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IE8 May Not Pass the Acid2 Test After All

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the follow-me-indy-i-know-the-way dept.

Internet Explorer 434

dotne writes "CNET has published an article called Acid2, Acid3 and the power of default. The article predicts that IE8 will not pass the Acid2 test after all: '[Another] scenario could be that Microsoft requires Web pages to change the default settings by flagging that they really, really want to be rendered correctly. Web pages already have a way to say this (called doctype switching, which is supported by all browsers), but Microsoft has all but announced that IE8 will support yet another scheme. If the company decides to implement the new scheme, the Acid2 test — and all the other pages that use doctype switching — will not be rendered correctly.' Microsoft's IE8 render modes have been discussed here previously, and they've caused an uproar in the web development community. According to the scheme, authors must put Microsoft-specific <meta> tags into their pages in order for them to be rendered correctly. I doubt Acid2, nor Acid3 will have Microsoft extensions in them."

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22155666)

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156776)

Havent seen you in a while

Page specific tuning (5, Interesting)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155692)

It's possible that IE8 will contain code that detects the presence of an ACID test and switches to the proper renderer to pass the test.

Re:Page specific tuning (5, Interesting)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155806)

The author of Acid2/3 is not amused [hixie.ch] by this meta tag. From the tone of that blog post, to me it sounds like he wouldn't shy away from actively try to break a mechanism like that by changing the URI to make sure that the browser that passes the Acid test actually does so for real.

Note, though, that he doesn't say that explicitly, and you shouldn't assume that he will. It's my own conclusion, and you should draw your own, etc...

Class action suit? (1, Troll)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156138)

Why not turn this complaint into a class action suit? It seems to me that putting right this sort of wrong is exactly the purpose of this legal mechanism. Surely the financial harm can be easily estimated.

Re:Page specific tuning (3, Insightful)

termix (680919) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156320)

The meta tag is a GOOD idea, they just put it in the wrong place, EXISTING websites should be able to add a meta tag to continue use of the existing quirks mode, and going forward the default could then be acid mode.

With that setup if people really wanted their website to render the old way they could just add a meta tag, and it doesn't mess with the new version of ie

Re:Page specific tuning (5, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156418)

Forgive me if I'm wrong (as I'm not an HTML guru in the least) but isn't that the point of DOCTYPE? Meaning, if a broken page wants to use the buggy renderer they shouldn't be setting a strict DOCTYPE.

Microsoft is so committed to their long-standing policy of coddling the incompetent that they want a way to be lax on pages that specifically request a strict interpretation.

Re:Page specific tuning (5, Insightful)

KevMar (471257) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156658)

The issue is that IE6 allowed people to use the strict rendering with out truly strictly rendering stuff. When IE7 was released that was more strict, it broke a lot of pages that assumed that strict worked because IE6 worked.

They already corupted the doctype tag. The logic behind the new tag is to indicate the renderer you want so future releases do not break the current page.

They dont want to break the web again (like IE7 did). So the web will work by default (as defined by IE 6) and new stuff that targets the new browser should not break when IE 9 is released.

They are attempting to end a cycle of new browsers breaking older pages.

What they need to do is do it right the first time and fix rendering bugs quickly. force people to fallow the standard and it will work. Microsoft should be the most accurate implementers of the specs because they have such a huge install base.

Re:Page specific tuning (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156556)

Honestly folks, whatever.

If I can make IE, Firefox, and Safari render the same by including a meta tag, that's such a vast improvement to the current order, I'm not going to complain.

Re:Page specific tuning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156694)

Most of the negative effects of the proposed header have nothing to do with who needs to set it and who can rely on the default. Even if broken websites were required to use it to get quirks mode even though a modern doctype is set, the biggest problem would remain: Old, broken pages would not be updated because the server can just set the header and all browsers (not just IE) would have to render the page like IE6 or IE7 ad infinitum. No breakage, no need to update. This is expected behavior with doctypes: Browsers render documents with old doctypes according to the old standard. But the MS header would add another dimension of oddities. Browsers would have to know how to render each doctype combined with each target browser version. That is extra bad because there is no specification how IE6 (or IE7) renders a strict doctype, and there's no public code to look at either.

Re:Page specific tuning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156150)

Mouse slipped while moderating, turning my mod to -. Following up so that the mod would be removed. Sorry.

Re:Page specific tuning (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156228)

HOW am I not surprised?

But I don't think that we are going to see much of that special tag anyway since those who care about standards will shy it and those who doesn't will ignore it anyway and continue with their broken pages...

But wasn't Microsoft going to push Silverlight (or whatever they call it) instead???

At least - we need this tag and the circumventions for special pages about as much as we need severe dandruff...

And 100000 slashdotters... (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155698)

shout "SURPRISE!" in unison.

Steamrollin' On (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155708)

> I doubt Acid2, nor Acid3 will have Microsoft extensions in them.

But lots of web pages will.

Re:Steamrollin' On (4, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155948)

My pages WILL have them, if it's easier to make render them correctly than custom hacking. I may not like IE8 but my clients will use it and they will require that my pages work ok on ie(6|7|8), firefox and opera.

Re:Steamrollin' On (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156714)

Isn't that what standards are for?

This just in.... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155712)

... Microsoft ignores standards, goes off in their own direction.

News at 11.

Re:This just in.... (1)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156496)

In order to implement the standard, it was necessary to extend it.

Amazing (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155782)

Another Microsoft "We'll do it our way, and you'll do it our way too if you know what's good for you."

I wish Microsoft would at least learn to fake sincerity in actually following common standards. This isn't even lip service. This is "We follow standards (for certain Microsoft-centric values of 'standards')."

Of course, the market has rewarded them, so why should they change? All they need is smoke, some mirrors, and some moderately-skilled PR, et Voilà! "standards-compliant!"

Re:Amazing (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156250)

I think you're missing the point somewhat here, as are a lot of people. The core issue is that Microsoft have painted themselves into a corner by not following the specifications in the past. This makes it difficult to follow the specifications today, as all the pages that expect Internet Explorer to deviate from the specifications will break if Internet Explorer starts following the specifications.

They solved this in the past by inventing doctype switching, which is a pretty poorly-thought out hack, and with conditional comments, which uses non-standard syntax. This approach, on the other hand, uses standard HTML syntax and is designed for this purpose.

Far from being "A Microsoft extension to HTML" as some people are describing it, this is an attempt to retain backwards compatibility while fixing Internet Explorer to more closely follow the specifications. It does this using the standard HTML way of incorporating additional metadata. Let me repeat that: what you are seeing is Microsoft improving conformance with the specifications. The mechanism they are adding is so that older code doesn't break, which is an entirely reasonable thing to want.

If you have a better idea of how they can satisfy the constraints of backwards compatibility and closer conformance to the specifications, please, describe it. As far as I can see, this is the best way of doing it. Sure, it's their own fault they are in this mess, but bitching about their past behaviour doesn't mean that this attempt to fix things is the wrong approach. Microsoft are doing the right thing here.

Hear hear (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156362)

For everyone's bitching, there is no other way out of this problem. There was an error before rendering. Many webpages specified a doctype, however were rendered incorrectly. To maintain backwards compatibility (critical*) and to maintain the spirt of the standards (desirable) the standard has to include something new that means "yes, I really do mean it." My solution would be to create XHTML 2.0 that is XHTML 1.0, without MS specific hacks.

*For those who don't believe this, how many of you made fun of MS for breaking backwards compatibility with "all apps need admin privledges" and created a "Cancel or Allow" dialog?

I'll tell you what's amazing (2, Interesting)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156294)

All of this whining about Microsoft's approach to standards implementation on IE 8 sounds like it is coming from a bunch of academic eggheads who've not held a job in web development in their lives. I, like most web developers that have a job have been using user_agent sniffs for some time to make sure that IE 6's wonky non-standard approach is accounted for. I suspect that many have done the same as I - look for "MSIE" in the string, make the adjustments for MS's buggy implementation, and call it a day. So if Microsoft suddenly goes compliant every one of those pages will break. The only reason I didn't face a mass break on IE 7 is IE 7 goes to quirks mode when the doctype is missing (and it's missing on most all my legacy pages. My newer pages have them and I had to fix 12 of them for IE 7's changes).

Microsoft doesn't follow standards. I don't know about some of you nerds but I've got some 300 sites that have code that will break if MS decides to follow the standard. I don't personally like the idea of going in and rewriting the drive code for those pages again. Yes, it would have been better if Microsoft had followed the standard in the first place but they didn't and as far as I can tell this is about the only way out of the problem they've created for them.

Now I know that in the fantasy world of some the moment a new version of IE comes out the pages written to the bad standard MS foisted on us dissappear - but that isn't the case. Hell, there are pages out there still written for Netscape 4. Microsoft has the unenviable position of striking a balance between the needs of the development community - one standard to rule them all - and the clients of those developers - "I don't give a damn what you have to do to make it work, just make it work."

I don't know about the rest of you, but if my old clients started coming to me because their pages look like crap in the newest IE the words, "but it's Microsoft's fault - tech blah blah blah blah" they'll won't accept the explanation - because for most of them the explanation involves technical details they don't give a damn about and they pay us to handle for them because we're supposed to be the professionals. At the end of the day the majority of the world doesn't give a flying rat's hindquarters about standards - they simply want the web to work.

Microsoft does a lot of asinine crap that they fully deserve to be taken to task for - but this isn't one instance of it. Breaking pages to make way for the "future" would only further the drive of folks to other browsers.

All of that said, Microsoft has a cleaner solution available to them - change IE 8's http_user_agent string so completely that browser sniffing software will (presumably) feed them the standards compliant page. Personally that's what I do - if you're using IE, Firefox, Safari or Opera I'll adjust for your browser bugs - if not you'd better be able to handle CSS 2.1 strict cause that's what you're gonna get.

Re:I'll tell you what's amazing (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156350)

So all Microsoft have to do is to change the user agent string to something that will not trigger ie6/7 workaround. That way they don't need a third render mode, but will get the same code as firefox and other browsers.

That does ofcause only work if ie8 can show code as well as firefox.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156582)

I will make peace with Microsoft on this issue in exchange for one olive branch:

If this is, in fact, a transitional measure strictly to go from the crapfest of past IEs to IE9 being fully standards compliant then I will accept it. It is possible that it's a legitimate crutch to get them out of the mired, non-compliant mess that is IE 6 and 7. But if they don't kick that crutch out by IE9's release, the web development community should do whatever it takes to basically destroy Microsoft's image on the web.

Make Acid2 the Default (5, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155788)

Why not make Acid2 the default? I'm sure the browsers interals could look for IE6/7 "hacks" and provide a icon on the bottom to have it viewed in compatibility mode? If the broken mode is going to be the default, I think standardization will be slow, unless common developer tools like MS Visual Studio and Dreamweaver put in the MS Specfic renderer tags in by default.

I think we're at the moment when developers want standards, where in the IE4/NS4 war, everyone and their brother was trying to hack-together web pages, and IE did some nice exposition of the DOM via the ID attribute in tags, which accomodated less-skilled programmers. Now that the baseline-developer's skills are improved, and the IDEs out there are actually pretty decent (e.g. Not FrontPage, Not MS Word) I'd say the time is right.

While the Acid2 test is niceity, what I'd really love to see is a standard plugin model shared by FF and IE. It has been a while, but I always thought the "EMBED" inside of an "OBJECT" tag was lame. I don't like ActiveX but I get in intranet environments where it can be useful, where the code should be "trusted" and "signed", where you're essentially using a browser to "publish" applications that should probably be desktop applets, or use a native HTML (AJAX?) interface rather than "VB applet on a webpage." That being said, we need an out in the wild, "safe" plugin/viewer model.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (5, Interesting)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156140)

Why not make Acid2 the default?
Because lots and lots and LOTS of pages would break, among other things. Earlier today there was another article in ./ with a link to the full rationale behind this [alistapart.com] , and to me is makes a lot of sense. Basically, with this tag you can specify a version for each browser on which the site was tested and is known to work well, then all browsers might keep internally working versions of their legacy rendering engines (or a compatibility mode built in their newest engine, whatever works best in each case), and forever in future you'd have old sites being 100% readable in new browsers, no matter how much actually existing "de facto" and "official" standards change or get deprecated/replaced over time. An example from the above link, specifying the page renders correctly in IE 8's engine, Firefox 3's engine and (say) Opera 4's engine:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8;FF=3;OtherUA=4" />

What is there to not like in this? It's a simple, elegant and practical solution to this very real problem. Sure, it could have arrived earlier, but better later than never.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (1, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156290)

Someone mod parent up.

I admit when I first heard about this in a previous article (in which it was claimed IE8 wouldn't used standards mode UNLESS the meta tag was added), I figured it was business as usual for MS, but after reading the full rational behind this, I think people have misinterpreted the intention. As long as the browser defaults to standards compliant, and only switches to a particular rendering mode in the presence of the meta tag, then this is a useful way to force a page to be rendered in a way you actually intended. This also appears to be a design originating from outside of MS, they asked other developers for suggestions of how to tackle this problem, and the meta tag solution was the one recommended to them.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (1)

ciggieposeur (715798) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156340)

I wouldn't mind such a tag if sites would at guarantee usability with really old browsers if the tag is ignored, e.g. the "default" page would run somewhat on Netscape/MSIE 3.x and newer browsers could use the tag to turn on the more advanced features.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (5, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156360)

It's a simple, elegant and practical solution to this very real problem.

It's a problem, though, that only Microsoft has. Everyone else is just expected to conform to the standards.

Read here [webkit.org] for the WebKit team's response to this and why they're not going to define or obey any such tags themselves.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (2, Insightful)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156440)

What's not to like? This tag allows the people that are writing horrible IE-only HTML/CSS in Visual Studio today to continue their business as usual. There is absolutely no incentive for these people to adhere to standards since the IE7 engine will be kept around for "a couple of web lifetimes" apparently (source [msdn.com] ). This effectively locks browsers other than IE out of these sites since they won't have this IE7 compatibilty.

Hooray, everybody wins. No, wait, the other one.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156734)

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8;FF=3;OtherUA=4" />
What is there to not like in this? It's a simple, elegant and practical solution to this very real problem. Sure, it could have arrived earlier, but better later than never.
I do know what all the non-IE users here on slashdot will say, and there's quite a few of them (myself included). First off, it looks like only Microsoft will use this, other browsers seem to have broken compatibility early and often and have a fairly rigorous standards compliance. I'm sure evil tounges will say it's because only a minority use these browsers, but I've not heard any noise over Firefox or Opera breaking pages by fixing things. On the whole they seem to be way ahead of web developers, so the benefit of extending it to other engines is pretty much neglible I'd say.

The possible downside is that precisely because these buggy pages work in IE, noone will bother to fix them. Imagine you're at IE12 and it's now a super anal 99.9% standards compatible browser in IE12 mode. What good will it do if pages still call for IE7 compatibility mode and are still broken on every other browser? That said, between "We won't fix the browser because it'd break sites" and "We won't fix the pages because they work" I think the latter is easier to fix and new code would presumably be written to spec and work in all browsers. So it's something of a percieved downside which I don't think is real.

Now, if I take on my hat as an IE user it's a slam dunk. More pages will work. If I take on the hat as a web developer, I know my pages won't suddenly break (because you were forced to use an IE hack to make it work right in the first place). Also a slam dunk. If I take on the hat of Microsoft, they don't get screaming customers about how they broke the intranet. Also a slam dunk. If Microsoft was really really nice, they'd put in their status line "This web page is designed for a higher version of IE. Please upgrade to ensure optimum performance" too, so we'd lose these buggy versions as quickly as possible.

It's easier to cut the developers loose and let them fix IE than the pains of trying to slowly break IE while not getting killed by angry customers. The sooner they get a standards compliant browser out there, the sooner we can get to *really* fixing the problem.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156392)

Everybody in both threads keeps asking "why not make Acid2 the default". I'm going to focus on this part rather than the rest of your comment (which is interesting). There are several reasons that don't need tinfoil hats in these three links:

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2008/01/21/compatibility-and-ie8.aspx [msdn.com]
http://alistapart.com/articles/beyonddoctype [alistapart.com]
http://alistapart.com/articles/fromswitchestotargets [alistapart.com]

It's not such an obviously bad solution. It's not necessarily the best solution, either. It's just a solution. One which allows a choice between backcompat (including write once and never worry about tweaking again) and tricky forwardcompat.

Also, see in particular this comment: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2008/01/21/compatibility-and-ie8.aspx#7202029 [msdn.com]

There's a regkey to force IE8 standards mode on all sites (including ACID2).

Problem is that there are sites on corporate intranets and for small businesses all over the place that expect IE6 or IE7 behaviour from either all browsers, (or sometimes it sniffs for IE and feeds it a non-standards page). These people aren't going to be happy about adding standards compliance.

This solution means that everybody who renders fine in IE has to do absolutely nothing to update their webpage for IE8. They can if they want to, though. People who don't render fine in IE, well, they now have the workload to make it render reduced to one tiny server config or one line per webpage, their choice. When they make a new webpage, they can opt in with the one simple copy-paste line (yes, I know, OMG evil proprietary HACKS!!!). And then when IE9 comes out...any page compliant with IE8 and before still doesn't need to be touched to render in IE9. And so on and so forth.

Standards will continue to evolve and be created and iterated, and no browser will fully support standards immediately upon their creation (unless there's some standards-incest, or the standard is ultimately lifted from one browser or another). This method allows IE the freedom to fully support new standards in the next version without worrying anymore about backwards-compatibility. Or they can half-implement it in one version and half in the next, or whatever. And if other browsers want to try this versioning on their software, they can. And if they don't, they don't have to. IE is apparently committed to, by default, not fucking up old webpages that worked on earlier versions. That doesn't have to be anybody else's priority; no other vendor is being "forced" to implement this. Code to standards, put IE on edge, and like every other browser it's forward-looking. And if it completely fails to take off, and IE marketshare drops to nearly nothing, then probably IE9 will just render in standards and drop the rest of it.

I think this could actually speed the adoption of standards. If IE8 works without breaking *anything* before, it can have a MUCH quicker adoption than IE7 did vis-a-vis IE6. The IEs, as we know, together still make up a majority of browsers visiting the majority of sites. But if a tonne of them are moving to IE8, then webdevs can code to standards, insert the IE8 tag, and everything will work on Firefox 3, Safari whatever, Opera whatever, IE8 (minus the bugs in all for all of those, which are hopefully minor). And if adoption still isn't quick enough, webdevs can say without shame to the people with IE7 to just upgrade their browser, it's old and deprecated, and they have *absolutely* nothing to lose and standards compliance to gain. Eventually everything is in standards, the 9 people who still use IE6 can't stand the web not working anymore and download IE8 (or Firefox or Opera or whatever), and here we are, compliant at last. Yippee. That's one scenario out of many, anyway.

There are certainly valid counterarguments, and despite what I mentioned above, I'm not sold on the method -- I just don't think the for side is getting its fair share on slashdot.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156760)

You know, all of that is well and good, but you're missing one thing: If IE8 came along, with NO IE6 bugs mode past what the other browsers do (well, probably better) and defaulted to true standards mode - how long do you think it would take before all web sites were standards compliant?

Besides, the only sites that offer any issues these days are corporate intranet/Appliance administration sites anyways. I can't remember the last time I used Firefox or Konqueror and had any real problems.

Microsoft broke the web with Internet Explorer, and web developers helped them by making IE-Only web sites. I really don't feel bad for any of them, and in the end, I don't think that a major shift to standard web would be that difficult anymore. Six years ago, they couldn't have just CUT to standards, but now? Yea. No problem.

Re:Make Acid2 the Default (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156824)

To be quite honest: if the bloggers are for it, I'm against it. It's come to that.

Does this mean (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155792)

that IE8 will disolve in acid?

Re:Does this mean (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155906)

No, but water will melt it much like the wicked witch of the West.

IDGI (5, Funny)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155810)

I don't get it. Why is there such an issue. As a dominant software company, Microsoft should be allowed to do what it wants. After all, what is best for Microsoft is also the best for America.


Therefore, if you are against Microsoft, you must be a terrorist.


Please report yourself to the nearest detention center for correction.

It's the most logical decision (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155818)

Shove the anti-MS rhetoric in the closet for a moment and think about it.

IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.

Alternatively, they can create a new doctype specifically for the new "more better" rendering. This way, the millions of existing pages that are already designed to render in the exiting style will continue to do so, and anyone looking to use a closer to the standards rendering has the option to.

That ACID(2,3) tests are designed to test browsers, browsers are not designed to test ACID. As such, ACID should be updated to include the new doctype option for IE.

Okay, NOW you can pull that anti-MS rhetoric back out and ask: "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME?!?!?"

-Rick

Re:It's the most logical decision (4, Insightful)

Phillup (317168) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155910)

IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.
Sounds like just the medicine they need for creating browser specific web pages.

In other news, many Americans against government bailout of mortgage companies that made bad loans...

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156672)

Please. They don't "deserve" any punishment for making pages that fit the realities of the world. The fact is, many people use IE. IE doesn't follow standards. Thus, you need to specifically support IE in your web pages unless you're ok with leaving the majority of your potential users in the dark (which no sane person would be). The developers who made pages which have "IE mode" did what they had to do, because they understood that reality was not like they wanted it to be, and they had to adjust to it. Quite bluntly, it sounds like you're the sort of person who expects the world to revolve around you, and what you think the world should be like.

Your analogy about government bail-outs is a poor one, too, considering Microsoft isn't an institution of the people, for the good of the people. The government has very different expectations and responsibilities than Microsoft, the analogy fails.

Re:It's the most logical decision (5, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155952)

On a purely philosophical point... what is the use of having an international standard if the said standard changes based on the whims of a single corporation?

I get your point, and you may have a more real-world-ready opinion than some of us, but I am not ready to concede anything to MS in this regard.

There are other ways MS could address this issue rather than continuing their embrace extend destroy strategies. There is no reason IE specific tags should be required to make a page display according to an international standard.

If anything, broken pages should require tags to inform the browser that they do not conform to standards, and thus require special attention - not the other way around.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156198)

In this regard at least, they're striking a balance between the needs of professional, highly qualified people and the needs of unqualified people who aren't doing upkeep or can't do upkeep. The problem with saying that everyone should be standards compliant is that there are sites incapable of being standards compliant because their writers can't.

A lot of people would argue that if they break, they break, who cares? This is going to sound lame, but the web wasn't built on the principle of exclusion, it was built on the principle that anyone who can put something on the internet, should. It was built by random people putting things together.

Standards make life easier for the professional and those with the ability to perform upkeep when the target changes, but for the amateurs standards can be a royal pain in the ass. In the case of the web, I strongly believe that the browsers should favor the amateurs over the professionals, because the professionals can conform a lot easier.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156334)

"There are other ways MS could address this issue rather than continuing their embrace extend destroy strategies. There is no reason IE specific tags should be required to make a page display according to an international standard."

Please enlighten us as to these myriad possibilities hat you allude to. Keep in mind that you have to keep existing web sites from breaking.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156668)

In the end, standards don't mean too much. What matters is that the majority of people can communicate. If Microsoft could get away with making the web completely proprietary, you can bet that they would. They know that they can't, so they do what they can to be close while not screwing up proprietary websites designed for their proprietary browser.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156704)

I get your point, and you may have a more real-world-ready opinion than some of us, but I am not ready to concede anything to MS in this regard.
That kind of stubborn attitude doesn't do anyone any good. You're welcome to try to change what the world is like. I encourage you to do so, in fact. However, in the meantime, the world is not ideal, and you have to adapt to it. This is a necessary step towards standards compliance for IE, and you're going to tell MS to shove it up their ass? You must not want standards compliance for IE that badly, I have to say.

Re:It's the most logical decision (2, Interesting)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155962)

but all theese millions of pages pages render fine in firefox, using standard mode so why can't they render fine in ie8?

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156324)

I'm not sure but I think that Firefox just mimicked IE on a lot of things to force those pages to work. The fact that the pages render in well firefox shows how good of a job the firefox team did not that those pages render well for a standards compliant browser

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156416)

I think that Firefox just mimicked IE when the site don't contain a doctype.

I don't think that there are any case where firefox follow ie6/7 insted of w3c when showing pages with a valid doc type.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155966)

IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.
So? This is a new version of a browser we're talking about. A business is dead nowadays if only supports IE. It means it already has a Firefox useragent detector, which serves up more or less standards compliant HTML. It is really not that hard to add a similar detection for the new IE version if it turned out to be standards following.

Re:It's the most logical decision (2, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155974)

As such, ACID should be updated to include the new doctype option for IE.
Given there is is going to be no new doctype, from what MS is saying, this won't be of much use. Of course had you read even the article SUMMARY instead of ranting about how people shouldn't bash MS you'd have known this. Then again you can't karma whore by being reasonable and responding to the actual issue instead of a strawman so I guess that's out of the question for you.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156426)

What the hell are you talking about? I didn't rant at anyone for bashing MS. Hell, MS has been as the focal point of a good number of my own rants. I said look at the situation logically. If IE8 by default renders pages differently than IE6/7 with the same doctype, then anyone who has pages using IE6/7 specific rendering tricks will have to adjust their HTML. The financial investment involved would be huge. It would be foolish for MS to make such a change and then expect every organization an person to go through every live and legacy website to update code.

The logical decision from a real-world point of view is to leave legacy functionality as it is, and to require new functionality to differentiate itself from the old functionality. Whether that means a new doctype, meta-tags, IE8 specific tags, what ever. It minimizes the impact of the functional change and still allows people the full power of those changes without effecting other browsers (assuming they use meta-tags or IE8 specific tags).

My karma is fine. I say what I think. Some people agree, some people don't. But there is no '-1 Disagree' rating. If you want to talk about lack of reasoning and straw men, read the rest of the topics on this article. The vast majority are nothing by irrational flames of MS with no considerations to the technology or business that are the actual issues.

-Rick

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156614)

They would only need to change the site, if the site currently don't work in firefox and other browsers.

If the site work in firefox now, alll microsoft have to do is change internet explorer, so it don't trigger all the hacks that ie6/7 need, and your site works just fine in ie8 "super standard mode". (If "super standard mode" is a working implementation of html4+css2.1 that is)

Re:It's the most logical decision (5, Informative)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155996)

That ACID(2,3) tests are designed to test browsers, browsers are not designed to test ACID. As such, ACID should be updated to include the new doctype option for IE.
So, if I take a test and don't pass it, the test should update itself to include my wrong answers?
ACID is designed to test a browser's adherence to a set standard. Its not designed to just 'test' a browser to see if it works. It's designed to see if it works the way a browser should. I say break the millions of web-pages and force them to get updated.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156680)

ACID is designed to test a browser's adherence to a set standard.
Exactly. And from the sounds of it, IE8 will do very well (err, at least better than IE6/7) at it. BUT you have to give it a meta tag in order for it to do so. So for ACID to test the browser fully, it has to use all of the tools the browser has available.

Saying that ACID should test IE8's non-standards compliant rendering is just retarded. We already know that IE8's non-standards compliant rendering will not render ACID correctly. ACID needs to test the standards-compliant rendering.

The only question is how do you determine which rendering engine to use by default. If you use the standards compliant engine, you risk showing the user broken sites anytime they visit a page that was designed with IE6/7 limitations in mind. If you use the non-compliant engine, then there is no risk of breaking any existing pages (at least, not in ways that they weren't already broken). So using the non-compliant engine by default makes the most sense for the User as it will provide them with a more consistent experience. It is also the best option for web site providers as they won't have to invest the time and money into revamping legacy and live websites to remove the IE6/7 tricks.

If the only benefit to setting IE8 to use the standards compliant engine by default is that it will pass the existing ACID test, then there isn't much reason to do so.

If you disagree, that's fine. But I'll leave it up to you to work out the funding of all the projects that will need to be undertaken to correct legacy web sites.

-Rick

Hear! Hear! (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156044)

I'm all for Microsoft flames (just read any of my comments about Vista), but this really is the most reasonable option. The web always had a tradition of favoring user experience over elegance, just look at the content of the User-Agent field. The cost of putting an extra tag on standard compliant web pages is negligible, compared with the cost of showing all the old, broken web pages incorrectly.

I suppose msie8.exe could have a "/mode=std" switch so it could still technically pass the Acid test.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156080)

Alternatively, they can create a new doctype specifically for the new "more better" rendering. This way, the millions of existing pages that are already designed to render in the exiting style will continue to do so, and anyone looking to use a closer to the standards rendering has the option to.

Well, MS can't introduce a new doctype. That would mean that FireFox and Safari would also have to be on board with the new doctype, and make their browsers comply. IIRC, you can only serve one doctype, and providing an unknown or bad doctype will cause most browsers to render in the least-standards-based, most fugly way. (Quirks Mode, I believe is the term).

The META tag they're proposing is the most risk averse path for them. It will break the least amount of apps and pages, and other browsers will ignore it and render as they previously did.

This is kind of a bummer, since it means that companies and individuals won't have any impetus to change to standards based code. People were mad when MS drove the industry in a certain direction with its browser. Now that standards exist, I think its okay for them to drive it again, as long as the direction is standards-based.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156708)

Yar, I should have clarified. I would assume that given the introduction of a new doctype, for which there is not a legacy support issue, that the default would be the most standards-compliant option. For existing doctypes, where there is a legacy support issue, the default should remain what it already is.

-Rick

Re:It's the most logical decision (2, Insightful)

Runefox (905204) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156090)

Well, if standards compliance is going to break web apps, then why not just implement the new tag as a compatibility mode flag to activate the IE6/7 quirks mode instead of doing it the other way around? App devs can just add that meta tag to their web apps, and the rest of the world can code to a standard that doesn't involve MS.

I really think that'd be the best way to go, and you'd probably agree that this isn't an anti-ms rhetoric. I code HTML, too, and I really think that if IE8 can do ACTUAL standards compliance, that should be the default. I shouldn't have to put a tag on my document saying that Firefox should render the site differently than Opera, so I shouldn't have to put a tag on my document saying that IE8 needs to render it a certain way, either. Legacy is unimportant, in my opinion (just try using IE4 to browse the net), and so instead of having a tag to depart from it, the tag should instead be a tag to go into "Legacy" mode. Hell, using the tag like that, it might be possible to look at rendering those Frontpage sites the same way across platforms.

Re:It's the most logical decision (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156218)

the tag should instead be a tag to go into "Legacy" mode.
There's the problem... WHO is going to go through all of the Legacy websites to update that HTML?

In the last 8 years I've probably done 20 websites for various NFP's, schools, and organizations I've been a member of or was hired by. The vast majority of those sites are for organizations that have little to no internal IT department. If IE8 renders the page differently than IE6/7, even if it does so in a more standards compliant way, it is still going to make their pages appear incorrect, and they have no one on staff with the knowledge or ability to fix it.

-Rick

Re:It's the most logical decision (3, Insightful)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156790)

WHO is going to go through all of the Legacy websites to update that HTML?

In the last 8 years I've probably done 20 websites for various NFP's, schools, and organizations I've been a member of or was hired by.
You just answered your own question. It should be VERY trivial to add the one line of MS-HTML to these sites for you. They don't feel like paying someone to do it? Then they get a broken web site. It's sounds like I'm being an ass but in the long run it will be far less work for everyone. The switch over to standard HTML has to happen at some point, delaying it with stupid tricks is not going to make it any easier. If MS keeps up this kind of crap anyone coding to IE will just have a huge mess on their hands. They are just making it harder for web developers from here on out and by doing that they are shooting them self in the foot.

Re:It's the most logical decision (4, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156108)

IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.
I don't buy it (or maybe I just don't get it--if so, please explain).

IE (just like Firefox, etc.) has a "quirks" mode which renders things in a non-standards compliant way, but is designed to "more or less work" with all the pages out there that are not strictly coded. This new tag is supposed to apply to web-pages where the web author has already explicitly said he wants strict rendering, because he said so in the DOCTYPE. But instead of just fixing IE so that it renders that standards-compliant code better and better, they propose to freeze that rendering sub-engine, and force web-developers to add a new tag that basically says "yes I really meant I wanted you to render strictly!"

It seems to me that the majority of pages that rely on rendering quirks will be okay, since they will be rendered in quirks mode. But pages that were intended to be standards-compliant should be treated as such.

Microsoft's plan isn't sustainable or elegant: they basically want the entire web-community to add another tag each time MS releases a new version of IE. (If they want a custom tag for the IE7->IE8 transition, they probably will want a new one for the next transition...) The entire point of these standards was to get away from browser-specific tags and hacks. A web developer shouldn't have to think about what browsers are on the market today (or 3 years from now): he should just code to the standard.

Put otherwise: Instead of asking everyone who has written a standards-compliant page to add-in a non-standard tag to make it work in IE... wouldn't it be easier to tell everyone "hey, if you've coded a page that is ~almost~ standards-compliant, but relies in some way on IE7-specific behavior, then add in this <NotQuiteStandard> tag, and IE8 will render it like IE7."

Re:It's the most logical decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156174)

Okay, NOW you can pull that anti-MS rhetoric back out and ask: "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME?!?!?"
This isn't too hard to figure out if we set the wayback machine to the early 90's. When the Web was new, there were few standards for webpages (and many of the early standards were just horrible). The early browsers were trial and error attempts to get the majority of webpages to render correctly and it was a huge mess.

So when each new iteration of browser came out, MS (and netscape) had to deal with exactly the point you were making - not to break all the webpages that were already out there. We can all look back a decade or two later and say that once the standards matured they should have stuck to them and abandoned all the older pages, but thats the benefit of hindsight. The idea of standards is great, and I know it's tempting to say "drop support for non standard webpages and force them all to be rewritten!" but that's just not how the world works.

It's a shitty situation, to be sure, but that's life and it's the responsibility of web developers to deal with it, because frankly that's what they are paid for.

On bad assumptions and lack of proper focus (2, Insightful)

dereference (875531) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156344)

IF MS were to change the way pages rendered with existing doctypes, millions of pages could/would render differently requiring businesses and individuals across the world to either re-vamp their websites or at least change the existing doctype to a new name that referred to the old rendering style.
Allow me to vehemently disagree with this premise. As it has been said, "no, there is ... another" and in this case there is an option you and Microsoft have totally overlooked. Think of the ignored person behind the keyboard; let the user decide!

Yes, let the site break by default. Let it render like hell, without any change to the site. Just offer the user a "try to make this site look better" button, that will switch through the various so-called "compatibility" rendering modes.

Microsoft always does this; they ignore the user and focus on the developers (recall Ballmer's silly rant). Think about that for a moment. Their real market demand comes more indirectly from developers building software (yes, including web sites) that need Microsoft, and they know that.

But they're not blind to the users, nor do they always fear change. Think of the XP interface for folks who upgraded from 2000. It looked like a cartoon and took up lots of real estate. Users adapted; a change caused by an upgrade didn't bother them in the long run. Some [gasp] even found that Microsoft provided a nice "classic" option that restored their old look at feel. Even IE7 removed the menu bar by default, but let users restore it.

Now--stay with me for a context shift--the same can be true of a browser. The browser is a client-side piece of software. It can be upgraded, and the upgrade can make things different. Yes, even by default. But let the users click a button to have IE re-render any broken sites (site-wide, of course). Oh, what a burden, I can hear you protest. Fine, let's allow users to even set a preference that all sites should be set to use this "compatibility" mode by default. Then, if some seldom-used site looks bad because a user managed to stumble across one of the few odd standards-compliant sites (please mind the sarcasm) then they can set an exception for this site.

Basically your premise there is flawed; there's a false dichotomy you've presented to fix the breaking of millions of sites. Both of your solutions require the developers to take some action, one indeed less painful than the other.

I'm fine, Microsoft, with you inventing and respecting some non-standard tag, but let me be the voice of developers everywhere begging you to please let us summarily ignore this. Further, I suggest (yes, I'm still talking to you, Microsoft!) you not burden your prized developers any further, and actually consider distributing the pain as a much smaller burden on the end-users. They can and will adapt, soon, as long as you're sure to empower them with sufficient options to fix for themselves the mess you've made by thumbing your nose at web standards for all these years. It's Ok, admit you were wrong about web standards and do an about-face, just as you did with the Internet itself a decade ago.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156442)

Call me old fashioned, but if your webpage relies on IE hacks to display properly and it will break when viewed in a browser/mode that actually follows standards, you deserve to have your page broken. If everyone (MS included) could just follow the goddamn standards, we wouldn't have this issue.

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156520)

I posted this idea on one of the ie blogs, but it still holds true here. M$ has a choice:

1) Break webpages in a (possibly) significant way now and from now on be standards compliant, or

2) Break webpages in small but noticeable ways with EVERY release

Now, I'm voting for (1) because it has the best long term solution, and in that long term, has better benefits both for developers and companies. IMO, that's just a no-brainer. After all, companiees are going to have to update there stuff on every release because of (2) anyway. Why not make it matter?

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156780)

Or option 3:

Require a non-compliant tag to force compliance mode in existing doctypes.
For all future doctypes, maintain compliance.

There ya go, not a single broken website, and all it takes is using a non-compliant tag until the next standard is released. Sounds like a great compromise to me.

-Rick

Re:It's the most logical decision (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156522)

Sad, really. You're advocating flavors in technology meant for interoperability simply as a behavior of an open marketplace. There's a few other places you may want to apply this:

  - Gas pumps
  - Electrical outlets
  - Railway widths
  - Traffic signals

  If the design is entirely about having a Standard then any one participant changes it by lobbying for change and accepting the results of the group decision. Without such, the standard doesn't work. You simply get mistakes, inefficiency.

  IE is broken now, and they should fix it. Period. They should fix the bugs, post a FAQ about applying the fix to web pages and let the market slowly shift over. IE8 should ship with a "view as IE7" mode, off by default. Users will slowly pressure the market. Anything less is simply pandering to the mistake and making it more complex.

  As MS abuses its market position, it erodes it.

Extend, Embrace, Extinguish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22155836)

Nuff said!

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156054)

There. Fixed it for you.

so? (2, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155846)

This just in...

Firefox doesn't either.

Re:so? (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156032)

Firefox 3 should be ale to pass the acid 2 test. They have been working on it, and they don't introduce custom extensions to doctypes to render correctly, rather they are fixing their browser itself.

MSFT dug itself into a hole. instead of getting out and filling the hole back in they are digging another hole to bring people down to their level.

Re:so? (2, Informative)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156152)

Not to mention FF 3 is able to at least *mostly* render Acid3, and once its out of beta i wouldn't be surprised if it was fully compliant. Also, Acid 3 is still in testing. I just don't get why microsoft insists on eschewing standards. They exist for a reason, so people only have to do something once. Ugh, idiocy, thy name is microsoft.

Re:so? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156796)

No, THIS IS getting out of the hole and filling it back in, or at least, the first step in that line. Here's how it should go (not necessarily how Microsoft is planning it, but how it should go):

IE8 has the strict standards mode, web developers adopt it for all their new sites, and update old ones as best they can.
Wait 6 years or so (or pick your timeframe, if you don't like that one).
Now the majority of pages that are on the interweb have the strict standards rendering tag in, and IE8 or later makes up 90% of the IE users.
Next version of IE doesn't require the special tag to render in strict standards mode.

You may disagree with this course of action, which is your prerogative, but to say that they're "digging another hole", and not trying to fix the problem, is insane.

Serious question: (1, Interesting)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155920)

Other than being able to pass the ACID test(s), what would it really mean to Microsoft either way if IE8 did or didn't?

Re:Serious question: (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156330)

what would it really mean to Microsoft either way if IE8 did or didn't?
Absolutely Nothing.

Litmus test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22155930)

The only test that matters with IE: will it uninstall? Probably fails that test, too.

Just stick to the standards (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155938)

All this IE specific websites rubbish is to blame for all the complexity.

Stick to the standards, keep your website clean and relatively uncomplex in layout (ie. usable and readable).

If you see pages render in an odd way and your HTML validates well then it's a bug in the browser and it should be fixed not kludged using CSS tricks (which may break another browser).

Amazon and other sites seem to manage to sell lots of stuff and don't state to use IE or particular versions of a browser. So why do others not emulate their success?

First Thing I Noticed (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155960)

Håkon Wium Lie CTO, Opera Software
I'm sorry, but I can't trust his opinion on a competing product.

Duh. (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155968)

Oh Shit! And the earth isn't flat? Say it ain't so!

Two pages for IE (1, Interesting)

Phillup (317168) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155984)

Great.

Now you'll have to create TWO pages... one for IE7 and one for IE8.

Wanna bet people say something along the lines of: Why develope for IE8 when it will render my IE7 page perfectly BY DEFAULT.

I think they have it backwards... add the meta tag if you want the browser to go into "broken IE" mode.

Obviously none of you read the blog post (0, Flamebait)

The Psyko (11244) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155986)

of the IE developer.

"I doubt Acid2, nor Acid3 will have Microsoft extensions in them."

Well I doubt you have half a brain. Acid2 and Acid3 are developed by WaSP, which were the people that helped Microsoft develop the meta-tag solution in the first place. So there is a good chance that they WILL have the Microsoft extensions in them. Not that a meta tag is really a "Microsoft extension."

Ah, backward compatibility (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#22155998)

All of this trouble, just so the hundreds of crappy IE only intranet apps all across the US will continue to work without any changes.

Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and just make people upgrade their apps to support a non-brain dead, IE specific version of HTML (+ random crap).

Re:Ah, backward compatibility (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156446)

Ah yes, I'm glad you agree. Now please write my company a check for $250,000 so we can take our web-based AR package out of maintenance and upgrade it to the next version that will support the latest browsers. Oh, and of course the check to cover retraining the 30 or so users, so just tack on another $60,000. And we'll need a check for the IT guys that have to actually roll this out. Soon as I get that check, we're all good to go. Otherwise, I'll thank Microsoft for saving our company nearly $500k on that one application alone.

Eh? (3, Funny)

Luke Dawson (956412) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156048)

[Another] scenario could be that Microsoft requires Web pages to change the default settings by flagging that they really, really want to be rendered correctly.
So all this time, they've assumed that we don't want our pages rendered correctly? Hmmm, that actually explains a lot...

The acid test... (1, Funny)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156086)

IE8 appears to be basic...

This is Microsoft's mistake to pay for (3, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156100)

The reason this is happening is because IE6 already actually uses the doctype tags. Depending on the doctype, it renders in quirks mode or in standards compliance mode, just like Firefox. The problem is that the standards compliance mode isn't even close to standards compliant. So now we have quirks mode, IE6 standards compliance mode, and IE7 standards compliance mode. Microsoft dug this hole and now the only way to fix it without breaking pages is to add yet another mechanism.

Microsoft kept redefining the meaning of "standard" so that they were right and everyone else was wrong. Now that they are actually starting to follow the standard, they are scrambling trying to make sure that it doesn't look like they were ever wrong.

Re:This is Microsoft's mistake to pay for (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156750)

Now that they are actually starting to follow the standard, they are scrambling trying to make sure that it doesn't look like they were ever wrong.
Not really -- if they wished to make it look like that, they wouldn't have introduced a tag like this. To me, this is Microsoft's way of, to the contrary, confirming that they've been wrong in the past. Not that that makes the situation any better.

Coding for firefox... (1)

TheRealZeus (1172755) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156112)

85% of people arent worth my fucking time anyway.

Reading... (1, Insightful)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156206)

So I actually read TFA, and it seems that this isn't just a MS thing; in fact it looks to be a standards thing that MS will just happen to be the first to support. Funny how the slashdot crowd automatically makes assumptions and jumps all over MS's case; even when they do something right.

The basic concept is preserving HTML based content for the future despite advancement in rendering software. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Re:Reading... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156624)

... actually read TFA, and it seems that this isn't just a MS thing; in fact it looks to be a standards thing that MS will just happen to be the first to support. Funny how the slashdot crowd automatically makes assumptions and jumps all over MS's case; even when they do something right.



Huh? I suppose you're referring to this sentence in the IE blog:

With this painful and unexpected lesson under our belt, we worked together with The Web Standards Project (in the WaSP-Microsoft Task Force) on this problem.


I think you've just made a highly tendentious and inaccurate interpretation of that comment by the IE people. This has been cooked up by Microsoft's people's in consultation with one other group--and at Microsoft's request in order to try to sort out a problem Microsoft has. That most certainly does not make it a "standard" except in the alternate (and Microsoft-servile) reality in which you're living.



And while you're about it try reading some of the many other linked articles as well.

Please live in the real world.. (3, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156242)

I replied on the previous thread on this.. I shouldn't really post again, but I feel I have to.

Yes, in a magical perfect world, Microsoft would use DOCTYPE to tell if a page wants standard-compatible rendering, and simply break all the pages which have a correct DOCTYPE but then rely, either on purpose or by accident, on IE6 and IE7 bugs. But most of their customers don't want them to, and so they aren't going to.

Therefore they are trying to offer an alternative. An alternative you can either put in as a meta tag or a HTTP header. I can't think of anything they could do in practice which would be better than this, other than the one thing they would never do, which is break old webpages which rendered correctly on IE6/7.

Re:Please live in the real world.. (1)

colonslash (544210) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156648)

Here's another alternative - stop delivering new versions of IE.

They had no problem not working on IE when it was by far the dominant browser.

IE doesn't offer anything useful, that should be in a web page, that other browsers don't.

ActiveX apps should not be created using web pages - they don't use web page standards. There should be a separate vehicle Microsoft has for delivering ActiveX.

Standards Shmandards (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156252)

Seriously, does this really suprise anyone? Lets say for a second you're Microsoft - what is the adcentive to actually follow these standards. Compatibility? Maybe, but most Web sites are designed with IE in mind. Possibly one of the single largest headaches in web development, but it's a reality folks. MS is only interested in compatibility where it benefits them. If they can devise ways to build plug-ins to their applications, they will... 100% of the time. This wouldn't work for Mozilla, and it wouldn't work for Apple, but it will work for Microsoft... for now. Features are the name of the game for these competitors now. Sure all of them can effectivly render pages, but what can they offer that Microsoft can't or won't? It used to be tabbed browsing, widgets, or extensions. I'm not really sure what it is now, but maybe that's why I'm not out designing browsers.

IE Is Not A Web Browser (3, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156280)

I just want to point out that these ongoing shenanigans show that IE is not a web browser. The whole world (including Microsoft) got together and decided exactly what a "web page" is and wrote it down in very clear specifications. So, anyone who writes a piece of software that renders a web page, as defined by those specifications, is a web browser. If you write software that does anything else, then that isn't a web browser. Therefore, insofar as IE does not render web pages, it is not a web browser. So, if anyone complains that your documents don't look right when they view them in IE, gently explain to them that your documents are web pages, and to view them the person needs a web browser, and IE isn't a web browser.

That leaves open the question of exactly what IE is.

Re:IE Is Not A Web Browser (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22156500)

You must have been getting a low 5-digit id when they were handing clues out to everyone else.

By your logic there is no web browser in existence. Firefox and Opera sure as hell do the wrong thing on occasion. There are cases where Firefox deliberately (as in "will not fix") breaks the standards. And Lynx doesn't even try to lay the page out as the CSS demands.

In your fantasy world of perfect standards compliance your web pages are viewable by nobody.

History repeats itself (4, Funny)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156286)

1995 called, they want their <blink> and <marquee> tags back

better non standard "standard" pages to change (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156664)

So now Microsoft's philosophy really is "it's nota bug it's a feature". Sounds like an attempt by Microsoft to claim they are following standards without actually doing so.

How many web pages are in this supposed mode where they have their page marked as following the standard but actually don't?

Are there really web developers who made the mistake of marking their page as such instead of just unmarking the page as "standard following" ... after all if it is going to be broken ANYWAY in other browsers what's the point?

Anyway more and more people are saying screw the BS and switching to Macs (Safari).

De Facto and De Jure (1)

Effugas (2378) | more than 5 years ago | (#22156798)

Alright, here's the reality of things:

People code their web pages to IE6, because that's what the vast majority of the userbase has. Now, enough of the userbase uses Firefox, such that it's worth testing and making sure rendering is reasonable enough there. But, seriously. People build to IE.

Now, this is not great. We should have consistent behavior, and follow superior engineering guidelines as realized through the standards process. People should be building not just to the De Facto standard of IE6, people should instead be building to the specifications made after the fact.

Note, by the way, the entire web is back-standardized, like (as far as I can tell) all good standards. First, build something that works, then remark on what makes things work. This is as opposed to the other way, which is to make a standard and hope it's useful.

So, here's the problem: You've got millions of pages built one way (to the browser), but this is a total pain for devs, who'd very much rather build them the other way (to the refined specification). What to do?

One model is to have the devs identify themselves. That's the tag that's been brought up.

The other model is to bring pain to all the devs who know nothing about the formal specifications, to silently but noticably break their sites. This seems very nice to those who are pissed at those devs for writing non-standards compliant code. It increases the cost in the future of such behavior occurring. Seems like a great idea, right?

In the real world, you don't really get to do that to your customers. Say what you will about Adobe, a Flash file will render the same no matter what, on all Flash players, ever. If the effect of the standardization process is that your code may silently explode in 18 months, forget standards, go for something that would never threaten you with that.

Is that what you want? No? Then relax, and realize that destructive migration paths do more damage to standards than anything else could.

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