else.
    So I tell them they got tricked, and how they can remove all the limitations, make their life easier, and get even more good stuff f

  • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:19PM (#26924683) Journal
    I've been using IE8 for a couple of months and have been staying on top of the beta releases. The browser is pretty much worthless unless I put it into "compatibility mode". It doesn't work with my banking sites. It doesn't work right with Gmail, even in compatibility mode. It doesn't work on Slashdot. It barely works anywhere. So either a good portion of the internet isn't coded to standard, or the IE8 interpretation of the standard is borked.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shados (741919)

      You have your answer there:

      "It doesn't work right with Gmail, even in compatibility mode"

      That means its doing user agent sniffing and going from that, and isn't made to go with a newer version... Compatibility mode is pretty much exactly IE7's rendering engine. So if it doesn't work, well...

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