Feeds

Microsoft jump starts IE 8 with community push

702 steps to comply

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mix 08 Microsoft will not just support new and popular technologies in Internet Explorer 8, it's also attempting to build community support for the historically standards-challenged browser.

Not only will IE 8 - unveiled and launched as a beta today - support cascading style sheet (CSS) 2.1 from release, but Microsoft has also released code for a CSS test suite spanning 702 tests to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), with a view to establishing an industry based standard test suite for CSS.

Microsoft's test cases have been published under BSD.

"Our goal of full [CSS] compliance has challenges. Interoperability has many challenges...until we standardize how we all test standards compatibility, no one can tell what everyone has done," IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch told Mix 08 Wednesday.

Of course, there are those who might suggest it's only Microsoft that has problems hitting standards around interoperability and is trying to change the debate and buy time for IE 8 by putting the onus on the industry to revisit standards.

In doing so, Microsoft would be at liberty to press ahead with IE 8 development and to then certify to any W3C test suite afterwards, once product development is complete - without really making things any more interoperable.

That's a tactic from the vendor playbook that served Microsoft and others well, baking web services specifications into products earlier this decade to hit delivery targets and build market share - before the specifications themselves or the testing and certification processes were actually finished.

Hachamovitch also issued a "call to action" to developers to make sure content built for IE 8 works well with the legacy web, meaning sites geared for IE 7. IE 8 will feature an emulation button to test sites under development.

'Developers would answer the question...'

Code, meanwhile, for planned IE 8 features designed to simplify linking to online services such as eBay, called Activities, or to subscribe to just a part of a page, called Web Slices, have been released for community for feedback under the Creative Commons attribution license and under Microsoft's Open Specification. "[We] have published samples and are taking feedback," Hachamovitch said.

According to Hachamovitch, Activities will let the user right click on a web page and pull in maps or pages, like that eBay page, without need for more coding or add-ins by the developer. Developers write "a little bit" of XML code instead. With Web Slices, once you have subscribed to a source, a tile - like a tab - will appear in IE's navigation menu enabling you to keep track of things like eBay auctions.

It was a difficult pitch for Hachamovitch who opened his Mix 08 IE 8 preview to mutterings of discontent over IE's lamentable level of support for web standards. That has created problems for developers building content for sites that must work with multiple browsers.

Referring to IE 7, Hachamovitch said: "My kids would hear stories about how the web isn't working as it should, and they'd ask me: 'Daddy, did you break the web?' Developers would answer the question a little differently," which prompted one keynote audience member sitting behind Reg Dev to growl "much differently."

Hachamovitch continued - clearly in naked defiance of Microsoft's track record on IE vulnerabilities - that Microsoft's problems in "breaking the web" weren't down to security, but down to interoperability instead. "For all we did in security and user experience, there's more we can do for developers...developers spent too much of their scarce time just getting basic things to work. With that in mind, we started IE 8."

Other IE 8 features include support for HTML 5, the ability to view wireless content offline, improved performance, and simplified debugging during development with the ability to find scripts automatically.®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.