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Microsoft Makes IE8 Incompatibility List 358

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 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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  • Options (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Showered (1443719) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @04:57PM (#26922349)

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

  • by kbrasee (1379057) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:00PM (#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 Toreo asesino (951231) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:01PM (#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.

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

    by innerweb (721995) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:02PM (#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.


  • by mc1138 (718275) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:03PM (#26922459) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:06PM (#26922485)

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

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:06PM (#26922491) Homepage

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

  • Oh great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moria (829831) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:07PM (#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 @05:09PM (#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.

  • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:11PM (#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:2, Insightful)

    by JamesRose (1062530) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:11PM (#26922553)

    Yeah, let me know how telling people to do hours of work for free goes for you....

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:14PM (#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.

  • by zindorsky (710179) <> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:14PM (#26922591)

    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.)

  • Re:Poll time! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by duckInferno (1275100) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:24PM (#26922711) Journal
    No time wasting options = not a real poll
  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:29PM (#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 asifyoucare (302582) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:30PM (#26922781)

    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 CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:31PM (#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.

  • Re:Options (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... g minus caffeine> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @05:36PM (#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.
  •! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:08PM (#26923275)

    Depends on where you look in google. If you go to their more technical pages you'll find that they adhere pretty well to solid HTML5 practices. It's only the front page that is optimized to hell and back. You'll note that google's front page doesn't have any pretty layout in the code; it's gone through some variant on the 'crunch' routines to remove excess whitespace and newlines. Their other pages are much prettier/easier to read.

    I'm pretty sure that the main front page is done that way in order to absolutely minimize the amount of data that gets sent over the connection. They drop every option or implied tag/attribute, don't use quotes on attribute values, etc, because they know that pretty much all browsers can still render what is a fairly simple web page. However every byte they reduce the file size by probably saves them thousands of dollars (random statistic pulled from nowhere) a month in bandwidth.

  • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tweenk (1274968) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:12PM (#26923315)

    So what should I use?? "if IE" comments are the cleanest solution for IE woes. Using them you can make your sites both standards compliant AND hack-free.

    "Conditional comments" are perfect for linking to an additional style sheet that makes the site look decent in IE. They are the simplest and most reliable method of serving CSS/Javascript fixes, and they are W3C complaint (see this site: - it uses those tags and is still valid XHTML 1.0 Strict).

  • by CrazyTalk (662055) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @06:22PM (#26923415)
    but...what about my Mac?
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @08:03PM (#26924197)

    Has no one ever noticed that 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.

  • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuxgeek (872962) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @09:43PM (#26924825)

    I have a better idea
    Let M$ build a browser that is W3C compliant.
    Then all the webmasters out there can make their sites W3C compliant.

    Now, see how easy that was?
    Complying with standards, what a concept

  • by Shados (741919) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:25PM (#26925059)

    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...

  • Re:Options (Score:2, Insightful)

    by malkir (1031750) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:29PM (#26925097)
    But, what would that do to all the noobsauces on IE6-7 who don't know what a better browser is? Bill Microsoft.
  • Do we really want a fully standards compliant Microsoft Browser? How can the next wave of standards be developed then?

    Yes, we do want a full compliant Microsoft browser? This will have absolutely no impact on the development of new web standards to extend what we already have.

  • by tobiasly (524456) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:50PM (#26925529) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday February 20, 2009 @09:08AM (#26928309) Homepage Journal

    A non standards-compliant web page isn't hard to write. If goobers would stop writing their web pages to impress people with their 133t sk1LLz (Yahoo news comes to mind) and make them clean and standards-compliant in the first place, there wouldn't be these issues.

    If your site isn't compliant in the first place, you have no right to bitch about "working for free". If I screw up a project at work, I have to redo it. And if your site isn't compliant in the first place, you screwed up.

    Suck it up and fix it. Next time, do it right.

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.