Big news in the blogosphere – the IEBlog finally divulged some real details about Internet Explorer 8: An internal build of IE8 supports the Acid2 Test, meaning a great deal of HTML and CSS-related quirks have been mopped up.

This is great news and it was something I half-hoped/half-expected. Now that this is official, I also expect an announcement that IE8 will support the W3C DOM 1 and 2, including Events. With both of those, people can actually create web pages that function across all browsers with only the occasional workaround. Web pages from 2005, that is. Too bad the first browser Beta will ship sometime in 2008. Sorry IE Team, you have to understand that you’ll be continuing to receive these digs until the browser ships…

There are some great questions and answers here that I recommend you read.

There are bigger questions still looming. It is well-known, if you had been following Chris Wilson on the HTML WG mailing list in the summer, that IE8 will only support these improvements in a special “opt-in” standards mode.

At the moment, most browsers support two modes: A quirks mode and “standards mode”. The IE team found when IE7 was released with some new CSS fixes that a great deal of web pages were “broken” and they refuse to do that again to customers. This means that any new improvements will be in another mode that web authors will specifically have to opt-in.

Now there is a great deal of concern about this mode. Personally I suspected something like IE’s conditional comments, however this comment from Chris Wilson makes me doubt that earlier assumption. He said:

more detail on “IE8 standards mode” in a soon-to-come post. And I think other browser vendors already DO support the behavior of that mode. πŸ™‚

Does he simply mean that the other browsers already support the standards and features that IE8 will? Or does he actually mean that other browsers support the mechanism of opt-in?

The former is not big news, but the latter can be cause for speculation and is really good news. Is he talking about the HTML5 DOCTYPE (<!DOCTYPE html>)? David Naylor thinks maybe so. Or could he be talking about XHTML and its associated MIME type (application/xhtml+xml)? Nah, I won’t go that far πŸ˜‰

Another question: Any support for SVG on the horizon for IE8? Now that Silverlight is trying to make its way into the web, would it be strategically good for Microsoft to add support for an open standard for web graphics? Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to add this feature in IE9+ to give XAML more time to nest? I certainly hope I’m wrong…

From the video:

  • There was an interesting slip-up. The interviewer mentions something called “Triton” (he meant to say “Trident”, the rendering engine behind IE6 and IE7). The interviewer then slips in the fact that “Triton” is the codename for IE9 and that he’s going to leave that in the video (with Dean’s approval). Is “Triton” the name of the new engine? Does this mean that IE7 still uses Trident which now supports 3 modes of rendering? So much speculation… πŸ˜‰
  • I’m also surprised that Chris and Dean both don’t know what the ‘X’ stands for in AJAX… πŸ™‚
§416 · December 19, 2007 · Microsoft, Software, Technology, Web · Tags: , · [Print]

2 Comments to “First Concrete News on IE8: It Will Pass Acid2!”

  1. another guess says:

    In an X(HT)ML document, the standard way to trigger a particular behavior into an application is by definition a processing instruction.

  2. Candace says:

    An exclamation mark *and* smileys? Jeesh.