Will IE 8 Break the Web?

March 13, 2008 | By | 9 Replies More

This is an interesting concern. I’ve been following the issue from sources like this and this. It turns out the Microsoft is planning to finally pay full regard to the standards board that was in place before Microsoft joined the web.

Internet Explorer has been a very forgiving browsing environment, and therefore has been enabling shoddy design practice for a dozen years. Now the chickens may be coming home to roost as IE 8 (might) follow established standards and require correctly coded pages that will look and behave the same in all browsers.

The problem they have is to decide whether they can afford to initially alienate all those Microsoft-only website developers by implementing the international standard with their next release. It is the socially responsible thing to do, but there will be whining. Badly coded web pages will look as bad in IE8 as they already do in all the other browsers.

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Category: Current Events, Technology

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (9)

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  1. I thought the web designers were complaining that IE was not adhering to the W3C web standards and that they were therefore forced to use hacks to make their websites look right?

  2. Edgar Montrose says:

    As an Opera user, I welcome this. It's frustrating visiting sites that don't work with Opera and knowing, with reasonable certainty, that it's not Opera's fault. Opera adamantly defends that they play strictly by the rules; it's about time that Microsoft did, too.

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    There are some features that IE never properly implemented. Some complex pages have to be designed to serve one page to IE and another for all the other browsers.

    From the MS perspective, the worse problem is that sites designed only for IE will not work as well in IE 8. For the rest of us, bravo to latecomer Microsoft for finally giving up their pose as a leader on the web. They may still hold the most desktops (hostage), but their stock is fading as open source offerings proliferate.

    Disclosure: Although I am a FireFox partisan, and used Netscape for years before IE first came out, I have Windows XP on my machines, and use MS Office more often than its free counterpart, OpenOffice.

  4. Mark says:

    projektleiterin: "I thought the web designers were complaining that IE was not adhering to the W3C web standards and that they were therefore forced to use hacks to make their websites look right?"

    The 'real' web designers have been, yes.

    But there's a world of web sites out there coded by people who know just enough HTML and CSS to be dangerous, and which were not so much designed as merely hacked away at until they finally rendered somewhat decently in IE. These sites typically break in W3C-compliant browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Opera (although Firefox has gotten pretty good at handling broken sites gracefully). It's *this* category of casual / naive web developer that is likely to complain about Microsoft's decision.

    But in response to the title, "Will IE 8 Break the Web?" No, the web is already broken; all IE 8 will do is to force the bad web developers to finally own up to this.

  5. Edgar Montrose says:

    An interesting explanation of this here.

  6. Dan Klarmann says:

    Edgar, excellent article. I hope they at least have a "designer's mode" to help those who compose pages meet the standards, whatever they may be. I remember when Netscape 3 was more forgiving than the newer IE 1.0. I scrambled for days to fix my "bad" pages that looked fine in Netscape, AOL, and Mozilla, but not in IE.

    Now, the tables are turning.

  7. melatoninPC says:

    Internet Explorer 8 is superb in my opinion. this browser has been very stable on my PC even if i open 30+ windows at a time when multi-tasking.

  8. Jay Fraz says:

    CAN NOT RUN PRO TOOLS ON AN IE8 SYSTEM!!! ARGHHHHHHH!!!!

    http://duc.digidesign.com/showthread.php?t=243183

  9. Dan Klarmann says:

    A year after the rollout of IE8, I am still happily developing and testing web pages using FireFox, with the nifty free add-ons (like html validator and MakeLink) and the nice included features that one still has to manually find and install for IE (like spell-check and malicious site detection).

    Non-compliant sites sometimes bog FireFox down (the last time I opened FaceBook it counted 274 W3C errors). But the page still renders, and I figure that the tide will eventually scrub all these sites clean.

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