Entries tagged with ‘IE’

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  1. 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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  2. Adios, IE8 Meta Mayhem!

    I’ve been holding back on a comment on the recent furor about the IE8 meta http-equiv switch. Mainly because the great and the good had it covered, but also because there was already a possible workaround, which John Resig pointed out: Use a HTML5 DOCTYPE.

    Dean Hachamovitch and the IE team put out the fire yesterday with a switch of their own:

    “We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can.”

    Great news! Now the legacy application vendors using IE as the platform, and relying on less-than-perfect rendering will bear the burden of telling IE which rendering engine they need. (Another radical idea might be for folks who are refactoring applications to use conditional comments like any good self-respecting developer should.) At least, with this announcement, the folks producing standards-driven code will not face the bizarre requirement of having to tell IE8 to not use IE7’s rendering engine. Makes sense to me guys, what took you so long? OK, the problem is more complex than that. After all, as Nigel Parker of Microsoft pointed out in his follow-up post to Kiwi Baacamp where he entered the debate:

    “Microsoft’s view [is] to support backwards compatibility for at least 10 years…”

    By anyone’s measure that’s a hefty commitment, and probably leads the field for backwards compatibility. Even more so when you consider that most new “killer apps” are targeted at the cool kids using the latest OS or browser, and often don’t work without Javascript. (Nudge, nudge Twitter.) A fact that always concerns me when you consider that “universality” is at risk of becoming a hackneyed word, and there’s a whole world out there getting online, often with less money than we spend on Starbucks, and the equipment to prove it.

    Anyway, I digress. Congratulations to the IE team and the collective intelligence in our community for reaching scientific solutions, intuitively. It just goes to show all the cynics out there that, as well a flaming each other, we also have a rare capacity for collectively recognising Robert M Pirsig’s metaphysics of quality.

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  3. Opera sues Microsoft over Web standards in the EU Court

    Opera and Operati, I love you! There’s a crate of cider at my place if you want to swing by and pick it up. Yesterday, Opera filed an anti-trust complaint in the EU court against Microsoft:

    First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities.

    Read the Opera press release and treat yourself to a smile. They rely in part on the recent decision taken by the court against Microsoft over bundling MediaPlayer with Windows. Opera accuses Microsoft of stifling innovation by embedding a browser than does not support Web standards as it should. All true. How many compromises, hacks and tweaks have we made over the years for Billy Gate’s browser?

    Of course, if this suit was successful Opera would have a better opportunity to grab themselves some market share. Good on ’em. If Opera had a stripped down version of the browser, but with tools akin to Firebug or Chris Pederick’s Web developer toolbar it would be my primary browser, right now.

    Co-incidentally, I’m just about to pay Microsoft for the priviledge of a new copy of WinXP, all because I can’t run multiple copies of IE for testing on Vista easily. Imagine a world where we could run multiple versions of IE without clever hacks. A world where IE passed the Acid2 Test (like Opera) and conditional comments and IE specific style-sheets became a relic of history. I’m almost salivating at the thought.

    There’s a long way to go before that happens. I’d like to think that Billy’s browser would of made it to the point of goodness regardless but, if Opera’s action helps it along, so much the better. It’s just a shame these kinds of actions seem necessary. Then again, Kim Stanley Robinson’s idea of revolutions by law in Pacific Edge always seemed much more preferable than any other method.

    Good luck to them!

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