• 200804 Mar

    Yesterday, Dean Hachamovitch announced that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what they announced initially which prompted a huge amount of feedback (good and bad) within the web community.

    Dean goes on to mention that the change of heart was due to MS recently publishing a set of Interoperability Principles and suggesting that “…IE8’s default is a demonstration of the interoperability principles in action”.

    Full blog post

    You can skip to the end and leave a response.

  • Comments

    • 01.

      Cool stuff, that’s really a step ahead.

    • 02.

      No doubt Opera’s actions (anti-trust filing to the EU) had more swing than people will give them credit for…

      Good news, but still, why do we have to fight with MS to get them on the right path? I’ll keep the thanks & congratulations for their news of interoperating with SVG methinks.

    • 03.

      Its a very good decision, anyone who dont want standard mode should just remove the doctype :)

    • 04.

      Thank god, I was having nightmares already…

    • 05.

      Cool. I still think this backwards compatibility feature will make IE more bloated than it needs to be as it will have to maintain old rendering standards, but who knows, maybe it will work out.

    • 06.

      jive: it may make IE more bloated, but on the other hand, it may help speeding up its adoption rate (as fewer bad sites will be broken, thanks to the meta to force IE7 behavior, resulting in fewer people going back to an older version).
      So in the end, I don’t care whether IE8 is nicely optimized or bloated, as long as it can render valid pages properly, therefore making my life easier as a web developer. :p

    • 07.

      I think the most important thing to remember about this decision is that all sites will, by default, be rendered in IE8 using it’s standards compliance mode. The effect is that sites that have been coded poorly (for IE/7 exclusively) will break, and if I dare say it, those sites won’t have a ‘savvy’ web developer behind them that will be aware that the rendering type can actually be changed, to prevent his/her sites from breaking.

      My personal opinion is that if standards are going to continue to develop at the rate they are, MS would have had to sooner or later ‘bite the bullet’ and release a browser that is in line with other vendors in regards to standards compliancy – although it will break poorly coded sites, we as developers can’t keep on having to take additional measures to accommodate inferior browsers.

    • 08.

      I am glad to see that IE is taking a step in the right direction, my only concern would be them not going far enough. Hopefully they fully embrace this and develop a browser that can compete with what Opera, for example, is doing as far as standards compliance goes. As mentioned above, if sites break in a modern standards compliant browser then they were obviously poorly designed to begin with.

      I think it is very exciting to see browsers start to embrace standards and I definitely look forward to the future of design when there will no longer be any need for hacks or bloated code just to get the job done.

      I hope IE does not fall short on this, I really don’t think they can afford to considering what other browsers are doing, despite having the market share dominated at this point, they are not a favorite of designers, and I think it is time they acknowledge that and make the necessary changes, I am glad to see they are stepping in the right direction, now we just need to see how far they actually go.

    • 09.

      I tried the beta version of IE8 today. I was surprised to see that every little bit more complex site I’ve created had some small rendering issues. I always use XHTML Strict 1.0 when I code my pages and validate them, but still there were a few errors, even on a page that validates as XHTML 1.1. Either these errors are bugs in the browser, after all it’s only beta, or I’m doing something wrong when writing my code.

      Anyway, I didn’t even know IE8 was being developed until a week ago or so, I think IE7 was a great step forward (haven’t so far had to use any hacks to make sites look like they’re supposed to) and it seems like IE8 could actually be in the same league as Firefox, Opera and such.

    • 10.

      @Sam: “Either these errors are bugs in the browser, after all it’s only beta, or I’m doing something wrong when writing my code.” Leave your code as it is- at this stage (Beta Pre 1) in it’s life-cycle, I’d only recommend using the browser for evaluation purposes. The guys at IE8 will no doubt have a lot of bugs to fix between now and when it goes to general release.

      My personal opinion is that IE8 won’t even be close to Opera/Webkit etc in terms of CSS support, even when it does goe to RC.

      Please let IE prove me wrong!


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