Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Jan 2008 13:00 UTC, submitted by gonzo
Internet Explorer "Internet Explorer 8 is going to be the most standards-compliant IE yet, but it's going about it in a way that has some people scratching their heads. With Internet Explorer 8, you have a choice in standards compliance modes. Sound oxymoronic? Shouldn't there be one standards mode by default? Heck, shouldn't the only mode be standards mode? Ah, idealism." Please note, however, that John Resig of Mozilla Corporation spotted something interesting: "Internet Explorer 8 will support DOCTYPE switching for new DOCTYPEs (like HTML5). This really does change any frustration that someone should have concerning the new meta tag. This means that you can write your web pages in a completely standards-based way (CSS, HTML5, JavaScript) and not have to use a single browser-centric tag in order to do so."
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new IE8 meta tag
by m_yates on Fri 25th Jan 2008 16:48 UTC
m_yates
Member since:
2006-04-05

So IE8 is requiring a new meta tag for a new "standards" mode:

"meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8" /"

This isn't "standard" at all. It is reverting to the bad old days of browser-centric web pages.

People should be able to write pages with the correct DOCTYPE, check it against w3c standards, then have ALL browsers render it correctly. I don't understand why that cannot be done.

Reply Score: 2

RE: new IE8 meta tag
by gonzo on Fri 25th Jan 2008 17:37 UTC in reply to "new IE8 meta tag"
gonzo Member since:
2005-11-10

So IE8 is requiring a new meta tag for a new "standards" mode:

NO, it does not require that meta tag!

And this news is about that. Can't you read it at least??

Reply Score: 3

RE: new IE8 meta tag
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 26th Jan 2008 17:14 UTC in reply to "new IE8 meta tag"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Actually, version targeting is a very good idea. It means that your content will always be rendered as intended, even by new browsers (when they support the feature). It was a brain child of the Web Standards Project who was asked by MS to help them with reaching standards compliance.

So, if FF and Opera support the feature in the future, I can say "this page was designed for these browsers" and IE, FF and Op will read their respective tags and switch their rendering to those modes and properly display my page.

As an author, I find that extremely good as it lets me update the code on my time table rather than live with a broken page on new browsers and have to work in crisis mode to fix the problems.

It is true, until IE 6 usage drops to IE 5 usage levels, this will not stop the "fix the quirks" issues that IE 6 creates, but in a few years, when we have IE 7 and up as the major IE, and FF 3.5 and Opera 10.5 and safari 4 are the major browsers taking up 98% of the market, I can ensure that I design once, and update only if I wish to make use of new features.

Reply Score: 3

woogs
Member since:
2006-10-09

The problem we're facing right now is that Microsoft's attempt to provide better support for standards only reached so far. Providing three possible browser rendering targets: The old, broken IE rendering target (quirks mode), the new, almost-not-quite standards compliant IE rendering target (set using the DOCTYPE), and the actual standard.

Now IE want to improve their standards support - moving their almost-not-quite there implementation closer to the actual standard. The issue that blocks them is an odd one - the expectation by web developers at large that the broken rendering modes of IE will be left as-is in perpetuity. The assumption that a web page, having been written once and seen to be working, will never need to be updated or changed, even if the web page included hacks to work around browser-version specific bugs.

So there's a definite problem of expectations between web developers and the web browser development team at IE.

As to the solution itself, I don't care for it one bit. Adding a new tag, outside the W3C specifications, which is then tied to specific versions of specific browsers just can't be a good idea. We might as well go back to checking user-agent strings if we want to deliberately slave our web pages to specific web browsers and versions.

Reply Score: 3

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

It's not too bad: the meta tag trick is simple and well-contained. It can be sent out of the web-server in the HTTP response, so you don't even have to change your HTML. There's also no reason why this meta tag can't be used by FF or Opera so that they can offer similar features if they ever have to make a change which invalidates previous renderings (i.e. the meta tag isn't inherently tied to IE or anything).

Reply Score: 3

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

but a meta tag is not a violation of the standard.

Reply Score: 3

I welcome this
by Touvan on Fri 25th Jan 2008 17:20 UTC
Touvan
Member since:
2006-09-01

I think Microsoft got it just right. How to fix their broken problem of a browser, without breaking the web for most users (and causing we the web developers to have to fix it - which would cost us money). This is the only solution. I welcome these changes if it'll give me standards going forward.

Reply Score: 4

Detlef Niehof
Member since:
2006-05-02

I don't really get why many people here are so negative about this.
I admit that Microsoft essentially cleans up the mess that they are themselves responsible for in the first place. But if this crude meta tag causes IE6/IE7 et al to be replaced by a more standards compliant browser (IE8) in the near future (due to better user acceptance since it doesn't break all pages), then I reckon it will serve us all in the end.

Reply Score: 3

red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

I don't really get why many people here are so negative about this.
I admit that Microsoft essentially cleans up the mess that they are themselves responsible for in the first place. But if this crude meta tag causes IE6/IE7 et al to be replaced by a more standards compliant browser (IE8) in the near future (due to better user acceptance since it doesn't break all pages), then I reckon it will serve us all in the end.



I agree, as someone who does a lot of web development, I'll take having to add one (stupid) tag at the top rather than having to write every webpage with ugly hacks so it will work with IE.

I wonder though, how will the transition work? I mean, I personally still check all of my webpages in IE6 and hack away to make sure they look decent there. There are still too many people browsing with it to ignore, and when you're making a webpage for a client and getting paid good money to do so, it would be a very bad idea to leave it rendering poorly in any browser with a significant chunk of the market. When the people who paid you to make it start getting complaints, they're not going to want to hear "Well, its not my fault, its really Microsoft's fault for making such a bad browser, and your client's fault for not updating to the newest version." Not if you like getting re-hired at least.

So, I'm resigned to having to develop my sites for buggy IE for at least a few more years. Siiiigh. (This is what happens when competition is stifled! If Microsoft had played fair, we'd never be in this mess in the first place! Bitter much? Hell yes)

Reply Score: 4

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

this is why the meta tag is a good idea.

you and I as devs can write the page and lock it to the browser versions that he client uses, the client can then upgrade the software as they wish and not worry about breaking the pages because the new browsers will be able to switch their rendering to the older render system and keep the intended look of the page.

this will end up being a boon for web developers who have to deliver long term applications to clients.

It will also be a boon for independent web devs who work in the wild of the Internet because when corporations are free to update their browsers with out fear of breaking their investments, the movement to newer, more standards compliant browsers will be accelerated.

Reply Score: 4

firebug
by wanker90210 on Sat 26th Jan 2008 10:29 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

Having a serious addiction to Firebug, I really hope they will make life easier debugging in the new version. I do indeed have their Jscript debugger enabled, and it has saved me several times, but sometimes it would be nice to see the reasoning behind a failed layout.

In Firebug one can se both a computerized CSS but also the brilliant overview of how values are inherited. Naturally seeing the Dom view is priceless too.

I think we all have had our WTF moments where an element is on one side in Safari, FF etc and on the opposite side in IE.

Microsoft's strengths, to me, is their development tools. I hope they would put some efforts in this area in IE; it's obviously just a question of motivation from their part.

Reply Score: 1

RE: firebug
by google_ninja on Sun 27th Jan 2008 16:38 UTC in reply to "firebug"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=E59C3964-6...
http://www.fiddlertool.com/fiddler/

I agree that firebug pwnz all, but with those two you have pretty much everything you could want.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: firebug
by wanker90210 on Tue 29th Jan 2008 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE: firebug"
wanker90210 Member since:
2007-10-26

Brilliant! Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

Yet another hack
by trev on Tue 29th Jan 2008 04:47 UTC
trev
Member since:
2006-11-22

Problem: How to deal with the pages coded to the old hacked rendering engine (instead of being standards compliant)?

MS Solution: Create a new hack.

Justification: We can't break the web

Reality: The only pages affected are the coded only to a non-standard rendering engine, not the bulk of the web anymore.

Alternative Solution: Make IE8 rendering standards compliant. The sites coded to IE specific rendering will have their code fixed to standards compliant rendering or be less useful.

Comments: Each new hack is a delay to actually fix the problem. This particular hack will probably only last a couple more versions of IE. The limiting factor will be the extra code for multiple rendering engines/rules in a browser. This hack also does not address the other major problem IE specific rendered sites face: greater adoption of standards compliant browsers. In the end most of these sites will have to be recoded to standards compliant rendering anyway. Anyone else notice that even the MS sites have been rewritten to render better in more standards compliant browsers like FF?

Reply Score: 1