Tag Archives: Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 9 to Render Pages with WebKit

In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft announced that the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 would render pages with WebKit, the open source rendering engine developed initially by Apple. (Google’s Chrome browser uses WebKit, as does Safari.)

CEO Steve Ballmer declared the move to be “a wonderful strategy that will finally place Internet Explorer solidly ahead of the competition.”

The change was unexpected, given the company’s long history of less-than-perfect support for web standards and general disapproval of open source software, though the move to WebKit may be the start of a new, friendlier Microsoft.

Web designers have been voicing their approval, though surprisingly there have been a few opposed to the change of rendering engine. One company in particular, a design firm known as Plaid Mango Design, claims that the move to WebKit will cost them 40% of their income, which is made primarily from the extra fees they charge to develop CSS hacks to enable Internet Explorer to render their designs properly.

Bazinga! April Fools!

Internet Explorer Should be Powered by WebKit

Internet Explorer + WebKitThere, I said it.

If Microsoft were to switch from their proprietary “Trident” rendering engine to an open source solution such as WebKit or Mozilla’s Gecko, it would do far more than simply save designers headaches.

It would save Microsoft money and development time, net them some publicity, and vastly improve their web browser? What’s not to like?

What is WebKit? It’s an open source HTML rendering engine that powers Google Chrome, Apple Safari, the iPhone’s MobileSafari, and just about any Mac OS X application that displays web pages.

Internet Explorer could at long last become reasonably standards compliant, and Microsoft would be able to put their resources towards improving their browser’s user interface, rather than wasting time reinventing the wheel.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but there is no reason it couldn’t be done.

10 Cool Things We’ll Be Able To Do Once IE6 Is Dead

SitePoint is celebrating the fact that Internet Explorer 8 has been added to Windows’ automatic updater. This means that a lot more people will be upgrading. Home users are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to using outmoded browsers, and this should get a very large percentage of those remaining to upgrade. (Enterprises may block the upgrade so as to not break poorly-built intranet applications that only work in IE6.)

Blogger James Edwards of SitePoint estimates that in twelve months or so Internet Explorer 6 should no longer be used by enough people to bother supporting, and has assembled a list of ten things that the end of IE6 will enable the web development community to do. My top three are 24-bit transparent PNGs, throw away 90% of CSS hacks, and make full use of min-width and max-width.

10 Cool Things We’ll Be Able To Do Once IE6 Is Dead [SitePoint]

How Much Longer Will IE Last?

Internet Explorer CSSInternet Explorer is notorious for it’s laughable support for W3C standards. Look around in the web design community and you’ll find that a lot of designers do not like the browser one bit, as a result of having to find workarounds so a page that will display in most other browsers will work in IE as well.

Security isn’t exactly the browser’s strongpoint either, as the public is becoming increasingly aware of.

Microsoft has been losing market share in the browser area for the past few years, as people move away from IE. Slowly but surely, IE’s userbase is decreasing, and other browsers are picking up the switchers. Internet Explorer has 43.6% market share as of February, down from the 54.7% early last year, or the 91.1% from early 2005.

Firefox is up to 46.4% market share now, while Chrome, Safari, and Opera collectively have roughly 7%. (Chrome has shown very fast growth considering its age.) The general public is becoming more aware of browing alternatives, and the security benefits of switching to them. More people are buying Macs too, which include Apple’s Safari browser instead of Internet Explorer. People are learning, and moving away from IE.

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Oh No They Didn’t! Microsoft and Web Standards

Remember the big deal Microsoft made about how Internet Explorer 8 would finally be standards compliant. Aside from some odd stuff they were doing, it looked like they were actually putting in an effort to follow through with their promise, or at least something close to it.

Apparently, the a lot of of web pages will load in IE7 mode instead of standards mode. The Register has the full details.

This week, the promise was broken. It lasted less than six months. Now that Internet Explorer IE8 beta 2 is released, we know that many, if not most, pages viewed in IE8 will not be shown in standards mode by default. The dirty secret is buried deep down in the «Compatibility view» configuration panel, where the «Display intranet sites in Compatibility View» box is checked by default. Thus, by default, intranet pages are not viewed in standards mode.

So all intranet sites will be shown in non-standards mode. Then we have all the version targetting nonsense they’ve been planning.

Oh, and guess what happens whenever a page loads in standards mode? A little icon appears showing a broken page. When clicked, it forces the page into “IE7 compatibility” mode. So the browser tricks people into not using standards mode.

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Fighting Internet Explorer 6

Adii, the web designer who created Premium News Theme, and one of the people behind WooThemes, is seriously considering dropping Internet Explorer 6 support from future works, and charging a premium if a client requests it.

I’ve been contemplating about what to do re: IE6 for a while now, and it wasn’t until Elliot published his announcement last week that I decided that I will indeed follow suite. So from now on, I will be adding a premium (probably 10% / 15%) on all custom design work, should the client request IE6 compliance.

Go for it, Adii! IE6 is over seven years old now, which is rather long for any piece of static software (meaning software that dosn’t have software updates pushed to it, like an operating system or such). It’s CSS standards are laughable, and it’s about time it went away.

Do you want to do something to help combat Internet Explorer 6? Campaigns to kill the web browser that just won’t die: Internet Explorer 6.

Getting Around IE’s Lack of Min-Width Support

Min-width is a useful CSS property that, as it’s name suggests, sets the minimum width of an element to a specific pixel width (or em or whatever). It’s very useful.

The problem? Microsoft. Internet Exploder doesn’t support the property. Instead of ranting about Microsoft’s pathetic browser, I’ll skip to the solution…

First, make sure you have an IE-specific stylesheet to put all you IE hacks in. It makes it easier to manage things, and it makes sure hacks like this don’t stop your CSS from validating. (Believe me, this one will.) Include it in your page head like so:

<!--[if IE]><link rel="stylesheet" href="ieislame.css" type="text/css" media="all" /><![endif]-->

Next, add something along the lines of this to the file:

#mydiv { width:expression(document.body.clientWidth < 850? "850px": "auto" ); }

Just replace both instances of “850” with the minimum width you prefer.

Not too hard, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

Fixed vs. Liquid Layouts

This is yet another web-related topic that gets people arguing. Not quite as bad as “Mac vs. PC,” it really gets some people going. Which is better, a fixed-width layout, or a fluid one that resizes to fit the browser window. Unlike some people, I say that it depends on the project, and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution (though I do lean slightly toward fixed-width layouts). Besides, if we all agreed on standards for everything, we wouldn’t have anything to argue about..

Both sides of the argument have their pluses and minuses, and generally I would say “go with what best suits the instance.” If you want a certain look, which will require vertical tile images, and other images of specific width, you may need to go with a fixed-width layout. If you want as much control as you can get over the look of your design, or if you need your content area to be a specific size, go with a fixed layout.

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IES4OSX – Run Internet Explorer on Your Mac

Internet Explorer, a.k.a. the Web Designer’s Plague, unfortunately, isn’t available on the Mac. Many will say this is a good thing, but for designers, or anyone who makes many changes to their template, Internet Explorer is pretty much mandatory for testing. So many people use IE that you can’t afford to have too many major bugs in the behemoth browser.

There aren’t many options for the large amount of Mac-using designers. To test a site in IE, your choices are pretty much limited to either using a PC, or using a virtual PC setup, like VMWare Fusion. If you have a PC on hand, good for you, you’re covered. Otherwise, you’d probably go for VMWare fusion, which costs $80 plus a $189 Windowss XP license. (Or you could just get the WinXP license and use the BootCamp software Apple provides with OS X 10.5) Rather pricey, though, isn’t it?

Luckily, there’s another option out there, albeit a buggy and hacked-together option. It costs $0.00 though, so who cares if it’s a little buggy?

IES4OSX allows you to run several different versions of Internet Explorer on your Mac, for testing designs, or using sites that refuse to work in your preferred browser. It’s a little buggy, it relies on X11, and it takes up a bit of CPU power. But it seems to render pages correctly the same as IE does.

So if you’re not using a Mac yet, here’s another reason to switch… :D

Internet Explorer 8: The Next IE5?

I installed the Internet Explorer 8 beta a few days ago, and I’ve tested some sites in it. So far, I’m not really impressed. It seems to pass the ACID2 test, but there are plenty of rendering bugs that drive me crazy…and they had better be fixed by the time the final release is out.

I’m very well aware that the browser is in beta, but I can’t help but be worried about this. Some pages seem to render worse than ever, and I can’t help but think “Are these bugs, or some sort of ploy to keep things as they’ve been?” It’s not really in Microsoft’s best interests to be fully standards compliant, after all.

Here are just a few examples of the render bugs I’ve noticed:

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