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Microsoft.com Makes IE8 Incompatibility List

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the my-head-just-asplodered dept.

Microsoft 358

nickull writes "Microsoft is tracking incompatible Web sites for its upcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser and has posted a list that now contains about 2,400 names — including Microsoft.com. Apparently, even though Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'breaking the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE."

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358 comments

Options (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922349)

What if we could just define which rendering engine to use in pages, e.g. IE7 or IE8 in a meta tag...

Re:Options (5, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922485)

or, perhaps, fixing those pages comes to mind...

Re:Options (2, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922553)

Yeah, let me know how telling people to do hours of work for free goes for you....

Re:Options (3, Funny)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922643)

Bill Microsoft, of course.

Re:Options (5, Funny)

itamihn (1213328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922753)

Bill Microsoft, of course.

Bill Gates

Re:Options (5, Funny)

BSDimwit (583028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922665)

Who says anything has to be done for free. Consider this Microsoft's contribution to the economic stimulus package.

Re:Options (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922713)

Calling all kettles, Calling all kettles, Pot to Black do you read me? I Read you Pot - lets go paint the pans, they're starting to get wise.

Another option (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922725)

Or, perhaps Steve Ballmer could quit Microsoft, since he is incompatible with good management, IMHO.

Re:Options (5, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922503)

What if we could just define which rendering engine to use in pages, e.g. IE7 or IE8 in a meta tag...

Oh if we only could! [msdn.com]

Watching the development of IE8, the teams is taking great pains to make sure that site authors and owners have an overall say about how their page is rendered with respect to new IE standards-compliance. You can use both a META tag as well as a HTTP header to tell IE8 to use either the new rendering engine (default) or to fall back to the IE7 standards. Companies can also specify compatibility options using GPOs which should help keep older intranet sites working.

I think it's a pretty good tradeoff between pushing for modern standards and not "breaking the web". Yes, it is largely IE's fault that there are so many non-conforming sites out there, but compatibility is important regardless, especially for "offline" sites which cannot be fixed easily or cheaply (CD help files, embedded web servers, etc). At least by having the new rendering mode the default it will encourage standards compliance (or at least IE's [admittedly improving] version of it.)

Re:Options (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922551)

the IE7 standards

Isn't that a contradiction in terms? The whole problem with IE7 is, it's not standards compliant.

Re:Options (5, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922763)

That all depends on who's standards IE7 is being compared to. IE7 is not standards compliant when compared to the w3 standard, but is VERY compliant when compared to the MS standard.

Re:Options (0)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922901)

Proprietary standards are not standards.

Re:Options (3, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922849)

IE7 doesn't measure up to w3c standards, but it's a de facto "standard" nontheless. People wrote lots of websites to deal with the way IE7 renders pages.

Re:Options (5, Interesting)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922577)

I was testing my *new* site in IE8 yesterday, I'm using the "<!-- if ie" syntax. Works great in IE6 and IE7.

Doesn't work at all in IE8; so I clicked the little compatibility mode button. It rendered it as IE7, but ignored the compatibility markup, totally breaking everything! Whats the point of an IE7 compatibility mode, if it ignores the IE7-specific markup?

That's totally useless when it comes to testing IE8, and hover/dropdown menus still doesn't work correctly; however you try and do them.

Disclaimer: Works perfectly in Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera/IE6/IE7, just not bloody IE8.

Re:Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922877)

Yeah. I feel your pain, but you really just should not ever use those "if ie" flags. You can get things to work across multiple ie versions with out using them. Takes more time, but better in the long run.

Re:Options (2, Interesting)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923079)

I absolutely agree, for some nice looking drop down menus, however - it's impossible to avoid the "if ie" tag. I wish I didn't have to use them (and wish I didn't have to sacrifice decent code for looks and design).

As I mentioned originally though, this is for a drop down menu using ul/li and the hover psudeocode. I can't find any way to do this that works nicer, and avoids using javascript. The "if ie" tag I'm using is non-essential and the site still works without it. However, to make it looks best it's hard to avoid these.

At least its better than some of the old css tricks with invalid code - the "if ie" syntax is W3C valid code.

Re:Options (3, Funny)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923127)

Looks like you just found a reliable way to detect IE8.

This does not compute. (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922845)

You can use both a META tag as well as a HTTP header to tell IE8 to use either the new rendering engine (default) or to fall back to the IE7 standards.

...compatibility is important regardless, especially for "offline" sites which cannot be fixed easily or cheaply (CD help files, embedded web servers, etc). At least by having the new rendering mode the default it will encourage standards compliance (or at least IE's [admittedly improving] version of it.)

This makes no logical sense. If the html is on a cd it can't be changed to include a meta tag to use IE7 format. Yet IE8 format is the default which will break the CD html rendering. You need to be able to switch the browser to IE7 mode default for this to work.

Re:Options (1)

prandal (87280) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923035)

You can.... X-UA-Compatible. 10 mins on Microsoft's IE blog would have told you that....

Fuck IE (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922361)

It can't even render simple fucking HTML properly. Simple little html table, written according to the guidelines. Looks spiff in Firefox, unholy mess in IE. The only way to make things line up properly in IE is to do illegal things that are correctly rendered as incompetent ass in Firefox.

Fuck IE and the modem it was downloaded on.

Re:Fuck IE (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922543)

Any chance you can post a link to a screenshot of this? My day could use a good cheap laugh.

Re:Fuck IE (2, Funny)

hubert.lepicki (1119397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922701)

Sorry, but which screenshot are you asking for? IE8 displaying elements not valid way, or that guy who posted original comment, doing activity with title of his post.

Re:Fuck IE (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922821)

The SS of IE8 managing to fail at a basic task of rendering.

Re:Fuck IE (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922653)

IE does just fine with Vanilla HTML.

CSS on the other hand

Re:Fuck IE (1)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922691)

Playing devil's advocate here for a second:

What do you mean by "simple little html table"? I just tried making a really simple table and it looked pretty much the same... the default font was slightly different but that's to be expected, and doesn't prove incompatibility by itself.

Note: Sorry for responding to a flame, but I didn't have any mod points :-(

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922385)

They are the ones that originally broke the web by not being standards compliant. lol

Re:LOL (1)

madprof (4723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922933)

I think you'll find it was Netscape who did that. They were kings of it.

Where's the story? (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922403)

I don't get it. Why is everyone so surprised by this? Microsoft has been the biggest consumer of their own non-standard web technologies in both an effort to tie services to Windows and to convince other web developers to use their 'neato' technologies.

Has no one ever noticed that Microsoft.com had various effects, direct system access, and other features not found anywhere else on the web? Or that Windows Update only worked through Internet Explorer? Microsoft WANTS to be as non-standard as possible. And if you don't believe me, check out this wonderful document [annevankesteren.nl] penned by none other than Bill Gates himself:

One thing we have got to change in our strategy -- allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.

Re:Where's the story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922575)

And if you don't believe me, check out this wonderful document [annevankesteren.nl] penned by none other than Bill Gates himself:

One thing we have got to change in our strategy -- allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company.

We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities.

HA! Caught them red handed! Oh wait thats from 10 years ago....

Re:Where's the story? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922629)

Oh wait thats from 10 years ago....

So is Microsoft.com...

Re:Where's the story? (5, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922585)

Or that Windows Update only worked through Internet Explorer?

Well, what else do you expect? Windows Update works by taking advantage of a major security hole known as "ActiveX," and IE is the only browser that doesn't block it.

Re:Where's the story? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922661)

Well, what else do you expect?

Um... that was kind of my point. That IE-only compatibility on Microsoft.com is exactly what people should be expecting. But for some reason it's a huge surprise to people that Microsoft.com is incompatible with standards.

Shock and horror.

Re:Where's the story? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922677)

More accurately IE is the only browser that can even use ActiveX

Re:Where's the story? (2, Interesting)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922675)

The real story is not that microsoft.com is on the list, it's all the other sites. Ostensibly this is a list of sites that are not standards compliant, which IE8 will treat in as non-standard so they display correctly. But if you check the list [zdnet.com] you'll find wikipedia.org, google.com, mozilla.com(!!). Are these sites really non-compliant? Or is IE8 just incompatible with them?

Re:Where's the story? (5, Interesting)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922757)

validating Google.com [w3.org] . Don't think google ever tried to be compliant.

Re:Where's the story? (2, Interesting)

TBerben (1061176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922965)

According to the W3C validator Mozilla.org [w3.org] passes with 1 warning, Wikipedia.org [w3.org] passes with flying colours but Google.com [w3.org] fails miserably with 65 errors.

The list seems accurate (2, Informative)

psyclone (187154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923013)

I've checked the main page at a few of them including:
  tom.com
  qq.com
  mozilla.com
  google.com
  wikipedia.org

They seem to either:
  1) Fail w3c [x]html standards
  2) Fail w3c css standards

Google's rarely been standards compliant, failing to publish doctypes. Even if they did, many of their pages are built with javascript which do not create w3c-valid documents either. (But that goes for most javascript toolkits.)

Mozilla uses several "-moz" prefixed CSS attributes that are not w3c either. Even Wikipedia has a minor CSS error.

Comparing websites to a standard depends on the standard. Microsoft doesn't have to write or test IE8 to the W3C's standards, but it would be great if they did. How many of the mainstream browsers even pass the ACID tests (v2 & 3)?

I think that microsoft.com being on the list shows a changing side to Microsoft. They may never be the friend of free and open source software, but everyone would appreciate Microsoft adhering to an open and popular standard. Of course they will always have their own quirks and extras beyond any standard, but raw web development could become pleasant again.

Re:Where's the story? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923179)

Mozilla.com validates as xhtml 1.0 strict, as does wikipedia.org, msn.com, and live.com has 4 minor errors for XHTML 1.0 transitional. Those are the ones I found from validating the major sites of the first couple pages of the list.

Google.com?! (5, Interesting)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922405)

I'm no web developer but how can google.com be on that list as well? It is one of the simplest websites around. A text field, few links and a bit of javascript.

How the hell can a web browser, that let's face it, is probably going to be the dominant web browser, not render that.

No wonder the general population get pissed of with 'the computer's not working again'. These days I tell them that I don't know Windows. I'm going to have to start walking around with a Ubuntu live on USB.

Re:Google.com?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922477)

For starters, no !DOCTYPE.

Re:Google.com?! (5, Funny)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922499)

I'm no web developer but how can google.com be on that list as well? It is one of the simplest websites around. A text field, few links and a bit of javascript.

The problem here is that Microsoft released a list of domains that are not properly supported, and the list contains one entry: "*.*"

Re:Google.com?! (5, Funny)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922597)

...the list contains one entry: "*.*"

At least my intranet site will be ok then :o)

Re:Google.com?! (5, Informative)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922601)

Re:Google.com?! (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922999)

I find that absolutely stunning! Here we have a billion dollar company that prides itself on software and it cannot even get its core bread-and-butter gig correct.

It boggles my mind.

Re:Google.com?! (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923181)

Searching data is Google's core business, nothing more.

I agree Google could do better on their homepage, but that's NOT the same as saying they're not getting this right.

In addition to working well with COMMON browsers, Google works pretty darn well with anything else you throw at it, from phone browsers to lynx to SMS messages.

Gmail -does- have a lot of effort put in it to be portable. Works great on my Nokia N8xx tablet. I'm happy.

On the other hand, many Microsoft.com pages render in Firefox with menu links being the SAME color as the background. :-/

Re:Google.com?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922759)

Well seeing as their simplest page, http://www.google.com/ is a mess of javascript and invalid html (http://validator.w3.org/check?verbose=1&uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F), it's not all that surprising. But they probably didn't mean the main page.

Google should win a prize (2, Interesting)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922839)

It's funny you mention that. I have always been amazed at Google's capacity for error. In 4 lines of HTML, on the very simple page you mention, Google has managed to fit 65 errors and 8 warnings. Sibling poster has a link to the w3c validator.

Re:Google.com?! (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922975)

Just look at the source. I guess they are optimizing for size - makes sense when you consider the enourmous number of page loads. Similarly, they use one-letter javascript variables and very short function names a lot.

Re:Google.com?! (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923121)

True, they compress the html, css, and javascript output, but they do it with some "compression" software. However, that does not mean the said compression/html/css generating software can't generate W3C valid documents.

Re:Google.com?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923131)

Open google.com in lynx and say that again.

Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (5, Insightful)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922409)

The worst thing on the internet is a site that only works in IE. I just ran across one the other day that displayed nothing but a blank screen in Firefox and Chrome. There are many more that have crazy formatting issues in anything but IE. So, this is a good way to force these sites to update from their 1997 crapfest to the standardized modern web.

Re:Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922549)

I'm no fan of Microsoft but I have to tell you they are very smart (though also very Evil).

When all things are equal, they win. They have spent the past 20 years getting ahead just by being the "default" choice.

Re:Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922779)

As a very smart yet very evil person working for Microsoft, I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

Re:Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922563)

Thats why I have 3 browsers (Safari, IE, Firefox, split across my Mac and PC). One browser cannot do it all. Gmail doesnt work properly on IE, my companys web version of outlook doesnt work on Safari, certain sites REQUIRE IE, etc.

Re:Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (1, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922751)

Just install IE Tab on your Windows FF and be done with it.

Re:Breaking IE-specific sites is a GOOD thing (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922623)

I'm subscribed to a site that pays me to fill out surveys. All surveys from one, specific client of theirs hang on the first page in Firefox, under Linux. Curious, I stopped the page and checked the source. It's trying endlessly to load Real Player Gold, and I use a Linux plugin instead.

Rock and a Hard Place (4, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922417)

So slashdot, what should it be?

Break standards and keep compatibility? Or break compatibility and be standards compliant?

Either way they'll be unpopular it appears. At least in the short-term.

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922491)

One of the two will make them unpopular in the long term.

They've done neither. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922669)

Last I checked, IE8 was still far behind everyone else in standards compliance, and that's with the same standards (XHTML, CSS, JavaScript) that have been with us for a decade. That says nothing of the brand-new standards people are inventing (HTML5, SVG/canvas) which IE hasn't even touched.

I place the blame squarely on IE for the amount of Flash we have now.

And yet, they're breaking enough compatibility that Google.com (and Microsoft.com) won't render properly. Which means they've chosen to make IE8 another IE7 -- break tons of compatibility, probably introduce tons of new UI for no good reason, yet still be the least compliant browser in existence.

The smartest thing for them to do would be to break compatibility entirely, and start with something that's gotten it right -- Webkit or Gecko.

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (2, Insightful)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922781)

It needn't have been a rock and a hard place. If they hadn't deliberately flouted standards to start with they would not have a problem now. Web developers, and the people that pay them, would have been much happier over the last ten years.

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922787)

Or 3) use Webkit and get both standards and compatibility.

There's nothing, other than Not Invented Here Syndrome, stopping them. Plus, they'd gain back some of the epic amounts of geek credibility they lost during the OOXML debacle, et al.

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923195)

they'd gain back some of the epic amounts of geek credibility they lost during the OOXML debacle

Some. The OOXML debacle is only the latest in a very long line of typically Microsoft practices.

Their geek cred has fallen a long way. Just as they would have to do everything wrong for over a decade before money was an issue, they'd have to do everything right for over a decade to earn back the respect they've lost for pretty much their entire existence.

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922813)

I don't know which answer is the right one, but I do know that we should use exclamation points as often as possible, without regard to their appropriateness!!!

Re:Rock and a Hard Place (1)

Dylnuge (1482201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923001)

The compatibility issues are due to them having non-standards compliant code in the first place. Who is Microsoft to tell the world to use something different then what the W3C defines, and further, who are web developers to listen to them? (Other then the largest software company in the world, of course). I'm thinking the list is designed to be a shock list, to make (uninformed) people think that standards compliance is a bad thing, and the evil W3C needs to be stopped (similar to Microsoft-backed SCO claiming GPL was unconstitutional? http://www.linux.com/feature/32357 [linux.com] ). Most likely, it's a bluff. I can't imagine Microsoft releasing a browser that doesn't fully work with their own website, nevertheless Google and the others. That would piss off more people then just releasing a non-standard browser would. In the end, they will probably keep their non-standard technology like Active X and the like. It's going to be up to the website developers to tell Microsoft to RTFM (the one published by the W3C) - by not using their archaic functions and making websites that follow standards, and not just Microsoft imposed rules.

Compliant? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922425)

Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'breaking the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE.

Well then, why even try, right?

Broken or not... (3, Insightful)

innerweb (721995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922427)

If finally coming into compliance is what they are doing, then, Duh! By default the sites that are built for the not-compatible versions are going to be broken. I think it is wonderful. If Microsoft comes into compliance and renders web pages by the book (the W3C standard), then it is a great thing for all. Having broken sites is the price that companies pay for jumping on the bandwagon when they had the choice to do the right thing or not.

Consider broken sites a small price to pay going forward to gain real compatibility and a much better web. Less time spent developing around the broken browsers means more time spent building true content - maybe even more time on better security.

InnerWeb

Re:Broken or not... (3, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922459)

Right on, maybe we'll see fewer sites coming back saying that you have to be using IE or it won't work. Trust me lots of places especially banks still do this.

Poll time! (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922433)

So apparently people use IE8. I'd be interested to see a poll of ./ user's browser of choice (or lack of one).

- IE8
- IE - Firefox
- Opera
- Konqueror
- Safari
- Lynx
- Who cares as long as it works
- I browse CowboyNeal

Re:Poll time! (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922463)

it didn't like my <8 :(
The second option was meant to be IE<8

Re:Poll time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922567)

no emacs?

Re:Poll time! (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922617)

Re:Poll time! (2, Insightful)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922711)

No time wasting options = not a real poll

Re:Poll time! (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923017)

Not done, that was almost a year ago...

Since then, I have stopped using IE and Firefox entirely... as i'm sure more have adopted it (well Firefox at least).

P.S. my preferred browser in that poll, and still is Opera.

Re:Poll time! (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923111)

I use netscape navigator you insensitive clod!

(Ok, well I use Firefox now, but I *used* to use NN!!)

This would be great if... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922451)

This would be great if it meant that IE actually were standards compliant, but it's not. And that's the annoying thing. Now I am going to have to test in Firefox, Safari, IE8 and 7 (forget 6, sorry dudes. I also don't test Firefox 2 now, even though it runs differently than 3 in some cases. Or Chrome, or Opera. There's a limit to my testing patience. I hate testing actually).

Eh, whatever. At least it gives a chance to mock Microsoft. I thumb my chin at you, Microsoft!!

Wishful thinking (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922467)

So does this mean my boss(es) will let me stop fussing over IE6? PLEASE?!?!?!

Not so much, I'm sure.

Oh great (3, Insightful)

moria (829831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922507)

Now web developers will need to test two more assuredly incompatible browsers, IE8 standards mode and IE8 compatibility mode!

Re:Oh great (0, Redundant)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922611)

As I mentioned above - why does the IE8 compatibility model (which renders much like IE7) completely ignore the IE7 specific markup?

Is it not meant to render like IE7? What kinda compatibility is it for? We web developers need IE-specific markup (e.g. "&lt!-- if ie") for fixing IE8, and probably again for IE8's compatibility mode.

I am not impressed.

The web is already broken thanks to IE (3, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922527)

Microsoft's stance that fixing IE will break the web is counter intuitive propaganda. They broke the web when they failed to keep IE's standards compliance up to date, and since they strong-armed themselves to the top of the browser share pile, much of the web is built to satisfy their flawed implementation.

MS is giving that chunk of the web an incentive to fix itself... it's already broken.

If MS would approach this with some humility and logic, more people would understand that it's not the sites that are broken, it's the blue E.

MS made their own internet (standards) (5, Informative)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922557)

About ten years ago, as Web-1.0 was beginning, I decided to learn to write HTML for a personal website. At that time, MS released a beta program (I forget its name) to automate HTML authoring and I signed up, downloaded and installed it. Then I found its output while great for IE, did not render pages well in Netscape or even Opera. So I uninstalled it and wrote with WordPerfect-7, correcting the code by hand.

Some weeks later, MS emailed me (the beta program, of course, required registration with an email address) with a special offer: a free year-long subscription to an upcoming MS magazine if I would document my use of a feature on my home web page that worked under IE but not under Netscape -- that is, I would get a worthless pile of MS propaganda every month if I would break web standards to the benefit of IE.

It was always MS' plan to dominate ("embrace and extend" was what is was called then) the internet.

I believe if there was one event that caused them to change their minds and become web-standard compliant it was their losing fight with the EU monopoly courts and their punishment: to become standards-compliant with respect to APIs, networking and, apparently, at least in MS' mind, the internet as well.

Perhpas MS could take a feature from the Opera browser -- user agent spoofing, and let IE-8 users impersonate another brand so they can view standards-compliant sites as the designer intended them to be seen.

Standards-Compliance Practically Useful After All (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922587)

``the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work correctly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE.''

Which wouldn't be a Bad Thing if the sites were also standards compliant. However, it seems that I have been part of a very small minority of people who have cared to make them that way in the past decade. Even today, the prevalent attitude seems to be that you "support" one or two browsers, instead of keeping to standards and having your site Just Work in every decent browser.

Re:Standards-Compliance Practically Useful After A (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922727)

However, it seems that I have been part of a very small minority of people who have cared to make them that way in the past decade

So now we really know what happened to all that Webvan money!

Sorry, but I'm just like one of those people that worked to be compatible with the most popular browsers. I know that in some abstract sense it might be good, but I see no reason to alienate the best part of an audience.

Re:Standards-Compliance Practically Useful After A (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922859)

I agree. When I create web sites I test that they work in Firefox, Safari, and Opera (and yes, IE, when I feel up to it) and I always check that they validate as proper XHTML.

Big Organization = this kind of thing happens (2, Insightful)

zindorsky (710179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922591)

This is just a simple case of The Left Hand Doesn't Know What The Right Hand Is Doing.

Seriously, in any organization of Microsoft's size, these type of things will happen.

I'll bet that the guys developing IE8 really want to make it 100% standards-complaint, but the web developers dudes didn't get the memo. (Or more sinisterly, there are forces in Redmond whose interests do not lie that way.)

Re:Big Organization = this kind of thing happens (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922709)

No, they KNOW what they are doing. It's the reach-around/reach-in-front. They've just interlocked their knuckles and are putting more effort into the arc-work. Rather, they've been so BUSY with interlocked knuckles that they have become accustomed to that stance, and any new posture just hurts too much to feel good.

Firefox and Opera work 99.9% 0f the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922647)

IF Firefox and Opera can handle 99.9% of web sites that are IE7 compatible, why can't IE8?

Re:Firefox and Opera work 99.9% 0f the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26922733)

IF Firefox and Opera can handle 99.9% of web sites that are IE7 compatible, why can't IE8?

B'cause the page determines it is IE, and displays the non-standards-compliant page written for IE

That's why.

Re:Firefox and Opera work 99.9% 0f the time (2, Informative)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923021)

MSIE need to change it's UserAgent ID and CC-rules. Name themselves something new and be done with that. Simple as that.

Fixed that for you! (3, Insightful)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922775)

"Apparently, even though Microsoft's IE8 team is doing the 'right' thing by finally making IE more standards-compliant, they are risking 'fixing the Web' because the vast majority of Web sites are still written to work incorrectly with previous, non-standards-compliant versions of IE."

Thank you, Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922789)

Microsoft had two choices:
  1. Continue rendering sites in the same broken way as previous versions of IE, making life a real pain for web developers.
  2. Render sites properly, making things better in the long run, but taking a public relations hit in the process.

Amazingly, they chose the second option. Those of us who understand why this is important should be applauding right now.

Re:Thank you, Microsoft! (1)

MazzThePianoman (996530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923099)

I agree but I doubt they will follow through with it. It is more likely they will rely on some kind of marker you can put in sites designed to be standards compliant. Honestly that would be fine by me as long as they at least force users to upgrade out of IE6.

Re:Thank you, Microsoft! (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923175)

So they are basically creating a VERY different browser. I bet if you did a spoof in IE8 of the headers and said something like Mozilla, rendering would be better, eh?

So perhaps Microsoft should take this opportunity to rename the browser? Change the user agent and browser reported back to our code which handles browsers?

I just added iPhone routines to some pages to render the footers better. I'm ready to add Microsoft Explorer 8 MSNIE to my list of what gets the NS/MZ pages. Those who aren't would have probably a 50/50 chance of sending an unknown browser to html/js et al that would render.

Ah, the irony... (1)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922791)

And directly above the article is an ad for Google Chrome. Also, I only flipped through the first bit of the list really quickly, but I'm pretty sure I saw a few MSN domains... That's sad that they can't get their own sites to work on their own browser.

Easy fix (5, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922851)

The problem is that many sites will check if the browser is IE, and then do various workarounds. So Microsoft is stuck: they can fix the browser, but then the sites have to be modified to say (if browser is IE, but version 7 then do the hack)

I think the only good workaround would be for Microsoft to change their user/agent string so it reports itself as Firefox :)

Incompatible (1)

funkioto (963979) | more than 5 years ago | (#26922959)

As long as Windows 7 doesn't break compatibility with Firefox then I'm happy.

Non-standard = bad coding = non-standard (1)

MazzThePianoman (996530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923075)

Part of the problem is that a lack of standards compliance promotes bad coding. IE has a habit of trying to figure out and pass bad code and as a result there are a lot of people out there that fail to even try to validate their work.

On the flip-side some of workarounds to make IE render the same as other browsers are so bad they require hacks that make the code no longer standards compliant.

I cringe to think how many hours of development time has been wasted because of IE6 alone. I have yet to have any major problems with my coding with IE7 but a fully standards compliant browser would go a long way.

Who can trust this list? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26923167)

In the list, there's "mozilla.com"... but...

w3.org mozilla [w3.org]

Maybe, Microsoft didn't want to have "microsoft.com" all alone...

Isn't that something to be proud of? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26923189)

I used to block IE because it was not worth the extra work and feature removal, only to have the noobs of the Internet (which were not in my target group anyway, I'm a software developer) telling you your site was buggy.

Now I do not block them, because most of them simply do not know what they are talking about. And it is wrong to insult them, for being tricked by someone else.
So I tell them they got tricked, and how they can remove all the limitations, make their life easier, and get even more good stuff for free, and without hassle.
I even have a e-mail template for it. I only get positive responses.

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