April 25, 2005 3:23 PM PDT

Microsoft discloses some IE 7 plans

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Microsoft yielding to IE standards pressure?

March 16, 2005
Microsoft finally told Web developers what they've wanted to hear for years, promising support for graphics and style sheet standards.

In a blog entry posted Friday, a member of Microsoft's Internet Explorer development team said the company plans to support key elements of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations Portable Network Graphics (PNG), an image format, and Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), a Web page styling standard.

"We have certainly heard the clear feedback from the Web design community," Chris Wilson, lead program manager for the Web platform in IE, said in reference to support for the PNG standard. "Our first and most important goal with our Cascading Style Sheet support is to remove the major inconsistencies so that Web developers have a consistent set of functionality on which they can rely."

While Microsoft and critics of its Web browser have focused most of their attention on IE's security liabilities, the issue of standards support remains crucial to Web developers.

Glitches in IE's standards support mean that developers have to code separately for IE and for browsers that hew more closely to the standards. IE enjoys about 90 percent browser market share despite losing some points to the Mozilla Foundation's open-source Firefox browser.

Last month, Microsoft was reported to have been planning better PNG and CSS support, but Wilson's blog entry Friday is the first public word to developers that the next version of IE--pegged as a security-focused release--would feature these improvements.

One standards proponent and Microsoft competitor said he looked forward to the proof of IE 7's standards support in the new release.

"The blog says they have fixed a few bugs. Great, but we expect more than that," said Opera Software's chief technology officer, Hakon Lie, who co-authored CSS. "The big question is: Will IE 7 pass the Acid2 test? I proposed the Acid2 challenge in a CNET article, and it has later been published by the Web Standards Project."

Other improvements said to be on tap for IE 7, currently code-named Rincon, include tabbed browsing and support for IDN (Internationalized Domain Names).

For years, developers have complained about IE's CSS bugs, and have called IE's rendering of certain PNG images "ugly."

130 comments

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Already there....
Internet Explorer already has CSS support. I deal with it all the time.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto with PNG.
Sounds to me like some of the people on the IE dev team need to pull their heads out of the sand. "Oh wait, we already have those features?!"

s/(Internet Explorer ) 6/<br clear="all" />1 7/
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
Already there....
Internet Explorer already has CSS support. I deal with it all the time.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto with PNG.
Sounds to me like some of the people on the IE dev team need to pull their heads out of the sand. "Oh wait, we already have those features?!"

s/(Internet Explorer ) 6/<br clear="all" />1 7/
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
A tip for IE7 designers
Finally supporting long established mature web standards needs
to be referred to as "innovation" in order to get the green light
from Microsoft's chiefs.
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HA!
This isn't innovation either....

This is idiocy.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
Long Established Standards?!?
The W3C does not dictate standards. The W3C makes recommendations. When 90% of the world's browsers do things one way, how is it you can declare the 10% minority as being compliant with "long established mature web standards?" Ridiculous. I'm all for standards, but standards are not dictated by the W3C, or a severe minority of users. I also think that any company has the right to ignore standards if they think they have a better way of accomplishing the same task. Yet... as we sit here discussing standards, there seem to be absolutely no basis for calling these particular features "standards."

Perhaps you can explain how a minority of users, using software with a minority market share that complies to "recommendations" somehow defined "standards." eh?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
A tip for IE7 designers
Finally supporting long established mature web standards needs
to be referred to as "innovation" in order to get the green light
from Microsoft's chiefs.
Posted by Terry Murphy (82 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HA!
This isn't innovation either....

This is idiocy.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
Long Established Standards?!?
The W3C does not dictate standards. The W3C makes recommendations. When 90% of the world's browsers do things one way, how is it you can declare the 10% minority as being compliant with "long established mature web standards?" Ridiculous. I'm all for standards, but standards are not dictated by the W3C, or a severe minority of users. I also think that any company has the right to ignore standards if they think they have a better way of accomplishing the same task. Yet... as we sit here discussing standards, there seem to be absolutely no basis for calling these particular features "standards."

Perhaps you can explain how a minority of users, using software with a minority market share that complies to "recommendations" somehow defined "standards." eh?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
IE's CSS and PNG support
The story and the two people it quotes make clear that Microsoft already supports the standards in question, but that developers have complained that that support is not up to par. The news is that Microsoft is acknowledging those complaints and promising to improve its CSS and PNG support, not introduce it.
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What is par?
Do we really need webpages brought to us through IE that read our minds and hearts?

What exactly are the things that are being complained about? Maybe a need for future popups to be able to bypass any form of current popup blocker?
Perhaps a new means to allow html to gain access to my harddrive or be able to control my pc? Who exactly are the people doing the complaining and why?

MS really needs to start thinking about security and stop wasting so much time on creating new bells and whistles that no one needs except maybe for spammers.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
IE's CSS and PNG support
The story and the two people it quotes make clear that Microsoft already supports the standards in question, but that developers have complained that that support is not up to par. The news is that Microsoft is acknowledging those complaints and promising to improve its CSS and PNG support, not introduce it.
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What is par?
Do we really need webpages brought to us through IE that read our minds and hearts?

What exactly are the things that are being complained about? Maybe a need for future popups to be able to bypass any form of current popup blocker?
Perhaps a new means to allow html to gain access to my harddrive or be able to control my pc? Who exactly are the people doing the complaining and why?

MS really needs to start thinking about security and stop wasting so much time on creating new bells and whistles that no one needs except maybe for spammers.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
IE is like...
IE is like an uncle who visits you every year around the holidays, always gets drunk, always urinates on your carpet and furniture, always punches someone, always gets in shouting matches, and always causes the police to be called to your house.

After putting up with that garbage year after year, do you really care if that uncle finally goes to AA? Or will you be more like "Yeah, great, I've already moved on..."
Posted by TimeBomb (70 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, if only.....
It's kinda hard to move on if that uncle lives with ya.

IE isn't going to AA, it's just going to be adding a slightly stronger grade of drink to it's already bloated list.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
IE is like...
IE is like an uncle who visits you every year around the holidays, always gets drunk, always urinates on your carpet and furniture, always punches someone, always gets in shouting matches, and always causes the police to be called to your house.

After putting up with that garbage year after year, do you really care if that uncle finally goes to AA? Or will you be more like "Yeah, great, I've already moved on..."
Posted by TimeBomb (70 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, if only.....
It's kinda hard to move on if that uncle lives with ya.

IE isn't going to AA, it's just going to be adding a slightly stronger grade of drink to it's already bloated list.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
Thank you MS...
I'm glad they're listening to the web community. When I typically begin writing the code for my sites I do it in the best standards compliant fashion I can. This typically works out in Firefox. Open it in IE6... it's all gone to hell.

So, I begin to make sacrifices or figure out what hacks need to be used to get it to look right in IE.

Hopefully, I can eliminate that last step soon.

So, here's hoping MS can do it right. I'd rather code to standards and have it work in the viewer's browser of choice without worrying about browser detection or box model hacks.

Now, can someone tell me what this Mike Scarborough(sp?) guy is ranting about? Reading his replies make my head hurt. Did he read the article? Oi...
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank You
Bob, this is the first reply I've read so far that suggests the changes being implemented by MS will be beneficial, without refering to those changes as "standards."

I agree. These will be beneficial changes for a lot of people. But I can't disagree more that these W3C "recommendations" that have been implemented in only 10% of the deployed web browsers is somehow a "standard."
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Mr. Barker.....
I've been following all this for quite a few years. I make it a point in my life to learn. Computers and certain technology is a deep passion of mine.

I realize that many of you people may not agree with me. I do not expect you to change your mind based on what I say. You have your experience and I have mine.

I have reached a point where Microsoft is no longer capable of offering me anything of any real value. IE7 will be worse than IE6. lol....IE6 is worse than IE5 or IE5.5. XP is useless and dangerous. I do not now, nor will I ever run XP. I will try to keep an open mind with Longhorn, but I have serious doubts about it. Just as I kept an open mind when XP came out. Over time, XP has proven to be a very negative thing. Longhorn is already suspect. But, as I said, I'll try to keep an open mind about it.

As for webdevelopement.....
Well, I do not work for a company that makes money by creating websites for people. But, I know how to create a website...and have....mine. My site works well for me and the code that I put into it will never in any way harm other peoples computers. No spyware or viri, no improper use of cookies or anything that could be used for tracking people. I pay for it out of my pocket and do not ask anyone for any money to maintain it. It is mine and I'm wholey and souly responsible for it. I am there.

You don't have to agree with me or even like me. But, you need to understand....I am there. I am part of this mix.

I am constantly learning. Just like everyone here. That even means you.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
Thank you MS...
I'm glad they're listening to the web community. When I typically begin writing the code for my sites I do it in the best standards compliant fashion I can. This typically works out in Firefox. Open it in IE6... it's all gone to hell.

So, I begin to make sacrifices or figure out what hacks need to be used to get it to look right in IE.

Hopefully, I can eliminate that last step soon.

So, here's hoping MS can do it right. I'd rather code to standards and have it work in the viewer's browser of choice without worrying about browser detection or box model hacks.

Now, can someone tell me what this Mike Scarborough(sp?) guy is ranting about? Reading his replies make my head hurt. Did he read the article? Oi...
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank You
Bob, this is the first reply I've read so far that suggests the changes being implemented by MS will be beneficial, without refering to those changes as "standards."

I agree. These will be beneficial changes for a lot of people. But I can't disagree more that these W3C "recommendations" that have been implemented in only 10% of the deployed web browsers is somehow a "standard."
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Mr. Barker.....
I've been following all this for quite a few years. I make it a point in my life to learn. Computers and certain technology is a deep passion of mine.

I realize that many of you people may not agree with me. I do not expect you to change your mind based on what I say. You have your experience and I have mine.

I have reached a point where Microsoft is no longer capable of offering me anything of any real value. IE7 will be worse than IE6. lol....IE6 is worse than IE5 or IE5.5. XP is useless and dangerous. I do not now, nor will I ever run XP. I will try to keep an open mind with Longhorn, but I have serious doubts about it. Just as I kept an open mind when XP came out. Over time, XP has proven to be a very negative thing. Longhorn is already suspect. But, as I said, I'll try to keep an open mind about it.

As for webdevelopement.....
Well, I do not work for a company that makes money by creating websites for people. But, I know how to create a website...and have....mine. My site works well for me and the code that I put into it will never in any way harm other peoples computers. No spyware or viri, no improper use of cookies or anything that could be used for tracking people. I pay for it out of my pocket and do not ask anyone for any money to maintain it. It is mine and I'm wholey and souly responsible for it. I am there.

You don't have to agree with me or even like me. But, you need to understand....I am there. I am part of this mix.

I am constantly learning. Just like everyone here. That even means you.
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Link Flag
What CSS problems?
I know about the png problem. But other than that, what are all these so-called problems?

Why is it when I use CSS it looks exactly like I want it to in IE, but it doesnt in Netscrap or FireFox?

In my opinion, the CSS support is much better in IE than in the other browsers.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Either...
you don't know how to use CSS correctly or you are fixing it to work in IE and it causes Netscape and Firefox to crap out.

I know that sounds like I am trying to pick on you or call you a crappy developer, but I'm not. So let me just apologize for the harshness in the above first off.

I know at least one web developer in my local area that feels the same way you do. He has never tried to developer for any other browser other than IE (up until latley he's never had too). Now he has to and it's driving him nuts (just like I imagine it is doing to you as well). Come to find out he had developed a lot of bad habits over time and he in fact was using CSS and several other standards incorrectly.

I don't know if this is a correct statement, but IE uses a lot of best guess methods that can fix bad coding (or fix problems caused by lack of standards support in IE). I can remember learning CSS and having the same problem you describe, but I can tell you it was me doing CSS wrong and IE either a fixing it or not knowing what to do so it did the next best thing (I really don't know).

I have know doubt that the 'other' browser have their problems with the standards, but I would be willing to bet 9 times out of 10 the developer is to blame.

Once again, let me just apologize for this sounding harsh. I am not calling you and idiot or anything like that. I know this sounded like that, but I'm just trying to say that it may be that you aren't using CSS correctly. I'm not you and don't know what you are or aren't doing so please please accept my apologizes if you take offence at this.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
MSIE Supports its own CSS.
Thats kind of a silly statement. The only reason that pages will work in IE and not another browser is because you're only writing the code to fit IE's quirks. Or in other words, you're writing IE CSS for viewing in IE. Of course it works. Its quite possible to make pages that display correctly in several browsers. For one thing, IE tends to ignore the differences between block-level and inline elements. Whereas the W3C and every other browser acknowledges them. So if you neglect to code with that in mind, you end up with Microsoft CSS which only works with Microsoft's Products.

If you want to know a feature that isn't in MSIE, the :hover pseudo-class only seems to work on anchor tags with an href. In FireFox or Opera, I can easily make a drop-down on mouse-over menu. In IE, I need to use Javascript. Which is probably a much greater security problem by itself than what adding any new features could introduce as Mike was so worried about. Of course, MSIE is able to have lots of security flaws without having added anything new in years. Which seems to make the argument rather moot.
Posted by (29 comments )
Link Flag
You don't know what you're talking about!
These are the typical comments of a rookie web designer.

Firefox handles CSS 10 times better than IE.

It's no secret the majority of web designers today prefer Firefox 10 to 1 over IE.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
What CSS problems?
I know about the png problem. But other than that, what are all these so-called problems?

Why is it when I use CSS it looks exactly like I want it to in IE, but it doesnt in Netscrap or FireFox?

In my opinion, the CSS support is much better in IE than in the other browsers.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Either...
you don't know how to use CSS correctly or you are fixing it to work in IE and it causes Netscape and Firefox to crap out.

I know that sounds like I am trying to pick on you or call you a crappy developer, but I'm not. So let me just apologize for the harshness in the above first off.

I know at least one web developer in my local area that feels the same way you do. He has never tried to developer for any other browser other than IE (up until latley he's never had too). Now he has to and it's driving him nuts (just like I imagine it is doing to you as well). Come to find out he had developed a lot of bad habits over time and he in fact was using CSS and several other standards incorrectly.

I don't know if this is a correct statement, but IE uses a lot of best guess methods that can fix bad coding (or fix problems caused by lack of standards support in IE). I can remember learning CSS and having the same problem you describe, but I can tell you it was me doing CSS wrong and IE either a fixing it or not knowing what to do so it did the next best thing (I really don't know).

I have know doubt that the 'other' browser have their problems with the standards, but I would be willing to bet 9 times out of 10 the developer is to blame.

Once again, let me just apologize for this sounding harsh. I am not calling you and idiot or anything like that. I know this sounded like that, but I'm just trying to say that it may be that you aren't using CSS correctly. I'm not you and don't know what you are or aren't doing so please please accept my apologizes if you take offence at this.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
MSIE Supports its own CSS.
Thats kind of a silly statement. The only reason that pages will work in IE and not another browser is because you're only writing the code to fit IE's quirks. Or in other words, you're writing IE CSS for viewing in IE. Of course it works. Its quite possible to make pages that display correctly in several browsers. For one thing, IE tends to ignore the differences between block-level and inline elements. Whereas the W3C and every other browser acknowledges them. So if you neglect to code with that in mind, you end up with Microsoft CSS which only works with Microsoft's Products.

If you want to know a feature that isn't in MSIE, the :hover pseudo-class only seems to work on anchor tags with an href. In FireFox or Opera, I can easily make a drop-down on mouse-over menu. In IE, I need to use Javascript. Which is probably a much greater security problem by itself than what adding any new features could introduce as Mike was so worried about. Of course, MSIE is able to have lots of security flaws without having added anything new in years. Which seems to make the argument rather moot.
Posted by (29 comments )
Link Flag
You don't know what you're talking about!
These are the typical comments of a rookie web designer.

Firefox handles CSS 10 times better than IE.

It's no secret the majority of web designers today prefer Firefox 10 to 1 over IE.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Link Flag
The standards problem is industrial-wide flawed design
The issues with standards have been so hopelessly clumsy with IE, Moz and Opera in general since Netscape 1, because of the unflexible way standards are implemented. IMO, it's a bad design concept altogether adding better CSS/HTML/JS support only after installing a whole new browser revision on top. The plugin concept could be used instead in a similar way Macromedia does for Flash. For e.g. adding good CSS2 or fixing bugs could mean simply adding a tag to install the required patch revision snippet for the CSS engine. This would seamlessly synchronize browser capabilities depending of website requirements.

Why seems so difficult to grasp that?
Posted by alx359 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The standards problem is industrial-wide flawed design
The issues with standards have been so hopelessly clumsy with IE, Moz and Opera in general since Netscape 1, because of the unflexible way standards are implemented. IMO, it's a bad design concept altogether adding better CSS/HTML/JS support only after installing a whole new browser revision on top. The plugin concept could be used instead in a similar way Macromedia does for Flash. For e.g. adding good CSS2 or fixing bugs could mean simply adding a tag to install the required patch revision snippet for the CSS engine. This would seamlessly synchronize browser capabilities depending of website requirements.

Why seems so difficult to grasp that?
Posted by alx359 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft is too late, web designers still have to design for IE 6
And IE 7 won't be released til 2006 anyway!

It's not like web designers will suddenly stop designing for IE 6, so all the problems that IE has with its non-support of clear W3C standards will continue for quite some time, until 95% of people have stopped using IE 6 or older versions, which will probably be in 2007 or maybe even 2008.

All because Microsoft couldn't listen to web designers 4 years ago and haven't made any real effort to adhere to the W3C standards, like Firefox, Opera, and company have.

Typical Microsoft.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Listen up
Listen up anonymous poster...
The W3C does NOT dictate standards. They have no authority or power to do so. The W3C creates and publishes *recommendations.* No company is tied to the W3C and forced to comply with the published recommendations, and no company should be. In response to your comment, there are no "clear W3C standards." There are simply recommendations that have been adopted by a MINORITY of deployed web browsers. 90% of the desktops in use today do not support these recommendations. Lets just stop calling them standards.

non-support of clear W3C standards
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft is too late, web designers still have to design for IE 6
And IE 7 won't be released til 2006 anyway!

It's not like web designers will suddenly stop designing for IE 6, so all the problems that IE has with its non-support of clear W3C standards will continue for quite some time, until 95% of people have stopped using IE 6 or older versions, which will probably be in 2007 or maybe even 2008.

All because Microsoft couldn't listen to web designers 4 years ago and haven't made any real effort to adhere to the W3C standards, like Firefox, Opera, and company have.

Typical Microsoft.
Posted by ivand67 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Listen up
Listen up anonymous poster...
The W3C does NOT dictate standards. They have no authority or power to do so. The W3C creates and publishes *recommendations.* No company is tied to the W3C and forced to comply with the published recommendations, and no company should be. In response to your comment, there are no "clear W3C standards." There are simply recommendations that have been adopted by a MINORITY of deployed web browsers. 90% of the desktops in use today do not support these recommendations. Lets just stop calling them standards.

non-support of clear W3C standards
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Acid 2
Anyone test their browser with acid2? I have not found 1 that would work. I tried almost every browser on my linux box. Is there a browser that passes Acid2?

Anyways now IE7 is coming out with full css 2.1 support and for the next 6-7 years it will sit quietly as the world moves by? Or is this a sign that Microsoft opened their windows to the outside and found that they are left behind?
Posted by (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Acid2 Test here.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html" target="_newWindow">http://webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html</a>

I found that Firefox 1.0.3 did better than Opera 8 and both did better than IE 6 (Windows XP Pro SP 2). I don't have a Mac so I couldn't tell you how Safari does.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Acid 2
Anyone test their browser with acid2? I have not found 1 that would work. I tried almost every browser on my linux box. Is there a browser that passes Acid2?

Anyways now IE7 is coming out with full css 2.1 support and for the next 6-7 years it will sit quietly as the world moves by? Or is this a sign that Microsoft opened their windows to the outside and found that they are left behind?
Posted by (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Acid2 Test here.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html" target="_newWindow">http://webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html</a>

I found that Firefox 1.0.3 did better than Opera 8 and both did better than IE 6 (Windows XP Pro SP 2). I don't have a Mac so I couldn't tell you how Safari does.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
HA! This is exactly what I mean.....
This may not be CSS or PNG, but this is exactly the sorta thing that I'm talking about....

You had better be carefull what you ask Microsoft for.

The licensing terms via which Microsoft is planning to make available its recently announced XML file formats for Office 12 are not compatible with the GNU General Public License, open-source officials say. The result? Unless free and open-source backers are willing to risk violating the Microsoft license, they won't be able to use the new Microsoft formats. In other licensing news, Microsoft is (not too surprisingly) expecting open-source advocates to license its Indigo Windows communication and Avalon Windows presentation technologies before porting them to Unix or Linux.


or....goto the site directly....
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1829462,00.asp?" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1829462,00.asp?</a>
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HA! This is exactly what I mean.....
This may not be CSS or PNG, but this is exactly the sorta thing that I'm talking about....

You had better be carefull what you ask Microsoft for.

The licensing terms via which Microsoft is planning to make available its recently announced XML file formats for Office 12 are not compatible with the GNU General Public License, open-source officials say. The result? Unless free and open-source backers are willing to risk violating the Microsoft license, they won't be able to use the new Microsoft formats. In other licensing news, Microsoft is (not too surprisingly) expecting open-source advocates to license its Indigo Windows communication and Avalon Windows presentation technologies before porting them to Unix or Linux.


or....goto the site directly....
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1829462,00.asp?" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1829462,00.asp?</a>
Posted by Prndll (382 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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