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IE8 Breaking Microsoft's Web Standards Promise? 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-too-promising dept.
An anonymous reader points out a story in The Register by Opera Software CTO Hakon Lie which tells the story of how Microsoft's interoperability promise for IE8 seems to have been broken in less than six months. Quoting: "In March, Microsoft announced that their upcoming Internet Explorer 8 would: use its most standards compliant mode, IE8 Standards, as the default. Note the last word: default. Microsoft argued that, in light of their newly published interoperability principles, it was the right thing to do. This declaration heralded an about-face and was widely praised by the web standards community; people were stunned and delighted by Microsoft's promise. This week, the promise was broken."
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IE8 Breaking Microsoft's Web Standards Promise?

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  • There's a saying.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:23PM (#24811677) Homepage
    When things sound too good to be true, they usually are..
    • by mrbah (844007) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:42PM (#24811889)

      Considering IE's pattern of "improving" standards compliance over the last decade, a "more compliant" IE8 wouldn't necessarily be a good thing. MICROS~1 seems to think that fixing support for one thing and breaking support for 50 others is an improvement. It isn't. Even IE8's true "standards mode" is just as non-compliant as IE 7, 6, and 5.5. The only thing that has changed over all these revisions is the nature of the rendering errors. One version might treat a certain block element as inline, while the next fixes that issue only to draw inline borders incorrectly. All they do is change the errors, never fix them.

      Anyone who thinks IE standards support has improved from IE7 to IE8 is sadly mistaken, and while we'd all rather have a truly compliant IE, it just isn't going to happen. I know I'll get a lot of hate for this, but I'd rather have one broken web browser to develop hacks for than 4.

      • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @02:42PM (#24812405)

        Anyone who thinks IE standards support has improved from IE7 to IE8 is sadly mistaken

        It has improved. The difference between 6 and 7 wasn't too great, basically just bugfixes and additional selectors, but there are significant improvements in Internet Explorer 8, for instance CSS tables. Internet Explorer 8 passes the Acid2 test now, where 6 and 7 were miles off. While it's not a conformance test, it does give a good indication of how far they've come, and it's a result of additional support, not merely "rearranging bugs" as you seem to think (which would actually be far more work than just doing things properly).

      • by Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:01PM (#24812535) Homepage

        Anyone who thinks IE standards support has improved from IE7 to IE8 is sadly mistaken

        Well it passes Acid2 now (as long as it's hosted at webstandards.org) and currently gets 21/100 on Acid3 (compared to 14/100 for IE7) so there must be some improvement in IE8.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dotancohen (1015143)

          Well it passes Acid2 now (as long as it's hosted at webstandards.org)

          My '72 Fiat can do 300 KPM and 0-100 in 3.6 seconds, but only on my private track where no one can see it. On the street it behaves like any other '72 Fiat so far as the layman is concerned.

      • by Columcille (88542) * on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:32PM (#24812763) Homepage
        IE7 is a good browser. IE8 will be a better browser. This article is ridiculous. Not having standards mode for intranet is hardly breaking a promise. Despite the ridiculous claims of the article (50% of all page views are on an internet - as determined on the back of an envelope? And this is newsworthy?) most page visits are within the internet. Most concerns about standards compatibility are within the internet. Intranets tend to have the unique ability of setting things the way they want it anyway. It's out in the wild world of the web that developers find most of their frustrations. I maintain an intranet website and I could care less what defaults are set on a browser - I can make sure the users use whatever settings on their browsers I want them to use. I cannot do the same with internet sites. It might be puzzling why Microsoft would not enforce standards mode for intranets (but keep in mind this is only a _BETA!_ something /. exaggerators tend to frequently forget) but it hardly constitutes saying they have lied about their promises. Once again, /. demonstrates a thoroughly unreasonable anti-Microsoft bias.
        • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Sunday August 31, 2008 @02:33AM (#24816765) Homepage Journal

          IE7 is a good browser. IE8 will be a better browser. This article is ridiculous. Not having standards mode for intranet is hardly breaking a promise.

          I'm looking at that statement and I simply cannot believe that anyone said it. I work, these days, for my sins, in a Microsoft shop; everything we build is for Microsoft platforms, practically every tool we use is a Microsoft tool. But the one Microsoft product that no-one in the building will use except for testing is IE. Most people use Firefox, some people use Safari, I use Opera.

          So why not? Is it because we care about standards? Well, a few of us do. But mainly, it's the dreadful 'lets hide all the controls' user interface, the 'helpful' 'we know what you want' features, and the slug-like performance.

          IE is so bad that even brainwashed pro-Microsoft zealots won't use it.... and that's a good browser?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mabhatter654 (561290)

          boy do you miss the boat. Microsoft still has 75% of the web browsing market. Pages built for IE6 are still expected to work for banks, hotels, and intranets. When Microsoft changes a default 80% of the world suffers because internal developers write ONLY for IE. The original promise what that IE8 would render in W3C standards mode by default unless another page mode was triggered. This would have been huge, allowing people to properly write pages for Opera, Firefox, & Safari and have IE render them

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ttfkam (37064)

            That's funny, because I recall having to fix pages when IE 5 came out, again when IE 5.5 was released, and again for 6 and 7. Each version of IE came with its own set of quirks and changes that caused non-trivial CSS layouts to render oddly. Conditional comments [microsoft.com] greatly aided the transition, but it was a transition nonetheless, so why not make a transition that actually makes web development more uniform for a change?

            As for still requiring Microsoft's Java (because of JDirect [codeguru.com] or the com.ms.win32 stuff, I a

    • by jmpeax (936370) * on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:52PM (#24811985)
      Actually, the summary is misleading. Only intranet pages are not rendered in standards mode by default, presumably to encourage enterprise customers to upgrade (most I know of use IE6 at the moment). From TFA:

      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.

      The article uses some dubious statistics to back up the sensationalist headline ("intranets account for about half of all page views on PCs"), but ignores the reality: many intranet systems use IE-specific extensions (normally because they were developed a while ago) and, unlike websites, don't often benefit from constant revision and attention from a development team. To me, viewing intranet pages in compatibility mode by default makes sense.

      • or it could be... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toby (759) *

        Only intranet pages are not rendered in standards mode by default,

        Because SharePoint (and other denizens of the MS ghetto) does not, and never will, comply with relevant open standards.

        (Should we be thankful they still use TCP? Or should we pray for the ultimate ghettoisation - let them isolate themselves behind their own proprietary walls.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Only intranet pages are not rendered in standards mode by default,

          Because SharePoint (and other denizens of the MS ghetto) does not, and never will, comply with relevant open standards.

          (Should we be thankful they still use TCP? Or should we pray for the ultimate ghettoisation - let them isolate themselves behind their own proprietary walls.)

          Yup, Sharepoint is ghetto when compared to the Linux alternatives...of which there are no real contendors. No. Stop. There aren't.

          This makes sense for MS.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @05:30PM (#24813485) Journal

          And let us not forget that many Intranet sites are ancient,buggy,old crap. Hell,most of them I have run into are still using old ActiveX hacks! try getting THAT junk to render properly in any decent browser! The simple fact is MSFT HAS TO render Intranet sites the old way,since many of them ARE old and businesses are loath to update them.

          Personally seeing how quick Firefox has been spreading I kind of doubt that by the time IE9 comes out anyone that isn't on a corporate Intranet will really care. And the reason why I haven't seen Firefox taking off in business is because the Mozilla Corp hasn't put out good Group policy controls that would allow admins to easily deploy and manage it. If someone at Mozilla would put out some really good Group Policy controls I doubt that even businesses would care about IE anymore. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

  • by Coopjust (872796) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:26PM (#24811727)
    I'd imagine that there are a lot of intranet apps that are coded to work around a lot of IE only quirks, and would require a lot of effort to update.

    MSes volume license customers probably asked MS to make IE7 mode the default. And when money talks, companies listen.
    • by hattig (47930) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:30PM (#24811773) Journal

      I agree that it makes sense for the intranet pages to be viewed in Compatibility Mode.

      However showing a broken page icon next to standards-compliant web pages is another issue altogether. Clearly the broken page icon should apply to pages that aren't standards compliant!

      • by Coopjust (872796) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:37PM (#24811847)
        The icon should be different. Their meaning makes some sense, but the purpose of the icon would be clearer if they added a question mark to the "broken page" (so the icon would convey "is the page broken?")
        • by Firehed (942385) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @02:46PM (#24812435) Homepage

          I agree, having installed IE8 beta for the first time about five minutes ago. I clicked the broken page button, and sure enough, the page broke (on a site I've been working on and haven't gotten to IE6/7 hacks yet). Works as promised, I guess. Thankfully, the default strict compliance mode either works correctly or close enough that my lack of IE-conditional stylesheets didn't matter.

          I think a little explanation that pops up in that first-load box would be sufficient. They could even use it to paint themselves in a good light - "By default, IE8 will show websites using the latest web standards. Some websites have not been developed to the latest web standards, and may not appear correctly. If this happens, click the compatibility mode icon (image) and the page will be drawn in a less standards-compliant mode that should be closer to the website designer's intentions."

          Seriously, attack the web devs and designers in the firstrun message if you have to. Use it as an opportunity to brush up on your doublespeak and make us look bad. We don't care, so long as you render the page as well as the Gecko and Webkit engines by default.

          Intranet sites, whatever. I think that should be done within the network rather than the browser's defaults directly, but that's not a major concern to me really.

    • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @02:20PM (#24812237)

      Companies with intranets that don't work in a standard web browser can set all their clients to use the broken backwards compatibility mode by default as part of their policy settings.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Apps is the key word. The big security issue is that IE is not a web browser so much as a generic application front end. It was and is a tool to allow application designers a method by which they can work around the MS Windows version incompatibilities, as well as design for a wide variety of hardware. As a innocent side effect, large portions of the internet at one time required windows. On an intranet this is a good thing. On the internet this is not such a good thing as one cannot trust the arbitrar
    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      It is simple as "If site is on local intranet, emulate IE6/7" if they wanted and if it was the reason (excuse?).

  • INTRANET only (Score:5, Informative)

    by tankrshr77 (170422) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `77rhsrknat'> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:28PM (#24811743)

    The article only says that INTRANET pages are not shown in standards-compliant mode by default.

    • Re:INTRANET only (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:38PM (#24811849) Homepage Journal
      Presumably because internal corporate apps are going to be a dozen years old and already so finely tuned to the intricacies of IE6 that reworking them would cost too much—and so companies wouldn't upgrade to IE8. I think The Register is being a little unfair in this case, although their comment about the icon (which takes up too much space and uses language so loaded ("discrimination") that it verges on being connotatively wrong) is much easier to appreciate. Perhaps the CTO of Opera is not the ideal person to expect to deliver an unbiased commentary.

      I guess this all reflects the same woe preventing any standard's adoption: is it cheaper for the corporate sector to go with it or go against it? In the case of Intranet apps, I suspect the answer is a resounding "no," and it would most likely just be seen as breaking compatibility for an abstract reason.

      I bet that, with enough poking and shit from the community, however, the MS guys could be convinced to have it default to compatibility mode for intranet sites only on Business versions of Vista.
      • by toby (759) *

        already so finely tuned to the intricacies of IE6 that reworking them would cost too much

        NOBODY SAW THAT COMING!

      • by Darundal (891860)
        Loaded language?! Well, what do you expect from a tabloid? Fair and balanced? The big "reputable" news agency that seems to spout that off whenever they get the chance most assuredly isn't.
    • The article only says that INTRANET pages are not shown in standards-compliant mode by default.

      And beyond that this is a BETA release, not the final release. But hey, why let reality get in the way of a good Microsoft trashing.

    • Re:INTRANET only (Score:5, Interesting)

      by telbij (465356) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:50PM (#24811969)

      The article only says that INTRANET pages are not shown in standards-compliant mode by default.

      Yeah the article is too harsh on this point, but...

      Furthermore, web standards are discriminated against in IE8 by the icon that appears next to standards-compliant web pages

      This is just terrible. This sounds like Ballmer came down there personally and mandated this. On the other hand...

      First, I suggest that IE8 not introduce version targeting which only perpetuates the problem of non-compliant pages. Instead, IE8 should respect the established conventions which don't need manual switching between modes.

      One of the things Microsoft does very well is maintain backwards compatibility. This is of tremendous value to enterprise customers. The least evil way to do this is with rendering modes. You can argue that standards should be the default, but to suggest that Microsoft should stab its most profitable userbase in the back and completely break backwards compatibility just to altruistically further the state of web standards compatibility is ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I wish it would happen, but it would be a pretty stupid move.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:29PM (#24811753)

    Sounds like the same old backward compatibility for corporate intranets, sharepoint, etc.

    And the GUI shown that controls this can be changed with a single click of a checkbox.

    Sounds good enough for me, though I suspect nothing MS does will be good enough.

    P.S. Opera is my default browser, and I have used it since they made it free, but their CTO's claim
    is mostly all wet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:31PM (#24811781)

    The dirty secret is buried deep down in the ÂCompatibility view configuration panel, where the ÂDisplay intranet sites in Compatibility View box is checked by default. Thus, by default, intranet pages are not viewed in standards mode.

    So they use standards compliant mode by default over the internet, but not for internal sites that are probably aimed at the specific browsers supported by the company's IT department. Sounds reasonable to me. Anyone have a problem with this?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Micro$haft is t3h evilz0rs! Th3y mu$t bu|2n! ... er... we must berate them for everything they do, no matter how logical.
  • by aengblom (123492) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:31PM (#24811785) Homepage

    MS is "breaking" that promise only for intranet pages and, honestly, intranet pages are a very different. If you think corporations are going to be updating all these internal applications when all they have to do is switch on compatibility mode, well you've got another thing coming.

    And, if intranet pages stop working I'd wager a whole lot of users and corporations would just turn on compatibility mode for EVERYTHING and be done with it. One could argue even more people will use the regular IE8 mode if this is left as default.

    Wait, I don't know what I was thinking. M$ IS EVIL LIAR!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by symbolset (646467)

      If corporations need this it still doesn't have to be the default. They can set it in group policy. It's Microsoft that needs nonstandard IE mode (aka compatibility mode) to be the default for intranets, to lock in SharePoint.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Actually, you can browse and use Sharepoint 2007 (MOSS 2007) sites perfectly fine in Firefox - I do it every day without issue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by erroneus (253617)

          If only... I have a few businesses from which my company subscribes services and some are actually using Sharepoint as a portal to those services and completely blocks out my Firefox browser. Another is a security company that will only allow Safari and MSIE. But perhaps they aren't using a newer Sharepoint installation.

          • Possibly - theres nothing in MOSS 2007 that blocks Firefox or Safari by default.
            • by Firehed (942385)

              Even when I had to work with MOSS2005 at school a couple years ago, it worked fine in Firefox (for a given value of fine anyways - this is MOSS we're talking about).

        • At this rate, the shareholders will sue.

          Can you [deep] link to SharePoint content by URL?

          What functionality is missing when you use a browser other than IE?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Yes you can deep link - even to documents in Document Libraries (http://sitename/subsitename/libraryname/foldername/documentname.txt).

            Basically the only thing I have found in several months of using MOSS 2007 with FireFox is that you can't drag and drop webparts around in 'edit page' mode - you have to move them through the webpart settings. Otherwise, everything seems to work fine.
      • by masdog (794316)
        Um...sharepoint isn't the only Intranet site that has been tweaked for IE. If you're a large enterprise, you've probably got some ERP system that was tweaked extensively to work with IE6.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Note that the article was written by the CTO of Opera. If that's the kind of thinking that goes into Opera, I am not surprised their market share is so low.
  • by MSFanBoi2 (930319) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:32PM (#24811791)
    1.) IE 8 is still in Beta. I'm sure most folks remember what that means. As in not quite feature complete yet?

    2.) If people bothered to take a few minutes to read, you would see that it only impacts INTRANET sites, people do understand what that means correct?

    I know a good portion of Slashdot just wants to flamethrower all that Microsoft does, but at least take the time to read.

    PS: This post coming to you from IE 8 Beta2.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Naughty Bob (1004174) *

      IE 8 is still in Beta. I'm sure most folks remember what that means. As in not quite feature complete yet?

      Ixnay on the condescension there MSFanBoi2. While there are no hard and fast rules, beta software usually is feature complete (in as much as the term 'feature complete' applies to anything that dribbles out of Redmond).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ConceptJunkie (24823)

        You have to remember Microsoft's terminology differs from the conventional meanings. Rough approximations follow:

        beta == early alpha
        RC == late alpha
        1.0 == early beta
        SP1 == RC1
        2.0 == first version that does anything useful
        3.0 == first version you actually consider worth using

    • by thermian (1267986)

      I know a good portion of Slashdot just wants to flamethrower all that Microsoft does, but at least take the time to read.

      What I love about that is that most 'Microsoft haters' I know use Windows. Years of bitching, but still using it.
      I use it too, and Linux, lots of Linux, and Unix. Not Macs though, the ones I would need cost too much.

      The trick is to quit foaming at the mouth about Microsoft and realise that actually a lot of their stuff is pretty good, and where they fall down, there's always a FOSS alternative.

      For me they fail on HPC, badly, so I use Linux or freeBSD for that.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        There really is a difference when they choose to compete. I mean their hardware products are usually pretty solid, as are there non-Office, non-Windows software offerings.

        Ms Money is significantly less evil than that Intuit crap is. MS software users can't even begin to comprehend vendor lock in until dealing with an outfit like Intuit. Want to move to Intuit from a current version of Money, no you don't get to do that, just buy an older copy and import through that. Want to use a non approved bank, you're

    • by cyb97 (520582)

      Re1: Just picking your nits here, but a beta should really be feature complete. It would be setting your self up for the epic fail if you introduce new features AFTER the beta-cycle.

      Betas are usually the first release outside your closed development environment and at this stage you should have sorted your shit out and focus on fixing bugs and critical errors that usually don't show up until you release your software to the "monkeys" (so to speak).

    • by kill-1 (36256)

      The Beta2 of IE8 is feature complete.

  • by davecrusoe (861547) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:37PM (#24811843) Homepage
    What really peeves me is that our staff, part of a medium-size nonprofit, continually switch browsers to support our IE-only "Intranet" (thanks, MOSS!) and their favored method of browsing, through Firefox. The time we lose in training on this transition - and troubleshooting this transition - is unreasonable. It surprises me further that corporations would continue to push non-compliant products despite recent pushes for increasing computing efficiency in the workplace... Of course, MS is a business - but wouldn't their money be BETTER earned increasing my efficiency (making me more likely to purchase their products) than requiring me to take more time to accomplish everything? --Dave
    • What really peeves me is that our staff, part of a medium-size nonprofit, continually switch browsers to support our IE-only "Intranet" (thanks, MOSS!) and their favored method of browsing, through Firefox.

      What problems are you having? I browse MOSS 2007 daily using Firefox as my main browser without issue - and I'm a full blown site admin.

      • No kidding? Most of the activex functions are inoperable; formatting (besides straight HTML) in web parts, file upload features, versioning, etc... does that all work for you in FFox? If so, is there a MOSS extension necessary to make that happen?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sconeu (64226)

      Have you tried using the IE Tab Extension [mozilla.org]?

      • by dotancohen (1015143) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:25PM (#24812707) Homepage

        Have you tried using the IE Tab Extension [mozilla.org]?

        No, I haven't. When it's available for Ubuntu let me know.

        What's that you say? I should install Windows so that I can have IE so that I can view broken webpages? Or better yet, install a compatibility layer so that I can install the two-versions outdated IE6 against that software's EULA (I have no Windows license, remember) so that I can view broken webpages?

        IE Tab is for people who want a woman with their current girlfriends clothes, yet with their old girlfriend's diseases.

    • by toby (759) *

      MS is a business - but wouldn't their money

      By 'their money', you mean, of course, money that was yours before you gave it to them.

      There's your answer - save your money in the first place and use the better free products.

  • by paniq (833972) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:40PM (#24811871) Homepage
    ...another reason for me to stay with Firefox! sometimes i feel tempted to switch to IE8, but i heard it's not easy to get it to run on Ubuntu. >:)
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @01:45PM (#24811929) Homepage

    See it as a broken browser icon.

  • Genius (Score:2, Insightful)

    Only Microsoft would come up with an icon to imply that standards are bad.

    I will not be surprised if standards mode is even removed completely by the time it leaves beta. They're just easing people into the idea of not using standards mode by starting on intranet pages at the moment.
  • by mikkelm (1000451)

    Yes, in the name of unconditionally appeasing standards preachers everywhere, let's push a browser that could render a huge number of especially smaller businesses crippled due to their internal web apps being left broken from a usability perspective.

    "Intranet" translates to "enterprise network" in the real world. Enterprise web applications are pretty much all written for IE compatibility. Taking this away by default would be pointless and downright ridiculous. Leaving it in, but letting you flick a switch

  • SURPRISE! Not. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Does it really surprise very many people that Microsoft is acting in the same way it ALWAYS HAS in the past?

    Come on, man! Metaphorically, it is about the same as expecting a long-time multiple-repeat-offense child molester to behave from now on, based on her claim that she has "Seen the light," and has been "Healed! Praise the Lord!"

    Yeah, right.

    For a number of years now, whenever I hear another claim from Microsoft, my response has been "I will believe it when I see it."

    And sadly, the fact is th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KGIII (973947)

      Might want to read the article - no promises broken at all. This is for the intranet, not the internet. This is one place where the choice to do so by default (it can be changed easily by sys admins via group policy) is both logical and correct.

  • by RomSteady (533144) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @02:22PM (#24812261) Homepage Journal

    So let me see if I get this right...

    Internet Explorer has three rendering modes: normal (IE6), standards (IE7) and super-standards (IE8).

    Depending on the DOCTYPE, either "normal (IE6)" or "super-standards (IE8)" will appear.

    For pages that appear in "super-standards" mode, they may appear broken if the page was built for IE6/7 and has an improper DOCTYPE. They put a button next to the link that someone can click to shift into the legacy rendering mode that looks like a broken page because most users are going to look for an obvious icon.

    I'm not seeing the problem here.

  • What are we? Children? I cannot believe anyone can be adult, hear the word promise, and consider giving it any seriousness. Microsoft or anyone should never promise anyone anything. Just my advice.

    Beyond that, IE 8 is still beta so I'd wait to see the final result. I know I will not be using it much because I am on Linux 90% of the time. It better be slipstreamable though.

  • Misleading (Score:2, Insightful)

    by px0128 (998251)
    This is inaccurate FUD. InTRAnet sites are internal corporate sites. That still means that any inTERnet site accessed from the corporate internet connection will still be displayed in standards-compliant mode. However, any COMPANY HOSTED site will not. Anyone saying that this qualifies for breaking a promise is really fishing for something.
  • The original decision was wrong.

    Which would you prefer (and no you don't have a time machine)? A browser that, by default, works with all existing web sites or one that, by default, doesn't?

    In any case a standard is a nonsense without a standard implementation and there isn't one for "web standards".
  • Treasure in the cave (Score:3, Interesting)

    by leighklotz (192300) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:37PM (#24812785) Homepage

    Of course, it's interesting to note that Hakon Lie has a vested interest in preserving quirks, because his company Opera has built its business on emulating IE (so called "IE5 bug-compatible") in mobile browsers.

    So naturally, Opera would be opposed to any move by Microsoft to curb the chaos and make web pages easier to render. They couch this in terms of backward compatibility [zdnet.com], and in fact Hakon Lie and other Opera employees event went so far as to found a new standards body to push their own agenda, and started with similarly threatened browser vendors as members. (Contrast this with the W3C, which invites both vendors and users of a technology to hammer out a standard that serves both ends of that economic stick.)

    So, why support a Microsoft decision that seems so harshly standards supporting, as Joelonsoftware points out? Perhaps because a harsh position is unworkable, and perversely leads to delays in adoption of IE7 and IE8 with their new features and new implementations, thus leaving more time for Opera to milk the IE5 bug-compatible business, while they build up their new standards.

    Oh, and it seems like the "backwards compatible" mantra has been dropped a bit, with all the hoopla over dropping "apparently unused" attributes such as "rel" from HTML5.

  • Given the choice, I'd rather just have to put up an FAQ page explaining how to "fix" IE8 (and point to that link when necessary) than to do what I've had to do up to this point: Build a page that's standards compliant, then look at it in IE and figure out how to work around the broken parts. So this will mean less work for me as a web developer, thankfully - for in-house stuff anyway (which is most of what I do).

    Of course this is predicated on IE8's standards support being quite good - I'll believe that whe

  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @03:51PM (#24812885)

    If one 'widely praised' about face was good, two are better.

  • ....And, yes, I am a cynic.

    I do not expect ANY promise, made by ANYONE, to be adhered to, until it actually happens.

    Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised to find out how much easier my life has become since I made that admission/realization to myself.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce

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