Molly speaks up… #24

…IE8 - The Next Generation…
(with version targeting, etc.)

IE8 - TiNGeling…

Sorry, no big fanfare. There are signs that IE8 will perform better than its predecessors, but what else did you expect?

Ok, so I'm a bit blasé – cats usually are. Besides, the IE8 betas they've released are a bit too weak and broken to engage in serious debugging on. I mean; I don't usually do beta testing, and IE8b1 was barely past what I'd concider to be a browser's alpha stages. IE8b2 looks more like a real beta, but not a very impressive one worthy of much attention.

I wouldn't have concidered IE8b1 worth testing at all if it hadn't been offered on a DVD along with Virtual PC, all the way from Germany. Our i-net connection is still too slow and unreliable for downloading such heavy files, and I see no point in replacing existing IE/win versions with a beta.

All IE/win versions belong in virtual isolation, to prevent them from messing up for other software and each other. New PC-boxes with new software are on their way in, to facilitate more in-depth testing of browsers and other relevant software without disturbing our main machines.

[01.sep.2008]: Microsoft have released IE8 Beta 2. Slightly improved standard mode rendering compared with IE8b1 – now only a few years behind Firefox on a good day.
However, no guarantee that even the best crafted designs will get through all the hurdles the IE-team have put in, all the way to IE8's true standard mode rendering.

[28.jan.2009]: Microsoft have released IE8 RC1, and one example has ended up on a machine near me – on Vista. Looks ok, and behaves ok too on our site – have only observed a few minor failures that I have yet to look into.

Latest news [19.mar.2009]: Microsoft have released IE8, and seem to have fixed most instability problems observed in IE8 RC1. The final version actually seems to work…

Adaptive Zoom = Opera zoom

The IE-team has provided us with a description of Internet Explorer 8 and Adaptive Zoom, but since it replicates Opera's zoom feature we're ready for it and just hope that it'll actually work as described.

Some designers are already contemplating ignoring testing for text resizing, which may not be such a good idea. I always resize text, in Opera.

too cool for IE…

“Pages on your site break if I zoom them in IE8b1. You should fix that.”
― anonymous

Don't think so – at least not any time soon. Our pages are rendered perfectly when zoomed in Opera, Safari and Firefox, and even IE7 (the real one) zooms them quite well. Thus, I think those responsible should rather fix IE8 while they can.
― Molly

“Pages on your site look a bit broken in IE8b2. You must have done something wrong.”
― anonymous

Again, the IE8-team better fix their weak excuse of a browser, before asking me to fix things for it. I know perfectly well what I'm doing every time I sign off a page or a new design on this, or other, sites. The IE-team on the other hand…
― Molly

“The footer on pages like this this one sometimes collapses in IE8rc1. Makes your designs look stupid.”
― anonymous

Makes IE8rc1 look stupid, you mean? Yes, I've noticed that IE8rc1 is unstable – and not just when it encounters our page-footer, so if you got some fixes for it you're welcome to share them with the rest of us. Don't forget to share them with the IE-team too while you're at it.
― Molly

Yes, this site can be quite a challenge for weak browsers. That in itself is a very good reason for its existence, as if y'all being invited to read my words of visdom weren't enough (sorry … couldn't resist ).

It would be a shame to let browsers off the hook just because they can't do any better. There's no progress in that.
If our site is “too cool for IE”, then it should be the perfect testing-ground for it.

final version looks ok…

Yes, IE8 (version: 8.0.6001.18702) looks ok at first glance and even after a couple of hours testing. Developing a more or less new and standard compliant engine they can build on in the future, without messing up what's created on the web in the past too much, is a massive task when we look at the damage caused by previous IE/win versions. However, it had to happen one day in order to avoid a complete split between Microsoft's web products and the other ones, and better sooner than later.

You know; if further testing shows that the IE-team has made IE8 work somewhat near what they have said/written about complete CSS 2.1 support and standard compliance, I'll consider giving IE/win back its colors again. Yes, I'm really, really, serious about this, as I am getting a bit tired of seeing that gray thing. It has been around for a while, you know.

According to Microsoft, IE8's CSS support will be so weak that it can best be compared with where other major browsers were 4-5 years ago.
So, IE8 will make life easier for web designers, but not by much.

skoal … skål…

I have to admit that IE8 does show some real potentials, despite its “less than optimal” performance when challenged. Whether we'll have to wait for IE9, IE10 or beyond before seeing those potentials released for real and see IE back in the race, or not, is another matter entirely. Rome wasn't built in one day either – they say, although it might have been if I've been around .

I'll have my usual sip of milk a little later, and then another one for IE8's reentering into the world of web standards … skål.

Oh, and just in case you wondered: no, we won't be using IE8 for anything other than testing of itself and its own capabilities around here. We got a better browser for surfing.

sincerely  molly 'the cat'

Hageland 19.mar.2008
12.feb.2009 - added note on IE8rc1.
08.mar.2009 - added comment on "collapsing footer" bug, and bugnotes in right column.
19.mar.2009 - revised for IE8 final release.
21.mar.2009 - to answer a few inquiries, I added a concluding paragraph.
▶ last rev: 21.mar.2009

Molly speaks up…

Molly: did you expect that?
Opera: sure, it had to happen one day.
Molly: guess so, but I would have thought they needed a few more years.
Opera: they do…


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last update: 21.mar.2009