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Cross industry AJAX group reaches IE 8 'consensus'

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Microsoft's plans for security and cross-domain communications in Internet Explorer 8 have received qualified support from the cross industry OpenAjax Alliance.

Members of the 100-plus group holding their regular monthly meeting apparently reached a "consensus (not unanimity)" on Microsoft's planned cross-domain request (XDR) feature, saying it was preferable to the solution offered in the W3C's Access Control in the emerging HTML 5 specification. XDR offers the promise of being simpler and more secure, according to OpenAjax.

Attendees called on other browser vendors to implement XDR support although there were some reservations about selling the idea of XDR to other browser developers.

Members also felt Microsoft's meta tag for version-specific logic between different editions of IE was a "reasonable approach" to dealing with the problem of standards compatibility.

The meta tag is Microsoft's answer to putting standards compatibility into IE 8 while also allowing developers to work with the standards basket case that is IE 7. Version switching has been criticized by others, including Opera's chief technology officer Håkon Wium Lie, for making the web more - not less - complicated.

OpenAjax members, meanwhile, complimented IE 8 on several features that are intended to help AJAX navigation. These included implementation of a post message feature to enable communications between different AJAX applications and an increase in the number of possible connections from two to six.

The discussion revealed the team from Microsoft, which joined OpenAjax a year ago, wanted feedback from fellow members. Of particular interest are bugs in the IE 8 beta relating to compatibility with IE 7 when using the meta tag and a list of preferred features for inclusion in IE 8.

The OpenAjax Alliance, founded in 2006 to forge interoperability between AJAX technologies and to drive uptake of AJAX, will publish a preliminary list of features in April and the IE 8 team expected those approved in "the next couple of months" to be included in the first release of IE 8.

IE 8 includes a number of planned enhancements aimed at improving the way AJAX-based applications can be built and deployed by programmers and used by end-users.

Microsoft has worked hard to increase it credibility with the AJAX community since it joined the OpenAjax Alliance. Earlier this month it described its approach to AJAX development in a white paper

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