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Internet Explorer 8 Beta Features Revealed 281

Admodieus writes "It seems as though the veil has been lifted on the Internet Explorer 8 beta. Microsoft has revealed a list of the new features in IE8, including two interesting new additions called Activities and WebSlices. From the site: 'Activities are contextual services to quickly access a service from any webpage. Users typically copy and paste from one webpage to another. Internet Explorer 8 Activities make this common pattern easier to do ... WebSlices is a new feature for websites to connect to their users by subscribing to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like feeds where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.' Also aboard the upgrade train is automatic crash recovery, a favorites toolbar, and improved phishing filter protection. Microsoft has also posted links to download the beta, but none of them are working right now."
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Internet Explorer 8 Beta Features Revealed

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  • SVG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ccguy ( 1116865 ) * on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:04PM (#22652392) Homepage
    I'm sorry to see that there's no SVG support.

    As for what _is_ there, well, most of the pages are broken, unavailable ("This project is not yet published"), so if the public documentation is any indication of the development status I'd say IE8 it pretty closed to the usual MS standard :-)
    • Re:SVG (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:28PM (#22652784)
      This from a "user" not a developer:
      I just this last week tried IE 7 for the very first time. As a user of IE 6, Opera, Firefox, Safari, and having used Every browser from lynx Cello and Mosaic up through the offerings of today, I am not unfamiliar with various browser styles, feel, ways of doing things. From my early experience with it, I can say that 7... to use a standard automobile analogy: The engineer is 5' 2". He designed the seat fixed in one position and not adjustable. The rearview mirror fixed in positon as well; Seat belt? forget it! He likes the parking brake in the back seat so that's how it is going to be.
      Microsoft seems to have an irrepressible arrogance when it comes to design. They also seem to have a less then stellar competence in other areas. The former seems to be a fall back for lack ehibited in the later. IE 8 is from the same designers? No thank you
      • Re:SVG (Score:4, Insightful)

        by T-Bone-T ( 1048702 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:40PM (#22653920)
        What is wrong with designing a fixed interface that will be immediately recognized and useful? When Office 2007 came out, people claimed it would kill productivity because things got moved around. If you use IE7 all the time and aren't good with computers, it makes getting a new computer smoother because you don't have to be confronted with an unfamiliar interface.
      • Re:SVG (Score:4, Interesting)

        by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:44PM (#22653962)
        I assume you're referring to the lack of customizability of the top part of the UI. This wasn't an arbitrary decision, it was designed this way to reduce the risk of phishing attacks which typically create windows that look like a valid interface. The old customizable interface made it WAY too easy for fishers to grab data from unsuspecting users.
        • Re:SVG (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ianare ( 1132971 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:30PM (#22654624)
          Uh, wouldn't having an unchanging interface make a window easier to forge? You can just grab a screenshot of IE7, having full confidence it will look exactly the same for everyone.
          Maybe you are referring to the little dropdown that shows up in pop up dialogs?
      • by an.echte.trilingue ( 1063180 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:16PM (#22654450) Homepage
        From a designer's perspective, IE7 is a huge improvement over IE6. They fixed really a lot of the css problems, to the point that, if I am careful, I can write a site that is both css/xhtml valid and renders properly in IE7 (even with a css-only drop menu). No hacks or anything. The new version of Trident (IE's rendering engine) isn't perfect, but it's much better.

        They also finally implemented png alpha channel, which lets us overlay images such as logos with nice, smooth, aliased edges. To get an idea of the difference this makes, compare these two logos:
        • png [languesvivantes.com]
        • gif [languesvivantes.com]
        Alpha channel support also allows people to do some other nice looking effects, such as drop shadows, with little fuss.

        Unfortunately, the people who designed the IE7 UI appear to have been retarded monkeys. The result is that now, almost 2 years after its release, almost a third of my users are still on IE6 [languesvivantes.com]. Personally, that is really frustrating.

        I am not optimistic about MS's commitment to continue to improve standards compliance in IE8. It does not support svg, as somebody already pointed out, nor will it support E4X [wikipedia.org], which is going to hobble AJAX development [slashdot.org].
        • by Crazy Taco ( 1083423 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:42PM (#22655626)

          The result is that now, almost 2 years after its release, almost a third of my users are still on IE6. Personally, that is really frustrating.

          Actually, that's probably not the reason people are still on IE6. I work for a major Fortune 500 company, and we are all still on IE6. This post is brought to you on IE6. Why? Because businesses, especially large ones where all the people are, are really cautious to adopt new technologies. They want to be sure they will work with all the custom software they've written. In our case, some programs depended on very IE6 specific things, or were hacks of some sort, so we are STILL on IE6, and that's all that is supported here. And as a web developer, I have to develop in IE6 so I can see what my users will see. I would love to upgrade, but can't until the company moves us all forward. So that's probably why you have so many IE6 hits; anyone on a laptop issued by a large corporation is probably still using it.

      • Re:SVG (Score:4, Funny)

        by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @06:23PM (#22656148)
        I'm pretty sure the Internet Explorer and Office teams have a competition going on how far they can get away with breaking the Windows UI guidelines and still manage to ship it past QA and management. The Office team used to be well ahead, but with IE 7 the IE team are starting to get closer.
    • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
      SVG would be awesome but working CSS and Javascript would be enough to make me happy. Being on par with Firefox, Safari, and Opera is all IE needs to get off my hate list. I'm so tired of having to bust my ass to make sure everything I want to do works in IE.

      Of course we still have to support IE6 and IE7 for probably another ten years. IE6 still makes up 25% of the traffic my websites get and IE7 makes up another 50%.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I just wish they'd have pushed out a patch for working PNG transparency support. Just the other day I went to my personal/quasi-business web site from work (IE6, meh) and realized that my site logo was nothing but a big white block in the middle of the top banner. Converting it to .gif made it look like crap, so I had to take it down until I can come up with something that looks okay with transparent .gif.

        How do you guys deal with the requirement for transparency coupled with the requirement for more than a
        • Re:SVG (Score:4, Informative)

          by bdeclerc ( 129522 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @06:45PM (#22656430) Homepage

          On a site I manage, Mira Public Observatory [www.mira.be] (Belgian Dutch site), I've used IE6-only conditional commenting of some javascript and a class attribute to replace the transparant PNG's with less attractive GIF's on IE6 browsers. On all other browsers, the script isn't run, so the images aren't replaced.

          This doesn't actually slow down the site in any really noticeable manner for IE6-users, and not at all for anyone else (admittedly, I simply ignore IE5.5 and older, but by now that's less than 0.2% of my visiting audience). I've found this a good compromise, the IE6 users get a slightly slower and less pretty site, but the difference isn't huge and I expect them to die out in a few years anyway...

    • Re:SVG (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Metaphorically ( 841874 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:31PM (#22652828) Homepage
      I have to say I'm not surprised but it's still a real bummer. They mention SVG (along with MathML & others) in the section on recognizing namespaces but they don't imply that they'll support it. It does sound like it could be possible to have a helper (Behaviour I think they called it) that could render inline SVG with the appropriate namespace in an XHTML document. I'm too far out of that loop to know for sure if that's a realistic possibility though.

      I get the feeling that they're going down the path they have so many times before where there's one level of support for their version of something (in this case Silverlight) and a second-class level of support for "everybody else" (in this case SVG). So that if we do get some third-party to support SVG in IE via an approved MS mechanism, it'll be as an alternative to Silverlight.
    • by Z34107 ( 925136 )

      I wonder why there are any broken links, but the links for the XP and Server 2003 x86 versions are working. I, with x64 Vista, will have to wait for Windows 7 in 2009 for anything resembling OS support >.<

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:05PM (#22652416)
    You can download the latest browser from here: www.microsoft.com/IE8/download [mozilla.com]
  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Der Einzige ( 1042022 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:06PM (#22652422)
    Those features sound suspiciously like Mac OS X's Services menu and Web Clip widget. Not that there's anything wrong with that ...
    • And the context sensitive stuff I know Mail.app does right now.

      Say I got an e-mail: "Hey, We're going to go to Tom's house tomorrow at 1 pm. The address is 123 Main Street, Anywhere USA". If I hover over "tomorrow at 1 pm" I get a popup "add to calendar" and if I hover over the address I get a "Map this address."

      Crash recovery from firefox.

      Who the hell has an excel document that is their 'favorite' and they'd want to launch from their "favorites bar"? I guess firefox does this already with file://.

  • by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:09PM (#22652468)

    Also aboard the upgrade train is automatic crash recovery
    Kind of funny, you'd think they'd work on not making it crash. Or at least spin it a little better.
    • by J0nne ( 924579 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:21PM (#22652662)

      Also aboard the upgrade train is automatic crash recovery
      Kind of funny, you'd think they'd work on not making it crash. Or at least spin it a little better.
      Firefox has the same feature too. Browsers have to accept tons of different types of input (html, js, css, different image formats, ...) and try to make sense of it all. Third-party extensions and plugins can cause the browser to crash.

      I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but that was low, even for Slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by purpledinoz ( 573045 )
      Or not allowing any website or program to install all these components and toolbars onto your browser... The main reason for me switching to Firefox was that it wouldn't get cluttered with all these bullshit toolbars (and tabbed browsing of course). I'm not even sure how they get there, but they always do, and it pisses me off. Firefox only has components that I install myself. I'm never greeted with a new toolbar.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mingot ( 665080 )
        Strange. I never had toolbar that I didn't install just 'show up'. My 11 year old daughter does constantly, though. It's usually down to her having installed the latest MEGA INSTANT MESSANGER PONYS AND UNICORNS EMOTICON PACK or something similar and *gasp* not reading the part where it explains that it's going to install 14 toolbars and a bunch of other spyware. This is why she works in a VM. Maybe ask one of your parents to set one up for you?
      • by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:11PM (#22653506)

        I'm never greeted with a new toolbar.

        How do people do this to their computers? You're reading/posting to slashdot, so I assume you're technically competent.

        Even when I was using Internet Explorer 6, I never had this problem. I've had one virus the entire time I've used Windows (since 3.11) - and that was some file infecting virus I got on Windows 98 from who-knows-where. (Although I suspect my younger brother-knows-where, but I digress.)

        Never had toolbars, and pop-ups stopped when I got IE7 (beta 1.) But, somehow, people manage to trash their Windows boxes, and trash them regularly.

        How did you manage this? What sites did/do you browse? What horrible Bonzi-buddy software do you use on your computer? I'd like to know what the rest of my extended family (the ones who think I'm free 24-hour technical support) is doing.

        • It ain't hard (Score:4, Insightful)

          by erikharrison ( 633719 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:16PM (#22655272)
          They use the computer. For god's sake, you didn't have to go to a website to get the Sasser virus, infected machines would attack random IPs. If you bought an XP machine when Sasser was rampant, I knew many people who were infected on first boot, before they could even install a firewall or virus scanner.

          You've never been emailed a Word document (with a VBA virus)? You've never installed AOL (which overwrites your netstack)? Never been redirected to a warez site (via a compromised legit website)? Hell, for years Wal-Mart used to sell software packages full of dubious "shareware", TurboTax was at one point under legal fire for installing a backdoor, you can't put a Sony audio CD in your machine for fear of installing DRM crippleware behind your back, and OEM machines are loaded with potentially insecure adware begging you to upgrade to the full version.

          While it's not entirely inconceivable that you have always run Windows machines behind a hardware firewall, run expensive third party antivirus packages, never run other third party software (thus discarding the best reason to use Windows), and use your machine only for browsing websites you are 100% sure are uncompromised, it is absolutely beyond belief to me that you can be running Windows since 3.x days and not be aware of how easy it is for a machine to get loaded with garbage. As I pointed out, it's not even safe to plug in a vanilla XP machine into the internet without risk of being immediately infected.
      • by davidsyes ( 765062 ) * on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:52PM (#22654082) Homepage Journal
        What i like about Firefox's crash recovery is that it not only works during a crash, but when i task-kill it to recover RAM when AutoCAD drawings are huge or print spooling is dragging.

        When it recovers my tabs (20+ in one instance for personal sites and 20+ tabs in another FF instance for work-related sites) and two instances of FF, it makes me feel good.

        Someone questioned IE8 beta's design origins. That XP and 2K STILL (seemingly) have no patch to enable the sysadmin to come along and lock the current user and do some admin tasks without killing the apps/processes in play, and no apparent ability to restore the complete prior crashed or saved session, it makes me feel very good that i use KDE.

        It appears to me that even in vista there is no memory of previous sessions to open up or restore all apps from the previous session. Why is this. Are they afraid it will give ammunition to Open Source to counter ms' dubious patent infringement threats?

        Back to browsers: i LIKE Flock, but found it crashes when some myspace profiles start up the music applet. Even clicking on STOP loading in the browser menu and on the music applet is not enough to stop the crash. Killing the tab on restore previous session does work, as a workaround. i LIKE FF, and wish it would use the KDE file exploring/management widgets to which I've become so attached. i can't stand that older file display interface. i LIKE KDE. Nautilus it interesting, but i'm mostly in KDE or minimal interfaces.

        (lower-casing/deprecation of "I" and "I'm" intentional; many other languages do not arrogantly case-place the self of the speaker above the listener or observer-- even though other languages tend to have separate words (honorific and plain/familiar) for the western/Latin "I"). So, it is my mission to start a movement to deprecate the importance of "I" and force it to "i"...

        Join me: i will try to lead the way...
        • by Shippy ( 123643 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:04PM (#22655142)

          i LIKE Flock...

          i LIKE FF...

          i can't stand...

          (lower-casing/deprecation of "I" and "I'm" intentional; many other languages do not arrogantly case-place the self of the speaker above the listener or observer-- even though other languages tend to have separate words (honorific and plain/familiar) for the western/Latin "I"). So, it is my mission to start a movement to deprecate the importance of "I" and force it to "i"...
          Um, ok, good for you. You're still supposed to capitalize the beginning of a sentence, though.

          Also, it's not due to arrogance. It does have some history behind it. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_%28pronoun%29 [wikipedia.org]:

          In orthography, this pronoun is comparable to proper nouns. In most writing I is always capitalised. This convention dates to the late Middle Ages, when the form i first developed from the earlier ic. Writers of handwritten manuscripts began to use a capital I because the lower-case letter was hard to read and sometimes mistaken for part of the previous or succeeding word. This practice continued after the introduction of printing partly because it was already established and partly because it improved readability.
        • by AeroIllini ( 726211 ) <aeroillini@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @06:58PM (#22656612)

          Join me: i will try to lead the way...
          Ok, and when we're done fixing English to be less arrogant, we can hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and complain about how rich people are evil.

          The Germans capitalize *all* their nouns, the arrogant bastards! What makes a noun so much more important than a verb? Nouns don't even *do* anything!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:01PM (#22653338)

      Kind of funny, you'd think they'd work on not making it crash.
      Unlike Firefox, I haven't had IE crash at all in the past 4 years.

      Oh yeah, that's because I haven't used IE in the past 4 years. :-)
    • Opera and Firefox can go back to the page one was on when the browser crashed -- it's about time IE had that capability.

      Since, afterall, it needs it the most. But if one instance of IE blows up (historically, taking all other instances with it), does it open up as many instances were open and reload all the pages that died? Like those other two do?
  • WOW! (Score:5, Funny)

    by quaketripp ( 621850 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:10PM (#22652490)
    First they introduced tabbed browsing, now they've upgraded the context menus and integrated feeds! I just don't know how anyone can keep up with them. OMG and they're integrating group policy options to block sites! finally! that was impossible to do on a firewall! viva la revolution!
    • It's not just integrated feeds, it's screen scraping a page to create a feed. It's similar to one of the features of Yahoo Pipes.
    • Re:WOW! (Score:5, Funny)

      by MrNemesis ( 587188 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:26PM (#22652748) Homepage Journal
      Hey, we can at least be thankful that they didn't move the "back" button to the bottom right hand corner, remove the option to configure connection settings from within the app itself, reverse the direction of scrolling (i.e. scroll right and left to go up and down and vice versa), raster bitmaps and GIF files in CMYK as opposed to RGB and turn sentences begining with prepositions into French swearing. All these new UI paradigms we're missing out on!

      In a rare moment of originality, a young MS exec, having just read the hitch hikers guide, sent a binary of IE7 back in time in an attempt to sue the companies developing firefox, opera and a million and one other more inventive browsers in the future for copying IE's features. Unfortunately, the court dismissed the new IE interface as a crude hoax perpetrated by 4chan, and the budding young exec was made Ballmer's personal chair man.

      Not that I think the IE7 interface is an abomination of consistency and style or anything ;)
    • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:27PM (#22652752)
      Microsoft: "Hey, wait for us - We're the leader!"

      I'm glad they're going to be supporting all these 'new' standards. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mtmra70 ( 964928 )

      OMG and they're integrating group policy options to block sites! finally! that was impossible to do on a firewall!

      Actually, this is something to look out for. For example, your company firewall may block google.com on port 80, but if you company does not block SSH connections, you can easily bypass it.

      Simply setup PuTTY to create a localhost tunnel and establish a SSH connection to an outside source. All of a sudden you can browse the web through the encrypted tunnel. If you need a little more help for apps that open various ports or need to resolve the DNS externally, throw in SSHProxy and you can force all ports/DNS

  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <{akaimbatman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:11PM (#22652512) Homepage Journal
    ...tell Microsoft that we don't give a flying hoot about Activities and Internet Julian Fries. As developers, we want to know if they'll support CSS2 (and God-forbid even some CSS3 *gasp!*), DOM2, SVG, ECMAScript 3rd Edition, and half-a-billion other standards that they've been ignoring. If they want to make developers really happy while future-proofing their browser, they'll support HTML5 and ECMAScript 2.0.

    I'm not holding my breath, though.
    • by GregChant ( 305127 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:22PM (#22652688)
      If you read the article, you'd have noticed the linking page, Everything a developer needs to know [microsoft.com], which explains IE8's CSS2.1 compliance (with provisional CSS3 compliance), among other developer-related information. It's hard to be indignant and informed, I know.
      • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <{akaimbatman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:38PM (#22652928) Homepage Journal
        Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, Microsoft is NOT promising any of the features I'm referring to. I read the white paper on Circular References. Are they building a better, more standards-compliant Javascript engine? No, they're only fixing circular references, a problem that never should have existed in the first place. I read the white paper on "DOM Core Improvements". Are they adding DOM2 features? No, they're just fixing a few minor differences between the W3C spec and their implementation of DOM.

        About the only spec that Microsoft MIGHT actually be taking seriously is CSS2.1. And even then, I'm not holding my breath that they do a good job of it.
        • I like the part where the guy before you said "It's hard to be indignant and informed, I know."

          your half million standards are obnoxious and useless.

          ie6 is still the defacto standard, and MSFT is make a huge effort to get everything ready for your birthday with ie8.

          now stop whining and get back to work.
        • by crush ( 19364 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:26PM (#22653706)
          And not just the above, but the "WebSlices" crap is just another way to muddy the Atom/RSS [wikipedia.org] waters. We do NOT need another feed "standard" thanks.
      • by tobiasly ( 524456 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:10PM (#22653492) Homepage

        It's hard to be indignant and informed, I know.

        Hardly. Reading the developer link reveals the following gem on an example for implementing WebSlices:

        <div class="hslice" id="1">
        <p class="entry-title">item - $66.00</p>
        <div class="entry-content">high bidder:buyer1

        Wow... I hope there are no existing web pages that happen to use the CSS class name "hslice" for anything, otherwise they're in for an unpleasant surprise when IE8 begins interpreting them in their own special way!

        So now the whole "IE8 will break existing sites" discussion comes into clearer focus. Microsoft's definition of standards-compliant (which should surprise no one I guess) is that their proprietary "extensions" now happen to be (X)HTML compliant.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Dan Schulz ( 1144089 )

          Did anyone notice that the value of the ID attribute in that example is invalid? (ID attribute values cannot start with a numeral.)

          Overall though, I'm starting to like what I'm seeing with IE 8, especially now that my main complaint against the browser (having to opt-in for real standards support) has been consigned to the deepest darkest pits of Hell (and I don't mean the town in Michigan either).

          Of course, I do reserve the right to reserve judgment until I can finally get around to playing with the b

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by uhlume ( 597871 )
          Take it up with the Microformats [microformats.org] folks. WebSlices are just an extension (and a fairly minor one) of the hAtom [microformats.org] microformat. Most of your objections to WebSlices could be applied to microformats in general, or to any framework (jQuery, for instance) that uses class attributes for non-CSS semantic purposes.

          About the only difference I see here is that the browser itself knows to take advantage of a microformat, and hopefully it's smart enough not to generate false positives from CSS classes with the same name.
    • Insightful? We had the discussion you were asking for yesterday [slashdot.org]. Just because all you're interested in is one facet of IE8 doesn't mean every discussion should revolve around that single aspect.
  • by caluml ( 551744 ) <slashdot@spamgoe ... m.org minus poet> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:14PM (#22652556) Homepage

    Users typically copy and paste from one webpage to another. Internet Explorer 8 Activities make this common pattern easier to do ...
    Oh god. This sounds just like the "Hey, let's let the email client run scripts", and "Let's hide the nasty, confusing file extensions from the users" decisions.
    Some things should just be a little tricky to do. Like saving a file from an email, locating it, (chmod u+x in *nix), and only then executing it.
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:18PM (#22652622) Homepage Journal
    This is hysterical. 'WebSlices' are similar to Safari's Web Clip [apple.com] feature. Crash Recovery... aka Session Restore in Firefox. (And Saft gives it to Safari.) And can anyone decipher the marketing BS that somehow says the Links bar is new? In Internet Explorer 7, the Links bar provided users with one-click access to their favorite sites. The Links bar has undergone a complete makeover for Internet Explorer 8. It has been renamed the Favorites bar to enable users to associate this bar as a place to put and easily access all their favorite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. So... it's called a "favorites" bar now so users will think "aha! I can put links to my favorite things here!" rather than the old "links" name which led users to think "aha! I can put links to my favorite things here!"? Ooh, and it can hold links to documents as well? Er, yeah, that makes a lot of sense... I've always felt that the biggest thing missing from a web browser was access to random local documents. Because there aren't enough other ways to access often-needed files.
    • by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:26PM (#22652738)
      All they're really doing is saying that IE8 is now pretty much equivilent to the other browsers.
      Of course these features already exists in other browsers, they know this, or they wouldn't have bothered. They left IE6 alone for ages until Firefox got a foothold. They're hardly going to put that in a way that makes it sound like its just a catch up exercise though, are they, it has to sound exciting and new. After all, to them, and most IE only users, it *is* new.

      Actually, any improvement over IE's favorites system would be a good thing, I have to use it from time to time, and it's quite badly implemented.
    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )
      It has been renamed the Favorites bar to enable users to associate this bar as a place to put and easily access all their favorite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

      That's not what annoys me the most about it. What annoys me is the fact that they can't keep anything the same from one version to another. Not just IE but all MS apps and OSes as well; it's apparently a dilbertesque company policy. Also what annoys me is they can't stand to call anything
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Phroggy ( 441 )

        That's not what annoys me the most about it. What annoys me is the fact that they can't keep anything the same from one version to another. Not just IE but all MS apps and OSes as well; it's apparently a dilbertesque company policy. Also what annoys me is they can't stand to call anything the same thing everyone else calls it.

        What do you want them to do: keep things the same from one version to another, or call it what everyone else calls it? Microsoft has called bookmarks "favorites" consistently in every version of IE that ever existed, and they are continuing to do so. Changing the name could be confusing to anyone who has never used a non-Microsoft browser. They've decided to remain consistent.

        And "favorites" highlights both these idiotic user-hostile Microsoft insanities. Everyone else calls them "bookmarks" so MS has to call them "favorites". Well, if they change the "favorites" to "bookmarks" like everyone else (it would surprise me) that's great,

        They should have decided to call them "bookmarks" twelve and a half years ago, but they didn't. That decision is in the past;

    • And can anyone decipher the marketing BS that somehow says the Links bar is new?

      I think the important bit is

      a place to put and easily access all their favorite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents

      They've only just added "WebSlices" (which look like they're poorly implemented because they'll show a button for people who can't install/use them) so it must be that that's the difference that now makes it "favourites" instead.

      I guess it could be documents as w

    • Crash Recovery... aka Session Restore in Firefox
      Sorry to nitpick, but Opera had that feature atleast back from 2000 or 2001 if not implemented earlier in other browsers. While correcting a misattribution of a 'new' feature to IE, you yourself are misattributing it to FireFox.
  • by losethisurl ( 980326 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:19PM (#22652632) Homepage
    We can filter if we want to
    We can leave your friends behind
    'Cause your friends don't filter and if they don't filter
    Well they're no friends of mine
  • The number of excessively-Microsoft-friendly (beyond what could be considered reasonable, for instance this article which talks about nothing that matters for nerds and only mentions some ridiculous luser features instead of non-standards compliance, or the other one where a fake Open Source operating system from Microsoft was published, etc...) articles has increased hugely.
    • by kellyb9 ( 954229 )
      A browser that is used by roughly 85% of the market is releasing a new version into beta testing. A company that is mostly closed source has released an open source kernel for testing new features. OH yeah and its OS is used by 95% of the personal computers in the world. It may be coincidence that this was all on the same day - regardless, i think all of these items are significant as far as technology goes.
    • Oooh, yeah. SlashDot so pro-Microsoft now. It's sheer craziness, I tells ya! Where in God's name will all those ridiculous MS-haters go to rant and rave about MS now that SlashDot is effectively owned by MS now, according to Cyclops.

      Give me a fucking break, dude. And I'm not sure why you bolded fake Open Source operating system. Because CmdrTaco used a bad article title, you seem to be making some retarded implication that Microsoft is "pulling one over" on you and not really releasing something as o

  • by jeremyds ( 456206 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:37PM (#22652902)
    One of the more interesting features included with IE8 is "Ajax Navigation":

    AJAX Navigation enables users to navigate back and forth without leaving the AJAX application and could be used navigating a page without performing a traditional full navigation. This allows websites to trigger an update to browser components like the address bar by setting the window.location.hash value, firing an event to alert components in the page and even creating an entry in the travel log.
    This is actually a proposed standard in the HTML 5 specification and it's nice to see Microsoft implementing it. The inability to bookmark or navigate to a page that's been updated using AJAX has always been a pain in the ass.
    • by nevali ( 942731 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:59PM (#22653302) Homepage
      I've built sites in the past fortnight which use document.location.hash to allow navigation to/from different AJAXified or otherwise dynamic sections of a page (either by typing the URL with the anchor directly, or by using back/forward), and it works wonderfully in every browser I've tried including IE 6.

      About the only "clever" bit here is firing an event automatically when it changes, which just removes the three lines of code I have checking whether window.location.hash is myfoo.savedHash or not in an interval ticker. ...and they turned this into a whole complete feature, and got somebody to think up a name for it?!
      • I really hope you aren't one of the developers that claimed the meta tag should default to standards mode. That was only one line. Yet you are asking everybody to add three lines of code, that nobody is adding, instead of a simple browser tweak (which harms no standards) to make things Just Work.

        Honestly. Who the hell cares if it's clever. It certainly is a feature that I can click back and forward in Ajax and have it work properly.
        • by nevali ( 942731 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:33PM (#22654664) Homepage
          You miss the point--people will have to write code specifically for this feature (which, incidentally, won't work in other browsers for a while yet), when if they were going to do that they could just have written it to work in the first place.

          What makes you think people who can't manage to beat out a couple of lines of pretty simple code are going to be able to write code for "AJAX Navigation support" and do it in a way which degrades gracefully?

          The whole thing is something that will make life easier for web developers in the long term, but have little effect in the short term. What it won't do is magically make life any easier for end users.
  • ACR (Score:4, Informative)

    by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:39PM (#22652940)
    The "Crash Recovery" actually seams to be quite good, better than Firefox anyway, if its implemented well, it means each tab runs in a separate thread (although for some reason they called them processes) and can crash/recover separately, as well as implementing the standard session restore.
    • Re:ACR (Score:5, Informative)

      by Skuto ( 171945 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @02:55PM (#22653248) Homepage
      >it means each tab runs in a separate thread (although for some reason they called them processes)

      Processes and threads are vastly different things.

      For example, one thread crashing means all other threads in the same process go down with it.

      This is probably exactly why they use processes instead of threads.
      • by weicco ( 645927 )

        I've tried for some time now figure out what's the idea behind thread per tab. And it seems to me there isn't any idea in that. And if you take under consideration that in Windows the whole messaging stuff is done in the context of the main thread there is really no idea to spawn threads for every tab. You'd still have to receive every message in one thread and then pass them to others and use nasty synchronization objects and stuff. Brrr.. I wouldn't want to implement that :)

        Now process per tab and one co

  • Looking at the developer guide [microsoft.com], I noticed that the activities require the website designer to program this IE only feature into their sites. As it is XML, I suppose it would be fairly easy for others to catch up, but this does sound like something developers will have to do just for IE... unless I'm looking at this one wrong. Anyone care to clarify?
  • by flowpoke ( 1251410 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:20PM (#22653628)
    It seems that with each major version, they (and most other folks) try to reinvent everything and cloud it with branding. NO ONE enjoys radical change with little to no benefit. The interface needs to be more transparent, not cluttered with new terminology and features that matter NONE when compared to things like speed, stability and security.

    I don't think MS will ever get it...

    • Good point. They should just leave the browser with no changes for 5 or 6 years.

      Oh, wait...
    • I don't think MS will ever get it...
      What do you mean?? MS disabled ActiveX by default in IE 7, for example.

      And IE 8 further improves security by improving its anti-phishing code.
      Phishing are among the most problematic things that plague the web today, that's why IE 8 joins the crowd with Firefox and Opera here.

      You may still not be satisfied, sure, but you smell and read like a troll.
  • You know, the one that allows you to capture a portion of a page and look at the latest version of that section (a la "subscribe").

    Beauty, they didn't even take a year to snag that feature and rename it.
    • It is different. It's a portion formed by the web developer and not necessarily like the web page as viewed by HTML (so it can be trivially reformatted to fit in a smaller space). Since the site designer makes it, it's easier to get things right for things like Ajax pages.
  • by Bodero ( 136806 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:56PM (#22654142)
    I just installed the IE8 beta. Overall, it's slow, but I'd expect that from a beta. My main concern is that, at least on my machine, the popup blocker was disabled by default. Is this the new standard?

    Welcome back, Popups.

  • IE8 Features (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:06PM (#22654300)
    I'm reading through the comments here and I can't believe my eyes. Boy, are you bitter, or what...

    The features IE8 implements are a direct answer to what most users on Slashdot I've seen whine for years on an on, and still there's barely few mildly positive responses here, it's just so sad (for Slashdot).

    Let me list a fraction of the improvements of IE8, should it be too hard for you to RTFA-s:

    - Much improved compliance with the CSS 2.1 standards, compliance with certain most requested CSS3 features. This includes, but not limited to features such as display:inline-table, :after, :before, content attribute, counter-reset / counter-increment, box-sizing (implemented as -ms-box-sizing, similar to -moz-box-sizing as it's not finalized in CSS3), fixes on the p/div handling, CSS outline, improvements to text orientation rendering,

    - Data URI support would dramatically simplify dynamic content generation in some instances, and improve the performance on pages with many small images (you can embed those images in the HTML and save yourself some 10-20 additional HTTP requests).

    - More complete support for the CSS attributes related to page printing, such as @page, left/right/first page selectors, page-break-inside, widows, orphans properties.

    - Kick-ass development and debugging tools that rival FireBug for Firefox (honestly, check the white-paper). If you're a web developer, you're probably using FireBug intensively, now you can debug with the same ease on IE.

    - Hooks for AJAX navigation (I had to implement JS navigation on a project as recently as a week ago, and I know this will save me quite some time in the future, if the other browsers follow suit), DOM Storage (super-cookies :) ) that allow much richer offline storage, and combine this with ability to detect if the network is down/offline or not, and let your JS handle the situation! XHR has timeout now as well.

    - CSS selectors API exposed to JS. Do you have any idea how *important* that is? Look at any popular JS library today: Prototype, jQuery, MooTools. They all *emulate* this feature. Some browsers, are starting to implement this, and now that IE is among them, those JS libraries can act as a simple proxy to the native Selectors API, and thus deliver substantial performance boost to pages doing lots of selections.

    - 6 connections per host, versus 2. Before you start complaining how this will overload some servers: IE will start with 2 connections, and if it detects the connection is speedy, it'll build up to 6 dynamically. This means if you're being Slashdotted, for example, IE will detect this and keep connections 2 at a time.

    - OBJECT tag was boosted to support all MIME types, using standard markup, the way other browsers handle it. That includes images.

    - ActiveX plugins can now easily hook to an element namespace and provide rendering services, for example MathML, SVG etc.

    - Cross-domain messaging and requests! This will make certain (safe!) application a *lot* easier. Currently the only workaround to safe cross-domain communication is a hack involving multiple iframes and hash manipulation. No more, this a really forward-looking of Microsoft to implement, hopefully the other browsers follow-suit.

    - Sane versioning model, so if your site breaks in IE8 you can request IE7 mode via simple meta tag. The default would be the most compliant mode (as covered on a previous article).

    - I've heard lots of whining here on Slashdot in the past about the circular memory 'leak' IE JS had. Now this is fixed. It's not as trivial as you might thing it is, and IE JS doesn't suffer alone from this problem (popular languages like PHP for example exhibit the same issue). A new garbage collector was implemented to fix this.

    - Performance improvements to the CSS/HTML/JS subsystem will deliver speedier browsing without expected compatibility issues.
  • I run Vista x64(yea burn down my karma for it, it works well for me and I like it more than XP) at home and was wondering what the most secure browser for me would be while still having flash and javascript etc. on. The main contenders are IE7, Firefox and Opera. Opera is my current browser because Firefox was a dog on my old 256MB laptop(my current machine has 8 gigs). Opera has a low chance of exploits in the wild because of the low number of users. IE7 on Vista has a sandbox so that a big buffer overrun
  • by R3d Jack ( 1107235 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:15PM (#22654446)
    In keeping with this theme, I suggest that the IE8 name be dropped in favor of something to reflect just how up-to-date this new browser is. How about IE 2005?
  • The technical side of Activities and WebSlices [microsoft.com] does not suck! They've used a pretty straightforward and not-very-IE-specific XML file + JS call for adding Activities, and WebSlices are based on hAtom Microformat.
  • by kahrytan ( 913147 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:57PM (#22655830)

      But does it work with Linux?
  • Wow... (Score:3, Informative)

    by CrazyTalk ( 662055 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @06:39PM (#22656378)
    Looks just like Safari on my circa 2004 iBook (especially the toolbar).
  • by EmperorKagato ( 689705 ) <sakamura@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:11PM (#22657482) Homepage Journal
    Out of the box IE8 seems to have trouble with the CSS based login on the frontpage of slashdot.

    Has anyone else seen this issue?
  • by gnarlin ( 696263 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @08:12PM (#22657494) Homepage Journal
    A new Internet Explorer from Microsoft. Will it smoke the Firefox? Will it outsing the Opera? Well, let's find out!

    First, it only runs on ONE platform. Microsoft windows. Making a multi-platform program today is easy. Even a toddler can do it. All the cool programmers and companies are doing it. There are so many toolkits that can do it that you are really spoiled for choice. Even if they really want to use the windows API they could still check to make sure it runs with wine. Google can do it, so could Microsoft. There really is no excuse in 2008 not to, except perhaps if you are trying to hold on to a sagging monopoly.

    Second. You can't modify it, redistribute it or use it to run a nuclear powerplant. Simply put: It isn't Free software. Looking under the bonnet is a must for any youngster that wants to know what makes the engine go and to tweak it. Sadly, Microsoft aren't up to that challenge.

    Finally, I don't like the icon or the color. It's a letter, you know, from the alphabet. Here try clicking this: e [google.com]

    Ugly, isn't it.

    So what happened when I tried to run it? Well, since I don't run an operating system from that particular company I instead tried to run it, with some WINE (http://www.winehq.com). This is a piece of software that Google use with great success to run its windows native Picasa application on GNU+Linux and BSD operating systems.
    Right from the getgo: The wheels spin, but the installer crashes and burns as it fails to install the program right at the beginning. What a letdown.
    My conclusion then: It's simply rubbish. You can have Mozilla Firefox for half the price and all the benefits of the Freedom it brings. Also, Firefox has a new beta out that smokes IE8 right from the starting line. In fact it can be installed and run right now on almost any platform you can think of! Microsoft are still stuck in the 1990s thinking that you only make cars for one type of road and that people aren't interested in modifying them. Until they change their ways they will always be second class.

    Final lap score:
    0 out of 10.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...