IE8 Beta 1 Revealed

A few ago, Microsoft released the first beta version of it’s forthcoming Internet Explorer 8. It carries the label ‘developer beta’, which implies it’s pretty rough around the edges and not really suitable for the masses. Nonetheless, every new addition to the IE line is a welcome one, since -historically-, every new version introduced new complications. So what’s in the mix for Microsoft’s latest critter in the browser-space?

Image courtesy: Paul Thurrott

If I’m honest, I’m not the most credible source to rely on, due to the simple fact that I haven’t yet taken the liberty of installing it onto my machine. I’m planning to, though. I’ll have some experiences to share some time soon.

image  (IE8) versus (IE7) image

It’s important to note that Microsoft overrode its initial plans for a ‘standards compliant mode‘ and, instead, makes IE default to standards mode altogether. The former would’ve required developers to insert specific code, which would’ve been particularly nasty.

Paul Thurrott made all the download links available on his blog, here.

For now, I’ll just look at what other [more reliable sources] are finding. ArsTechnica put their all-seeing loupe on IE8’s first [beta] iteration and stated that it does the following things right:

  • first and foremost, it passes ACID2, finally some real standards compliance!
  • relevant to the prior, there’s the new CSS 2.1 Testing Center where you can test specific portions of CSS while developing webpages [for IE]
  • IE’s address bar introduces (minor) additional anti-phishing measures by highlighting the current site’s domain
  • ‘Emulate IE7’-button to revert to what is referred to by MS as ‘quirks mode’

On the other hand, as with every bit of software, the following features aren’t up to snuff (yet?):

  • the funky ‘favorites bar’ is weird
  • IE8’s interface is still a greatly displaced and needs a redesign
  • still no capabilities for handling the ‘application/xhtml+xml’ MIME
  • still no SVG-support
  • standards mode performs slower than IE7 mode

Aside from the usual quirks and hazards, it seems to me IE is finally nudging into the right path. If they could make sure they have inline search and sexy it up a little, I’d be a glad to welcome it to my toolkit.

Let’s see where this thing goes.


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