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Hopefully those areas do not include fixing the places where IE is just plain broken, or way out of date. IE 6 will still be with us for years and years, but it would be nice to see a light somewhere up ahead.
"CSS improvements. CSS is a widely used standard for creating Web pages. Internet Explorer 7 is prioritizing compliance to CSS standards by first implementing the features that developers have said are most important to them. As a result, in Internet Explorer 7 beta 1 Microsoft has addressed some of the major inconsistencies that can cause Web developers problems producing rich, interactive Web pages. The work Microsoft has done includes fixing some positioning and layout issues related to the way Internet Explorer 6 handles <div> tags. (More information about these bugs can be found online at [positioniseverything.net...] and [positioniseverything.net...] The final release of Internet Explorer 7 will focus on improving the developer experience by reducing the time needed for developing and testing on different browsers.
Transparent PNG support. Web developers have been asking for support for alpha channel transparent PNGs. A PNG is a typographical file format that includes an indication of exactly how transparent a picture should be, through a measurement called the alpha channel. With an alpha channel, designers can use special effects that were not previously supported. For instance, they can create images on a Web page that have shadows but do not obscure the background image behind them. "
So they fixed TWO bugs. Count 'em. On one hand or two. TWO BUGS! No standards fixes or upgrades. TWO bugs over a five year period.
[edited by: encyclo at 6:15 pm (utc) on July 28, 2005]
[edit reason] Added link to source [/edit]
"Statements like these don't sound good for those of us who would just like IE to follow the standards whether they make sense or not."
So, in other words, MS is stupid for not being stupid.
Not quite. Microsoft is a member of the W3C, the organization who sets up the web standards I was speaking of. For MS to not support those standards because they "don't make sense" is simply irresponsible. Web developers need to be able to count on some consistency between browsers, but we won't be able to do that until IE gets up to par with Mozilla and Opera. As an example, the W3C box model is counter-intuitive, but at least it works once you understand it.
The work Microsoft has done includes fixing some positioning and layout issues related to the way Internet Explorer 6 handles <div> tags.
Does that sound to anyone else like MS just doesn't know what's going on here? IE handles <div> tags just fine; it's the CSS you apply to the <div> tags (and most other elements) that it gets wrong. I'm going to grab the new version as soon as I can, but that statement alone basically shatters whatever confidence I may have had that things would be significantly better. Hopefully I'm wrong, though.