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Microsoft Insists IE7 is Standards Compliant

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the believe-when-it-renders-stuff-right dept.

389

ReadWriteWeb writes "Microsoft's Chris Wilson, the Group Program Manager for IE addresses the issue of whether IE7 is CSS and Web standards compliant. Last week a Slashdot post claimed that IE7 was basically non-compliant with CSS standards. But Chris Wilson says that isn't true and that standards improvements is a big part of IE7. He admits that there were a ton of bugs from IE6 that have caused web developers a lot of pain, but says that IE7 will address those and be standards compliant. He goes as far to say that IE7 supports Web standards even at the expense of more backwards compatibility."

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cut MS some slack (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918830)

In addition to trying to be standards compliant Microsoft is dancing as fast as they can copying and adding the features virtually all other browsers have had around for years now.

From the article, MS (Chris Wilson) spots their compliance progress somewhere between 50 and less than 90%: Tough question, in terms of stating that we really do fully support the CSS 2.1 spec, it's hard to tell because there is a bias to any analysis. We're certainly somewhere between those two... I don't think we're at 90%, I think we're above 50% though...

Not sure where that puts them in terms of compliance compared to the other browsers, but I'm happy to stick with Firefox for many reasons, recommend anything but IE7 to anyone for many reasons, and probably stay that way. IE7 from Microsoft is looking like a little too little too late.

In the meantime, Microsoft almost seems tentative in their position about standards compliance versus backwards compatibility. In parts of the interview, Chris talks about trying not to alienate IE6 users (his mother) with changes to the "standards" behavior making IE6 sites not work or work differently, while in other parts of the interview he discusses being compliant "at the expense of backwards compatibility".

I don't know what they are doing with that, I'm not sure they do either. They made that bed. Now they're sleeping in it.

No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918874)

MS doesn't deserve slack.

There's only one standards compliance test that Microsoft has ever aimed to pass and that's their own.

Re:cut MS some slack (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918884)

IE7 from Microsoft is looking like a little too little too late.

You know, I thought the same about the time IE 4 was in Beta.

Re:cut MS some slack (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918970)

Not sure where that puts them in terms of compliance compared to the other browsers, but I'm happy to stick with Firefox for many reasons, recommend anything but IE7 to anyone for many reasons, and probably stay that way. IE7 from Microsoft is looking like a little too little too late.

You mean the same way that Firefox/Mozilla was too little, too late after Netscape Communicator 4.x? The truth is that it is never too little, too late in the software world. If Microsoft delivers with IE7, and that's a big if, then they will likely regain some market share.

Re:cut MS some slack (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918977)

He also say One of the things I said in my post is that I think it's very difficult, if not impossible, to have an analysis of exactly where we are as a number with supporting or complying with CSS - given that there isn't an official test suite that exhaustively tests whether you comply with the standard or not. And any analysis you can do is going to be somewhat biased.
 
Surely it is not hard to create some test pages to test CSS I could whip up a few in an afternoon. If you don't like the acid2 test, then create some of your own pages. Maybe they will even let you host them on microsoft.com - which is a pig-awful site anyway.

Re:cut MS some slack (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919176)

Read what you quoted again. He's not saying that they don't have testcases, what he's saying is that you can't objectively quantify how far they have to go.

Re:cut MS some slack (1)

SgtPepper (5548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918979)

There is, of course, quite a difference between being backwards compatible with regards to the end-user experience and being backwards compatible with the legion of web developers out there. I'm sure the first statement was for the former, and the second one for the latter.

Re:cut MS some slack (-1, Offtopic)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919022)

no slack for the monopoly

Microsoft is an illegal monopoly, with billions of dollars of cash in reserve that has refused to play fair.

Re:cut MS some slack (2, Interesting)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919071)

recommend anything but IE7 to anyone for many reasons
IE7 is about a billion times better than IE6. I don't know how anyone can stand it, yet I find IE7 rather tolerable for those few, IE-required situations. If someone ignores you when you talk about Firefox, you should recommend them IE7. Anything is better than IE6.

In Other News..... (5, Funny)

Azeron (797264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919175)

Satan insists AntiChrist 50 - 90% like Jesus.... except better.

Re:cut MS some slack (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919228)

Microosoft's figures sounds about right from a CSS standard report I saw elsewhere.
It indicated something like ~60% for IE, approx. 90% for Firefox, and most for Opera.
Unfortunately I don't recall the URL, so that's the sloppy figures you'll get from me. ;-)

Quote from his blog (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919275)

In the meantime, Microsoft almost seems tentative in their position about standards compliance versus backwards compatibility.

Emphasis mine, changing the meaning a bit, but bear with me. If you read Chris Wilson's blog here [msdn.com] , then you can see the following quote:

It's been frustrating, though, to be continually identified as the personal screw-up responsible for IE not supporting more standards today, when it's actually because of my personal influence that CSS is IMPLEMENTED in IE.

Again, emphasis mine (not the caps, though, just the boldface). So - if it weren't for this Chris guy, CSS wouldn't even have been implemented in IE. If he's right, that says a lot about Microsoft. I tend to believe him here.

Re:cut MS some slack (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919331)

Microsoft IE7 clones firefox (mostly in looks department), yet not even 1% as good. This forces people to use this new interface. Stubern users who stick with IE6 are forced to use this new browser look, and being so similar to firefox, they are more likley to switch to the real thing - Firefox. Result? = Microsoft makes big mistake.

Re:cut MS some slack (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919366)

In addition to trying to be standards compliant

Microsoft has always said one thing and done another. No one will know whether or not IE7 is standards compliant until it is released.

Acid Test (5, Interesting)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918844)

I wonder if the browser will pass the Acid Test [webstandards.org] ....

Re:Acid Test (0)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918902)

That's exactly my thought too. I hope that they have improved this just recently, because the most recent test I have seen, dated three months back or so, showed the following results [www.dgx.cz] . That poor smiley's up for a horrible massacre.

On the other hand, Microsoft has always chosen its own path with Internet Explorer and even occationally claimed that IE4, IE5 and IE6 was complying with standards. Now that they admit it wasn't, perhaps we'll see some improvements. Question is, do they use Acid for measurement?

No, they don't (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919116)

Question is, do they use Acid for measurement?

No. [msdn.com] (search for "acid" on that page)

Re:Acid Test (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919300)

Question is, do they use Acid for measurement?

No, but the design team dropped a few tabs.

Re:Acid Test (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918906)

MS has said that it will not pass the Acid2 test.

Re:Acid Test (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919012)

Passing the acid test would be a nice feat, but not even everybody's darling, the Gecko browser family, passes it. And it isn't really necessary. IE7 does most of the things right that webdevelopers have always wanted to use but couldn't because IE6 owns the market. The box model implementation is sane now, IE7 does semitransparent PNGs (without requiring non-standard hacks), it supports :hover on everything, and so on. I've recently designed a new site from scratch and tested only with Firefox. Then I loaded the site with IE7 and I didn't have to change a bit. Right now the deficiencies of CSS itself are the biggest hurdle, second only to the legacy browsers.

I'm mad at Microsoft for leaving us in the cold for so long, but even though I hate the IE7 user interface, I think the rendering engine really is good enough. Just make sure that IE7 gets pushed to each and every IE6 user out there. No bullshit like restricting it to Vista or XPSP2 please.

Re:Acid Test (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919129)

I just ran the test in the latest firefox and the smilie face wasn't complete and parts of it was elsewhere on the page. So not even it is passing it.

Re:Acid Test (4, Informative)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919078)

to quote from the article
"I said on the IE Blog that in IE7 we were not going to pass the Acid2 test"
He goes on to note that a number of the things used in the acid2 test are to not likey to be high on their priorities and would be focusing on more widely used CSS.

Re:Acid Test (5, Insightful)

porneL (674499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919188)

number of the things used in the acid2 test are to not likey to be high on their priorities and would be focusing on more widely used CSS

"Widely used CSS" is that tiny subset that works in IE6. Ofcourse nobody bothers using display:table-cell nor generated content when it fails in browser that 70%-90% visitors use, but these are very useful features.

Re:Acid Test (1)

czehp (156215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919229)

According to The IEBlog [msdn.com] IE7 will not pass Acid2 when it ships.

Re:Acid Test (1)

eric0213 (904860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919299)

Why should we care if a browser passes the Acid Test? The Acid Test has nothing to do with standards because Acid itself is invalid syntax.

Re:Acid Test (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919367)

I'll bite. The acid test is invalid syntax because the standards which are tested against also define behaviour in presence of syntax errors. The test checks if the browser renders documents as defined in the standard, not just if it renders proper documents as defined in the standard. IMHO browsers should simply reject broken documents or at least give a big fat red warning each and every time, but that's not how the standards are written.

Re:Acid Test (4, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919314)

The post referred to in the article talks about how the developer thinks that the Acid2 Test is biased because the person who made it also has a page that says using IE is dangerous.
My thought is if IE people think that the Acid2 test is biased against IE then why don't they create their own standards compliant test page that works better in IE7(beta) than in Firefox or Opera?
There are tons of non-standards compliant IE-only webpages out there. It would be interesting to see a standards complaiant page where IE works better than Firefox or Opera.

No problem... Right? (0)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918856)

So... What's the big deal here? It should be easy enough to test the final IE 7 when it's released and then nail MS to the wall when it proves to be faulty (which you know it will be). MS will probably play their little game of 'let's support just enough to get by, but not so much that AJAX and CSS will cream us'. Still, there's not too much room to wiggle here. They either support the standards or they don't. Simple!

Problem is even bigger than MS, it's monoculture. (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918961)

Unfortunately not so simple. As long as web developers keep targeting their sites towards IE, it's a de-facto standard, regardless of its actual standards compliance. There are far too many sites out there which are broken when used on other browsers, because they are designed to work with the braindead way that IE wants things to be.

As long as one browser has such an overwhelming amount of marketshare, there will always be the temptation for the developers of that browser to do things differently than anybody else, and developers will neglect standards in order to make their site look a little better / flashier / faster than the competition, when viewed on that browser, by (ab)using its idiosyncrasies.

Microsoft is particularly bad at this, and has a history of being a poor citizen with almost every product that they've made, but ultimately I think you'd have the same problem with any browser that had 90+% marketshare. Since no piece of software is perfect, even a browser designed to be standards-compliant that was used that heavily, would have bugs in its rendering/interpretation of pages, which developers would begin to target, at the expense of other browsers.

Part of the problem is the developers who sacrifice standards compatibility, but the bigger problem is just one of having a monoculture to begin with. I'd prefer that Firefox have 90% marketshare than IE, because FF has a better security and compliance record, but I'd prefer that four browsers each have 25% than any single one have more than that.

Re:Problem is even bigger than MS, it's monocultur (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919264)

The good news is that Firefox is still gaining marketshare, and in certain areas it's pretty high up, too... and the users are starting to demand rightly-done websites.

So it's moving....

Re:No problem... Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919058)

They either support the standards or they don't. Simple!

By that reasoning, Mozilla doesn't support any standards either. For example, HTML 4.01 compliance bugs [mozilla.org] .

It is hard to measure the level of compliance - you could generate an implementation that supports 100% of the properties in a spec by themselves, but they didn't interact well, and might score highly in an artificial test suite, but drive you mad in the real world. On the other hand, another implementation might do 75% of properties in a spec, but have them work in every edge case you can think of.

So, no, it's not simple, and supporting a standard is not just a case of "yes" or "no"

Sounds familiar (5, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918862)

"I'll respect you in the morning."
"I won't *** in your mouth."
"I'll pull out in time."
"We're gonna make this the most secure OS ever!"

Even Bush knows, "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, not gonna happen."

Guaranteed, 100%, that IE7 will be less standards-compliant than either Firefox or Opera.

Re:Sounds familiar (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918901)

This is Slashdot. Your references are going to go right over everyone's heads.

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918914)

"I'll respect you in the morning." "I won't *** in your mouth." "I'll pull out in time." The three lines /. users are least likely to utter. The fourth: "Wow, MS actually made a pretty useable browser."

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918983)

It's brilliant that on /. that's informative not funny. Yep, kids, write those lines down - who knows one day you may even use them yourselves. Maybe.

Re:Sounds familiar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918989)

"I'll respect you in the morning."
"I won't *** in your mouth."
"I'll pull out in time."
"We're gonna make this the most secure OS ever!"


What I say instead (I tend to be pretty honest):

"I'm gonna fuck you again in the morning"
"You better eat my sperm cum you jizz-guzzling spunk eater"
"I had a vasectomy, the last thing I want is children with your fucked up genes, you stupid whore. Now spread your legs, bitch"
"We're gonna make an OS that shoves its cock up your ass, and then shove that shit-covered cock in your mouth and then shit in your eyes and then cum in your mouth."

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919215)

Even Bush knows that it's "fool me once, shame on you".

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919324)

No, I'm quite sure he doesn't (or at least didn't). As quoted here [whitehouse.gov] :
"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

Re:Sounds familiar (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919390)

Ooops. GP was right, Bush did at least get the first part right, with only a little stumble.

"no official CSS test suite"??? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918867)

Then WTF is http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/ [w3.org] ??

Re:"no official CSS test suite"??? (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919033)

Please quote properly. The full quote is "there isn't an official test suite that exhaustively tests whether you comply with the standard or not." And that is true. A test suite cannot tell you if an implementation is compliant or to what degree an implementation is compliant. It can only point out particular things that are broken. If you're thinking of dividing the number of passed tests over the number of total tests, that still won't tell you how compliant an implementation is because it will be weighted according to the number of test cases for each particular language feature. If you weight them differently, then you let your own opinions about what is important into the analysis, which is why he followed up with "And any analysis you can do is going to be somewhat biased."

Re:"no official CSS test suite"??? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919263)

So, in other words, what we thought he was saying, which would support his position, is blatantly false, but what he really did say doesn't support his position at all, because it's true by definition, and not talking about what we...

Fucking marketers.

Re:"no official CSS test suite"??? (3, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919250)

That's actually kinda neat. So far, of the seven tests I've run, Firefox 1.5.0.6 has passed one of them.

For the curious:

Some time when I have more time, I'll have to go through all of them and see how Firefox does.

Re:"no official CSS test suite"??? (3, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919283)

You see, that's only for the W3C CSS standard. There is no official test suite for the Microsoft CSS standard.

Pesky problem (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918869)

IE7 still has the pesky problem, even after all the patches and rewrites, of being Internet Explorer from Microsoft.

Re:Pesky problem (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918910)

I use IE so intermittenly, and only for 2 reasons.
1. I set up my spam gmail account as the homepage on IE so when I want to check that account I just load IE.
2. Some web sites are still screwed up enough to not work in FireFox.

But I will say this, I have Windows XP x64 and thier IE x64 is pretty frickin amazing. It runs extremely quick (pulling from cache) and is really well done. Although there is still the pesky problem of all the plugins not working (flash, shockwave, video, java) and that is a killer for me.

Standards Compliance at Cost (4, Interesting)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918882)

One major issue is that many sites do not render as nicely in IE7 as they do in IE6. This is going to be a headache for IT managers and marketing managers for quite some time...

and for the love of money, think of all the FrontPage sites...

Re:Standards Compliance at Cost (5, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918944)

if they hadn't been retards and used microsoft-hax and used standards compliant multi-browser html/css and javascript they wouldn't have a problem.

in otherwords: it's their own fucking fault, you code to a vendor-specific set in a non-vendor-specific world you're subject to the whims of that vendor

Re:Standards Compliance at Cost (1)

eric0213 (904860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919341)

Does anybody else see the irony of a post modded "Insightful" using the word "retards"?

Re:Standards Compliance at Cost (1)

pkulak (815640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919405)

Yeah, because my boss loves it when I tell him that all we need to do is get all our users to switch browsers. Personally, I'm leaving all my IE 6 hacky crap alone. If it breaks in IE 7, oh well, it'll work great in Firefox.

Re:Standards Compliance at Cost (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918973)

Good riddence to bad rubbish. Frontpage is finally EOLed anyway.

In other news.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15918885)

Microsoft changes Web Standards to comply with IE7.

The irony (1, Interesting)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918894)

The irony is, that whether you like it or not, when you control over 80% of the browser market, you are the standard. That they are willing(?) to try to accommodate other standards, is really a sop.

Re:The irony (4, Interesting)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918963)

Except that it isn't over 80% any more. The latest stats I saw (July 2006 I think) put IE at 73-75% and falling - still very high, but not nearly as dominant. Certain markets (universities, for instance) have much, much lower rates.

IE7 may change that, as many recent Firefox converts may switch back when it comes through as a security release. The real wildcard though is just how much marketshare Apple is really capturing - IE will never again be available for Mac, and if they (Apple) are to be believed, they had something like 15-20% of the laptop sales marketshare last quarter (or month...too many stats!), and are growing. It may be a case of too little, too late, but with Vista and Leopard we could see a swing in browser marketshare not seen since IE trounced Netscape.

Re:The irony (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919294)

Don't count on it, firefox downloads are just that, downloads. I've downloaded it several times myself and I am one guy. How many as a percentage are actively on the web at any given time. Apple? I can't figure out their marketing. They do great on the iPod by taking a mediocre mp3 player and marketing it into a fad. On their computer side... well I saw an commercial yesterday for example. Apple guy and Bill Gates guy. Gates guy says, well, I do spreadsheets, word processing and goes on to describe workie stuff. Apple goes on about movies, music etc. Well, both computers do both, and while Apple may do it easier for most people, they never mention it. Instead you get this commercial that boils down to... PC = Work, Apple = Fun, or PC = Tool, Apple = Toy. Stupid I think. As for their sales, while up, they are still minor really. The thing is the corporate buys work in cycles, and they are in a lull. When they start the next cycle, all other shares will fall like a stone. Look for that about two years after vista comes out. Companies buy way more than the home market ever will, which is why embedded grahics are so... popular. I personally want a more level playing field between systems and OS's because that is what creates real universal standards. As long as one side has a huge advantage, why bother with what helps the other guy.

Re:The irony (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919315)

Except that it isn't over 80% any more. The latest stats I saw (July 2006 I think) put IE at 73-75% and falling

75% is optimistic (toward the opposition). Figures vary wildly and the only people likely to know the true figures are Microsoft from Windows Update logs (although I guess a few Firefox users might use WU using the IETab extension).

Whatever it may be, IE7 is a superficially a pretty solid browser, and if they truly have proven to nail security issues after release and go on to finish up CSS2/3, XHTML, SVG etc support in IE8. There won't be any further migration, infact the Firefox 2.0 release might give Microsoft an opportunity given that it won't anything exciting to the average Firefox user.

What irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919096)

If web standards were a popularity contest, Microsoft would never even have gotten their foot in the door!

Now as a decade ago, I design for Mozilla, fixing layouts to work in the shit-fest that was/is MSIE.

No dont fix the bugs! (1)

joaeri (583880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918895)

If they fix the bugs how can we continue using some bugs to get around other more critical bugs as we can do with IE6?!

Too easy to debunk (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918897)

Someone, or more likely several someones, will independantly enumerate every area of non-compliance that exists in MSIE7. (Has it been released yet? I haven't seen an installation for Linux yet... I have MSIE6 on my Linux laptop thanks to some very clever script writers: http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/index-en.html [tatanka.com.br] )

That said, I have read where even Firefox isn't yet 100% compliant. I'm usure of how much difficulty that causes web developers though. Actually, I don't know much of anything about the web except that I use Firefox pretty exclusively. If MSIE7 was made at least as compliant as Firefox, it would actually kinda bother me as it would give me a lot less leverage to keep my Firefox deployment where I work.

Re:Too easy to debunk (2, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919253)

Someone, or more likely several someones, will independantly enumerate every area of non-compliance that exists in MSIE7.

http://www.webdevout.net/browser_support_css.php [webdevout.net]

Re:Too easy to debunk (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919346)

"That said, I have read where even Firefox isn't yet 100% compliant."

Nobody is 100% compliant. (Don't start about ACID*...) In fact, I don't think anyone's demanding that IE7 be 100% compliant, just that it at least correctly implement the features they choose to give it. That alone would put it miles above IE6.

*Passing ACID2 != 100% CSS spec compliance

Standards - whose standards (2)

lhorn (528432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918907)

>we really only did standards improvements - particularly CSS and HTML improvements. Ah, improvements - not different implementation. >And I think that not adding any proprietary features in was probably something that was a little >different from our previous releases. But we certainly spent a bunch of work trying to improve our >standards support. And no proprietary features added this time! Thank you Chris - this explains a lot...

Re:Standards - whose standards (1)

lhorn (528432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918949)

Whoops, sorry - add CRLF-s as needed. Why is preview different from post presentation?

Re:Standards - whose standards (1)

Otto-Marrakech (989922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918987)

Their own subjective standards, which I assume include but are most certainly limited to;

1. Does it 'compete' with Firefox by incorporating its tabbed browsing?
2. Will it be out at a point between the present and the calculable future?

Emperors new clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919106)

The emperor loved his new clothes too, that nobody else could see them was not his fault

IE 7 is standards compliant.... (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918919)

Pigs are flying,
Kazan has the goose that laid the golden egg,
Bush admits to breaking the law .....

Well... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918926)

Internet Explorer always had excellent standard compliance... of their own ones.

-1, Flamebait (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918930)

What a ridiculous, misleading title. Microsoft have claimed nothing of the sort. They've claimed improvements, which is true. In fact, the article quotes Chris Wilson as saying he thinks they've implemented over half of the CSS 2.1 specification, but not 90%. That's hardly insisting it is compliant, is it?

I'm definitely no Internet Explorer fan - I think Microsoft's efforts with Internet Explorer 7 have been abysmal. But this is a non-story. Everybody knows that Internet Explorer isn't compliant. Everybody who has been paying attention knows that there have been gradual but long-demanded improvements included in Internet Explorer 7.

Shame on you Taco for posting a story with such a dishonest, inflammatory headline. If this were a political website, the equivalent to what you just did would be a Democrat posting a story saying "Dubya eats babies!"

Re:-1, Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919035)

or a republican posting.... ANYTHING! :D

Re:-1, Flamebait (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919110)

It's too bad this got marked as flamebait. I think some good points are made and this guy shouldn't be cast off as a flamer just because he isn't jumping on the Microsoft bashing bandwagon. What is slashdot becoming if you can't have a good two-sided argument?

Re:-1, Flamebait (0, Flamebait)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919389)

Are you from Fox news? Not every issue has two sides. Sometimes there's this thing called "reality" that you really can't have two opposing opinions on, at least not anyone sane.

And the reality is that one of the largest software companies in the world with thousands of of highly paid programmers wants us to believe it can't compete with a tiny european company or a bunch of volunteers, implementing a 10 year old standard. Either they are grossly inept, or don't want to comply.

Re:-1, Flamebait (1)

TheOldSchooler (850678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919289)

"Dubya eats babies!"

With ketchup or mustard?

Re:-1, Flamebait (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919403)

This isn't a "non-story." Compliance with web standards is an important feature for a modern web browser. The headline is also not misleading, as Wilson states they're between 50% and 90% compliant with CSS 2.1.

In other news... (0, Troll)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918935)

Wilson, speaking on behalf of Microsoft, also alleged proof that evolution is wrong, the moon landings never happened, and that Elvis is alive, well, and shares a quaint cottage in Northern Idaho with Bigfoot and his cousin Yeti, visiting from Nepal.

Mod the original article ... (3, Insightful)

xjimhb (234034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918940)

It's a shame we can't Mod the original article the way we can Mod the comments.

This one deserves a score of "+5 Funny".

Goes so far? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918946)

He goes as far to say that IE7 supports Web standards even at the expense of more backwards compatibility.
Unless IE7 is able to recognize non-compliant sites and render then differently, of course begin standards compliant is going to hinder backwards compatibility. That's the whole point, IMO -- when/if IE7 becomes standards compliant, all those broken websites will have to be fixed because they are no longer renderable by IE.

I look forward to the day when web developers won't have to develop multiple versions for multiple browsers.

Re:Goes so far? (1)

Roguey (939920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919279)

Couldn't it work based on the DOCTYPE declaration? Kind of like how it switches from quirks mode to standards compliance mode right now. Sites missing any kind of DOCTYPE would be rendered using an engine more resembling that of IE6, while sites with them would be rendered using proper web standards.

Of course I doubt it's that simple, or they would have done it already. Maybe.

Re:Goes so far? (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919284)

Unless IE7 is able to recognize non-compliant sites and render then differently
Of course it can. That's what Quirks Mode, which most modern browsers have, is for. Render websites that have a certain DTD properly, in Strict Mode, and render other websites in Quirks Mode. That certain DTD varies, but you can be sure that no DTD means Quirks Mode and XHTML 1.0 Strict means Strict Mode.

of course begin standards compliant is going to hinder backwards compatibility
Not all browser bugs can actually be used in websites. For instance, I can't think of a possible abuse of IE being unable to display code marked as XHTML (This, by the way, is quite stupid - especially since text files are rendered as if they were HTML, yet XHTML files can't be rendered as HTML). I also can't see a way to abuse position:fixed not being supported, or :hover.

Re:Goes so far? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919373)

Of course it can. That's what Quirks Mode, which most modern browsers have, is for.
But isn't the purpose of standards to not have to have Quirks Mode? To not have to plan for so many exceptions and spend time and/or money preparing for them?

Not all browser bugs can actually be used in websites. For instance, I can't think of a possible abuse of IE being unable to display code marked as XHTML (This, by the way, is quite stupid - especially since text files are rendered as if they were HTML, yet XHTML files can't be rendered as HTML). I also can't see a way to abuse position:fixed not being supported, or :hover.
It's not about potential for abuse. It's about ease of development (though of course, potential for abuse must always be considered).

The problem is Microsofts creation (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918947)

We're trying to improve the world for web developers and when we looked at what people were saying they wanted us to do, there were a ton of bugs that were causing web developers a lot of pain, from IE6 - and we really wanted to nail those and the most requested features upfront.
 
This is the problem, old versions of ie weren't standards compliant, for whatever reason. So making IE7 compliant, means it will break the old pages. We will have to go back to checking not only whether it is netscape or ie5 (as in the old days, i am sure nobody still cares that much about netscape), but whether we are dealing with ie6 or ie7. This is the problem that you created Microsoft, and it is difficult to go back and change these things!

In related news: (1)

Salzorin (985348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918948)

Salzorin insists that all the ladies love him!

true story.

50%? (4, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15918965)

Really, 50% compliant is 50% non-compliant.

If your project can't meet at least 75% of it's goals, it's a complete failure. Anything less than 90% compliance is pathetic.

To put it simply, it's ok to have bugs on some of the obscure parts of the specification, but as long as IE7 still fails on the routine every day uses of CSS, it's garbage.

Re:50%? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919209)

If your project can't meet at least 75% of it's goals, it's a complete failure. Anything less than 90% compliance is pathetic.

Not true, have you never heard of the 80/20 rule [google.co.uk] .
Basically you can get a product that does 80% of what you want by only implementing 20% of what you've asked for. It's used all over the place for requirements management.

There will always be thouse project where anything less than 100% is a failure, and CSS fits somewhere between 95 and 100%.

Slashdot messed up, plain and simple (0, Troll)

Trails (629752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919004)

A slashdot post claimed last week that the previous week (so two weeks ago), a Paul Thurrott article called MS IE non compliant. This is just plain wrong, the Thurrott article is over a year old, and /. should probably apologise, regardless of the standards compliance or lack thereof of the latest MS browser offering.

I can't use it anyway (1, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919020)

My one windows machine (authentic windows, purchased and everything, from HP), fails when trying to install IE7 beta.

It passes the genuine disadvantage test, then b0rks for an unknown reason.

Firefox, on the other hand, is perfect, so I don't feel it matters much anyhow. I only tried to install IE7 out of curiosity

Re:I can't use it anyway (1)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919223)

Make sure you're running the .NET 2.0 beta, mine did the same thing until I did that.

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919043)

channel #GNAA on It's 33st to try

Anyone know for sure (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919090)

If IE7 is a separate program from the windowing system in Vista? or in the release for XP? cause if it's not then there won't be any more of a roadmap for updating compliance than there was for IE6.

When the entire OS depends on one standard and the entire internet needs another... well this is Microsoft not the W3C so which standard will win out in Windows?

This is the problem with tightly integrated solutions... you can't just update one component, you have to do them all at once due to dependencies.

They should have simply released IE using the GECKO rendering engine and added a bunch of MS crap on top in the form of plugins and a theme.... would have saved them a lot of money and after a little initial embarassment they would have been congratulated on making a GREAT business decision.

Puff ball interview (4, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919099)

Now, I'm all for IE improvements. As a web developer with a large number of IE based users, any improvement to IE and its standards adoption is a good thing. But this interview read more like a fan boi in a dev shop that a journalist looking for answers. Especially this question:

Richard: To clarify then, you're saying that with IE7 you're hoping to support as many of the CSS Web standards as possible, while also having that backwards compatibility. That's your vision for IE7, to definitely support Web standards?


Did the interviewer have to remove his face from the interviewees crotch to ask him that question?

-Rick

Hilarious (4, Informative)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919126)

FTA: "One thing that the Trident engine that underlies Internet Explorer has had for many releases is editing support. A number of products have been built on top of this editing support in the past and it's quite a strong piece of our underlying infrastructure."

Their html editing control is crap crap crap. I'm talking about the control thats been used in Outlook 2003, MSIMN/Outlook Express etc, I assume the interviewee is too.
* It is very easy to get paragraphs that are indented to the right. Yet it can be absolutely impossible to remove the indentation and align the paragraph with the rest of the text in the email. I suspect it barfs when it has to deal with nested tables.
* Deleting some text or formatting can drastically alter the following paragraph.
* You can read in perfectly valid html then it refactors it into gibberish.

Anyway its absolutely effing hilarious that they think its a strong html editor control.

Fixing the fix (3, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919132)

He admits that there were a ton of bugs from IE6 that have caused web developers a lot of pain, but says that IE7 will address those and be standards compliant.
By this, he doesn't mean that they're fixing the compatibility- far from it. By this, he means that they're closing up the holes in IE6 rendering that previously allowed developers to "hack" around IE. Since IE6 would or wouldn't recognize something it shouldn't or should, respectively, one could make one style sheet that contained CSS for both IE and FireFox, using various methods (such as inheritance) to hide CSS from IE. (I believe we've already had articles about IE7 Beta breaking websites created for IE6.)

(Granted, the best way to do it is to set up a broswer check and use a different CSS file for each browser. But when you have a tiny website, you don't really care to futz with it.)

This effectively means that when IE7 comes out, all the hacks made for IE6 will break, and many pages created by that "cousin in high school" will suddenly look like rubbish.

Of course, those that were made predominantly for FireFox and Opera will still continue to work unabated.

Ummmm....of course (3, Insightful)

vishbar (862440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919150)

He's a spokesman for Microsoft, a company trying to move a product. What is he supposed to say? "No, our browser sucks. It's not standards-compliant in the least bit. Have you tried firefox?"

A corporation claims their product is better than it really is. Wow. I'm shocked.

Expanding Box Bug (5, Insightful)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919169)

From Chris' Blog [msdn.com] ...

... Solid test cases we can access and bug reporting would help which is why we have a public bug database....

Last I heard IE7 does not fix the Expanding Box Bug [positioniseverything.net] ?

This is a troublesome bug when you're populating DIV tags with generated data. You don't even have to be doing anything advanced.

Microsoft knows about the Position Is Everything [positioniseverything.net] Explorer bug list. I've seen IE engineers mention it on their blogs. So I don't buy the "we don't know of specific bugs" routine. And if he wants more concrete bug reports after that set, then theres the Comparison of Layout Engines [wikipedia.org] page which goes through the CSS specs in detail. I'm sure Micrsoft has fixed a bunch of those since IE6, but there are outstanding issues in IE7.

Most software engineers would pay large sums of money to have that type of detail in bug reports. Microsoft is getting that for free, but he is complaining that he does not have solid cases.

Doesn't matter how complient they are (1, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919177)

The fact is no browser is 100% complient. Even if all browsers could bost 90%+, web developers would still have to spend ages testing and modifying sites so they display uniformily in every browser The big problem is not the browsers, it's a standards body that's completely out of touch with developers and users. They feel that to make a web page, users should need to learn 3 different languages (at least), are constantly depreciating much used tags and clearly aren't working with the broswer coders enough to ensure consistant functionality across the various browsers. The browser coders are continually playing catch up with the creators of the supposed standards and because of the size and nature of microsoft and the large amount of interoperbility internet explorer has to maintian with windows and office programs, it's much harder for them to catch up. Microsoft are just examples of how stupid the situation with web standards are.

They are bowling googlies again! (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919183)

One thing that the Trident engine that underlies Internet Explorer has had for many releases is editing support. A number of products have been built on top of this editing support in the past and it's quite a strong piece of our underlying infrastructure.

This is the key folks. So many corporate database products rely on IE as the rendering engine. If the backward compatibility is lost, most corporations' will see their Crystal Reports, and other SQL engines that use IE as their GUI/renderers will be broken. They will never allow that to happen. So they will sacrifice the standard compliance.

Of course they will claim their concern is the "not spoiling the user experience" of their old moms or breaking millions of websites. But the real concern is that all these products should continue to use IE as their rendering engine. Their hold on corporate desktops through MS-Office and IE is too dear and profitable for them to compromise.

This post's summary is completely stupid (1, Informative)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919245)

What's up with the post summary and title? It's completely inconsistent with what the linked article says... Quote:

We're certainly somewhere between those two... I don't think we're at 90%, I think we're above 50% though - and again, it really depends on how you end up weighing things. The problem is, if I gave any number I'd really want to support how I came up with that number - and I don't have a great way to do that today.

The usual crap by slashdot editors...

Can IE7 run AI Mind.html? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15919278)


Artificial intelligence [sourceforge.net] is a philosopher's stone of "arete" for the Web browser.

Translations from the managerese (5, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919288)

"We really only did standards improvements - particularly CSS and HTML improvements." Translation: Our work on CSS and HTML is incomplete.

"In IE7 we really are trying to support Web standards." Translation: we are not committing to being compliant with Web standards.

"We certainly spent a bunch of work trying to improve our standards support." Translation: We're over budget on standards support.

"I don't think we're at 90%, I think we're above 50% though." Translation: we're not compliant.

"Well as you saw I got a little frustrated with the Slashdot post." Translation: I can't point to factual inaccuracies in the Slashdot post, but I sure don't like the spin.

"The target for that was not just passing any one particular test." Translation: We don't pass that particular test.

This is just an idea, but.. (1)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919297)

I've always wondered how the browser that over 90% of the world uses to look at the internet is fighting against standards. It would seem more logical to me if standards reflected how the most prevalent browser rendered things, and designers designed around THOSE parameters. Wait, that's kinda how we do it now isn't it? Are any of you in the habit of testing your CSS docs for strict compliance, then complain when it doesn't render properly, then change it? No..you just know what will work (unless you are a newb) and write that way.

I'm sure that both of you who currently test against standards first will probably have something to say, so go ahead. Just remember the rest of the world probably isn't with you.

How about MS Korn shell? (4, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15919332)

This Microsoft insisting that they are standards compliant always reminds me of another time they insisted that they were compliant to some standard, and got completely embarassed:


I've been attending the USENIX NT and LISA NT (Large Installation
Systems Administration for NT) conference in downtown Seattle this
week.

One of those magical Microsoft moments(tm) happened yesterday and
I thought that I'd share. Non-geeks may not find this funny at
all, but those in geekdom (particularly UNIX geekdom) will
appreciate it.

Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft product manager (henceforth MPM), was
holding forth on a forthcoming product that will provide Unix
style scripting and shell services on NT for compatibility and to
leverage UNIX expertise that moves to the NT platform. The
product suite includes the MKS (Mortise Kern Systems) windowing
Korn shell, a windowing PERL, and lots of goodies like awk, sed
and grep. It actually fills a nice niche for which other products
(like the MKS suite) have either been too highly priced or not
well enough integrated.

An older man, probably mid-50s, stands up in the back of the room
and asserts that Microsoft could have done better with their
choice of Korn shell. He asks if they had considered others that
are more compatible with existing UNIX versions of KSH.

The MPM said that the MKS shell was pretty compatible and should
be able to run all UNIX scripts.

The questioner again asserted that the MKS shell was not very
compatible and didn't do a lot of things right that are defined in
the KSH language spec.

The MPM asserted again that the shell was pretty compatible and
should work quite well.

This assertion and counter assertion went back and forth for a
bit, when another fellow member of the audience announced to the
MPM that the questioner was, in fact David Korn of AT&T (now
Lucent) Bell Labs. (David Korn is the author of the Korn shell)

Uproarious laughter burst forth from the audience, and it was one
of the only times that I have seen a (by then pink cheeked) MPM
lost for words or momentarily lacking the usual unflappable
confidence. So, what's a body to do when Microsoft reality
collides with everyone elses?
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