Standard Issue: IE 8 Finally Gets It Right
File this under the "Microsoft Finally Gets It" department: Yesterday,
that Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) would ditch the proposed "Super-Standards
Mode," which would have made full compliance with public Web standards
in the browser an opt-in option. By default, IE 8 had been poised to support
implementations proprietary to the current IE 7 browser. Now, Microsoft says
IE 8 will comply with current Web standards out of the box.
This is actually a big deal. And great news, at least in the longer-term, for
Web developers vexed by the expanding patchwork of standards-based and proprietary
Web site implementations. Near-term, IE 8 is likely going to cause some pain
as Web sites previously tuned for the standards-impaired IE 7 fail to behave
properly under the new browser. Developers supporting the new browser, expected
later this year, may face a break-fix cycle on their existing IE-tuned Web sites.
As RDN Executive Editor Jeffrey Schwartz reports,
developers who want IE 8 to recognize IE 7-tuned Web pages will have to specifically
request IE 8's "Standards Mode" to do so.
"We've decided that IE 8 will, by default, interpret Web content in the
most standards-compliant way it can," Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's general
manager for Internet Explorer, wrote in a blog
post. "This decision is a change from what we've posted previously."
In the long-term, IE 8's commitment to public standards should finally end
what has been one of the most disappointing eras in Microsoft's history. That
is, Redmond's attempt to layer its own enriched functionality atop and around
public W3C-endorsed standards. The Internet Explorer franchise has tempted developers
to craft Web sites that may not perform properly under Firefox, Opera, Safari
and other non-Microsoft browsers. Robust standards compliance in IE 8 could
finally change that.
What do you think of Microsoft's decision on IE 8? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/04/2008 at 1:15 PM