Feeds

IE8 to follow web standards by default

Walk the line

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft is to develop IE8 so that it follows web standards by default and will retain a controversial mode switching proposal.

Internet Explorer general manager Dean Hachamovitch conceded that the move is a change from what Microsoft had previously said and prompted (at least in part) by a desire to avoid regulatory and legal problems.

In a post on Microsoft's IE development blog, Hachamovitch said: "We've decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we've posted previously.

"IE8’s default is a demonstration of [Microsoft's] interoperability principles in action. While we do not believe any current legal requirements would dictate which rendering mode a browser must use, this step clearly removes this question as a potential legal and regulatory issue," he added.

Although not explicitly stated, it is reasonable to conclude that Opera's recent complaint to the EU as well as anti-trust fines informed Microsoft's volte-face. Whether the move will help Microsoft skirt regulatory problems is open for debate.

Modern browsers (including IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera) sport multiple content-rendering modes – including ones supporting strict interpretation of certain web standards as well as quirks modes needed to offer compatibility with pages that pre-date modern standards.

MS is now going to use IE8 standard as default. Developers who want their pages shown using IE8’s “IE7 Standards mode” will need to request that using a meta tag. This mode switching approach has been criticised by rival developers, such as Opera.

Microsoft's legacy of not sticking to web standards as closely as, for example, Opera, in the past has left it with more problems than other developers in sticking to standards.

For example, the transition from IE6 to IE7 was complicated by pages that rendered well in IE6 standard mode but not IE7 standard mode. Microsoft expects similar problems with the move to IE8, but has changed its approach to solving the problems.

IE8 will have three rendering modes: one that reflects Microsoft's implementation of current web standards, an IE7 standards mode, and a third based on rendering methods dating back to the early web. The IE8 standards mode will now be applied by default. Previously, the IE7 standards mode would have been preferred.

IE8 will include an IE7 standards mode as well as a "purer" IE8 standards mode so that developers can still select it as an option.

"This facility would be helpful as the web moves gradually from the large quantity of legacy content authored around IE7's behaviors to a new era of much more interoperable and web standards compliant browsers," Hachamovitch explains. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Keep that consumer browser tat away from our software says Oracle
Big Red decides it will only support Firefox's Extended Support Releases
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.