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MS Backtracks on IE8 Standards Compatibility
encyclo




msg:3590403
 11:59 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft's Interoperability Principles and IE8 [blogs.msdn.com]

We've decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.
(...)
Our initial thinking for IE8 involved showing pages requesting "Standards" mode in an IE7's "Standards" mode, and requiring developers to ask for IE8's actual "Standards" mode separately. We made this decision, informed by discussions with some leading web experts, with compatibility at the top of mind.

In light of the Interoperability Principles, as well as feedback from the community, we're choosing differently. Now, IE8 will show pages requesting "Standards" mode in IE8's Standards mode. Developers who want their pages shown using IE8’s "IE7 Standards mode" will need to request that explicitly.

Earlier thread: Microsoft proposes opt-in standards compliance for IE8 [webmasterworld.com]
Related: Microsoft Moves To Greater Interoperability [webmasterworld.com]

 

g1smd




msg:3590445
 1:09 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

... but which standards?

Who will be first with HTML 5 I wonder?

mattur




msg:3590468
 1:30 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow this is big news. And the right decision, I think.

I'll bet you a pint g1smd that Opera will be the first "full" implementation...

Josefu




msg:3590625
 7:54 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The only debate in this change of mind is whether it occurred through obligation or through rational choice, but in all honesty I could care less. I'm just glad that my web-design future will have a lot less programming headaches and constraints. Thank you, Microsoft.

SuzyUK




msg:3590648
 8:45 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm holding off.. on the smiling part, yes it's a massive U turn and there's part of me can't help but wonder if this was the the way they hoped it would go all along

This is just too big a "turnaround" - the intranets, hobby sites, client sites etc problem has not gone away.. it will take time to get anyone whose site "breaks" to input the backward switch - and yes I forsee sites breaking UNLESS they make a much slower transition to recommended standards and instead stick to their own. Their blog entry reads, to me anyway, like they intend to stick to their own, though I hope I'm wrong.

mikedee




msg:3590705
 11:13 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Who thinks that someone from the EU had a word in their ear?

The 'why change' section is very strange don't you think? The initial post about super standards mode mentioned that their clients may sue if they used standards by default, but this announcement is all about their 'principles' which are derived from the recent EU ruling.

While we do not believe any current legal requirements would dictate which rendering mode a browser must use, this step clearly removes this question as a potential legal and regulatory issue.

Hopefully it means that we can finally have some SVG and HTML 5 support. The next acid test should use much more than just CSS.

g1smd




msg:3590759
 12:39 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would like that the browser automatically adds a warning message in the status bar if a page seriously breaks HTML standards.

It doesn't have to be a major, little more than the current "Done (with errors)" that you get when JavaScript fails would be a good start.

gibbergibber




msg:3590772
 1:01 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

-- I would like that the browser automatically adds a warning message in the status bar if a page seriously breaks HTML standards.--

I think there's a danger of that making people ignore warnings in general. Most people don't care if a page adheres to HTML standards, as long as it displays correctly and is secure if necessary. If a browser keeps saying every other page is broken when it apparently works fine, people may assume there's something wrong with the browser.

It's like security apps which lump cookies and viruses into the same "security threats" category and display "thousands of security breaches found!" as the result of a system scan. They send people into a panic at first, but then people realise they're usually just talking about cookies and not viruses, and it makes people stop taking the scan's results seriously.

jecasc




msg:3590952
 4:33 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would like that the browser automatically adds a warning message in the status bar if a page seriously breaks HTML standards.

Unfortunaly it is usually the other way round. The page is compliant to standards but IE breaks it.

swa66




msg:3591167
 7:59 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now if they find a way to force an upgrade onto all instances out there of IE < 8 they made people install over the years, and stick to the real standards (not their own), and add nothing more than the real standards, I might get happy. Until then it's hopeful wishing for things they might make yet another U-turn on. One can't trust them.

adb64




msg:3591646
 7:09 am on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Expands Support for Web Standards [microsoft.com]

“IE8 has been significantly enhanced, and was designed with great support for current Internet standards. This is evidenced by the fact that even in its first beta, IE8 correctly renders the popular test known as ‘Acid2,’ which was created by the Web community to promote real-world interoperability,”

poppyrich




msg:3597665
 5:44 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)


System: The following 3 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/html/3597663.htm [webmasterworld.com] by encyclo - 3:46 pm on Mar. 11, 2008 (utc -4)


The IE8 team announced a few days ago (on the IE Team blog) that there's been a change of heart about IE8's default rendering mode.
Originally they were going to keep it at IE7 to insure backward compatibility without authors having to do anything.
This has changed. The default rendering mode will be IE8's "Standards" mode and if you want it to roll back to IE7 compatibility there's a meta-tag you need to include in the page.
(Keep your favorite search-and-replace tool handy.)

Also, I was very suprised by how far along IE8 is. IE7 was done in such a rush and the IE team so small that it took six months for the documentation to catch up. The IE8 documentation is up on MSDN now, today, in line with the first Beta release!
Whitepapers, tutorials, everything - all that is new in IE8.

Fotiman




msg:3597669
 5:50 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)


Heads Up! Looking good in IE8 will require some work

Unless you are already coding to standards, as we all should be.

poppyrich




msg:3597739
 7:15 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Unless you are already coding to standards, as we all should be.

I disagree. There is, in practice, no such thing as "coding to standards" and getting a predictable cross-browser result. There is only "coding to standards as those standards are interpreted/implemented by today's browsers".
The problem is not in what CSS rules and tags I write - there's nothing "non-standard" about those - the problem is in how those rules and tags are variously interpreted by IE6, IE7, and IE8.

Fotiman




msg:3598548
 3:33 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)


There is, in practice, no such thing as "coding to standards" and getting a predictable cross-browser result. There is only "coding to standards as those standards are interpreted/implemented by today's browsers".

I'll agree with that statement to some extent... true, you can't always get a cross-browser result, but that's mostly because IE6 blows. However, if you write standards-based code, test it in a browser like Firefox that has pretty good standards support, and then make minor tweaks for the broken browsers, the development process is much easier. Thus, coding to standards is still the way to go, and if you're doing that already, then there will be less "hacks" needed when it comes time to support IE8 (assuming they actually make good on their claims that they'll be much more standards-compliant).

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