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/ log / Mar, 2008 /

Conditional Comments after Installing IE8 beta

Overcoming daft hurdles before work can even start is a pain. Getting multiple versions of IE working used to be one of them until Yousif Al Saif’s excellent Multiple IE installer came along. Microsoft have a commitment to 10 years of backwards compatibility. Therefore, they should be the ones to make it easy for designers to test interfaces in multiple versions of IE. If only that were true. The virtual PC image for IE6 is painful to try and use in Vista Ultimate on Parallels. So much so that I gave up, installed XP and went back to using Multiple IE.

After installing IE8 beta, conditional comments stopped working for other versions of IE. I sighed. There’s an easy fix though. Just re-install Multiple IE and conditional comments support will be back for IE6 and under.

By rights, Microsoft should pay Yousif Al Saif for the service he’s provided to designers. Wouldn’t that be a nice thought? Perhaps a few donations from folks like us will be reward enough.


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  1. 1. By Peter Gasston on 21st Mar ’08 at 07:10am

    MS won’t acknowledge multiple IE installations; they say that they are not truly independent side-by-side versions, as they share many registries.

    The internet conspiracist in me says that this is more to do with the legal position that IE is integrated into the desktop and therefore must be installed by default :)

  2. 2. By tzDev on 21st Mar ’08 at 09:18am

    My IE6 standalone version quit working, either since I installed Safari (finally) or since installing the IE8 beta. Either way I've lost my IE6, it wasn’t the version you mention, but rather:

    It loads and says Invalid syntax error, the page can not be displayed, doesn’t matter what page. Further I just tried right clicking, and it’s like the window isn’t even active. Dead in the water.

    Most every IE6 in the building has been upgraded, there’s one server that still has IE6. I've always been a little bit afraid to try the tredoSoft setup.

  3. 3. By tzDev on 21st Mar ’08 at 09:21am

    Tredosoft’s latest link, this one appears newer, maybe still not the latest on the subject?

  4. Jon 陳’s profile 4. By Jon 陳 on 21st Mar ’08 at 09:44am

    Peter, I have the same suspicion. :) Perhaps the Opera anti-trust complaint before the EU will force the Microsoft commercial department to enable the IE dev team to do what I suspect they’d like to: Help us out with stand-alones.

    Hey Ty, are you’re trying to make me markup your links again? This time I think I’ll pass! Unfortunately, you have to use plain old HTML to mark up your URLs in my lo-fi comments system.

    The Tredosoft Multiple IE installer is a gift — I’ve been using it for a long time. The IE7 stand-alone isn’t necessary; you can just run it, or, if you wish, use the built-in emulator to switch back and forth in IE8 beta.

  5. 5. By tz2 on 21st Mar ’08 at 09:53am

    Cool thanks Jon, hey don’t bother with the links. Maybe tredosoft is working up something with the IE8beta, but hey if it still works. I was planning to just use IE7's emulator, in fact I've left it in that mode (IE7). Since it requires the browser to be restarted as it works currently, that was a dissappointment for this developer, the main reason I decided to try it.

    (you've figured out anytime there’s a tz post it’s good 'ol Ty… :)

  6. 6. By tz3 on 21st Mar ’08 at 10:06am

    You link was correct then Jon.

    As I mentioned I was running IE6 standalone from evolt, but…

    conditional comments never did work with that standalone, which made it rather ineffective for the intended task of checking designs anyways.

    Guess it’s time to give multiple IE’s a shot, maybe I'll do IE 5.5 & 6 I don’t see any point in checking backwards compatibility beyond that.

    Cheers Jon, thanks so much.

  7. 7. By dotjay on 27th Mar ’08 at 18:20pm

    Unfortunately, you have to use plain old HTML to mark up your URLs in my lo-fi comments system.

    URLs posted directly into comments (for example, like this: should now get marked up automagically.

  8. 8. By aniko on 14th Apr ’08 at 13:14pm

    Just a thought: did you try in IE8 the "Emulate IE7"/"Emulate IE6" button? It works great for me. That does it for checking designs in earlier IE browser versions and no need to have standalone IE installations. We used Virtual Machines so far with different Windows/IE installations back to IE5. But I do not think that is necessary anymore. Backward compatibility to IE6 should be just fine.

  9. 9. By John on 1st Aug ’08 at 12:57pm

    Aniko – "did you try in IE8 the "Emulate IE7"/"Emulate IE6" button?"

    … where is this button (please)? I had to install IE7Pro to get a v7 emulator – sounds like you found something that can emulate 7 and 6? As an add-on? Or somewhere buried in IE8? …

    Thanks in advance for insights…


  10. 10. By Adrian on 27th Oct ’08 at 18:33pm

    Thank you for this post. It’s painful enough having to load up IE6 for testing; I was bummed to find that conditionals were no longer working after installing IE8 beta. A fresh install of Multiple IE did the trick.

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