Today on Ajaxian there was an article on the new IE 8 beta 2 and new user features regarding crash features. They disconnected the web-frame (where the web page content is) from the chrome (where the address bar, back button and home button is), so in other words, even if a page crashes, the entire browser will not crash. That isn’t all you’ll find on Ajaxian. If you scroll down, you’ll see comments by Chris Wilson, an IE8 team member!
Here are his comments, often in response to someone else. (They were talking about various things, like the DOM, webkit, activeX, among other things.)
Wow. You guys really do just have one line, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you?
We are, in fact, making tremendous leaps in standards compliance in IE8. Go download Beta 1 if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe me, or wait for Beta 2 and be even more surprised. Standards compliance is not and will not be the only thing we sink resources into, however. Crashes are a very bad thing for users; not all crashes (in fact, the bulk of crashes) are not even under our control, as they are the result of add-ins. Therefore enabling crash recovery is a great thing for us to do.
AriesBelgium – you seem to not understand what this feature is. It is user protection for when crashes happen; cross-browser compatibility is irrelevant, and web developers donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to Ã¢â‚¬Å“use itÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Polterguy – never said this was our Ã¢â‚¬Å“biggest featureÃ¢â‚¬Â. In platform, our biggest feature is a brand new layout engine, with full CSS 2.1 support.
It would add some dignity to this discussion if, instead of just blithely assuming the IE team is doing nothing, you investigate what weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re actually doing before ripping on it, particularly in standards compliance. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t claim that we will solve all problems in IE8, or be done with standards compliance, because I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think one is ever done – the state of standards moves forward. However, we are in fact hard at work.
@eyelidness – B1 was rougher than we wanted, yes, because we made the default-version switch decision very late. As for things like opacity not being there in the new layout engine, we prioritized getting the CSS2.1 features in, and then started looking at our old proprietary stuff to see if it was relevant, and how to keep from polluting the new stuff (since you must be talking about filter:opacity, not Ã¢â‚¬ËœopacityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Filters in particular will be there (in B2), but didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it in B1. (Scott Dickens mentioned this in a blog comment response somewhere on the IEBlog, but didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make a separate post.)
I, too, believe in walk before run. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve spent so much effort getting CSS2.1 right, rather than jumping right in and adding whole new feature areas in a haphazard fashion. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not sexy, but it will in fact improve exactly what you are concerned about – accomodating browser incompatibilies. We are doing the best we can to focus most on the highest-impact areas we can take on to make web developersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ lives better. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been continuously true since I rejoined the IE team in 2004, and if at any time I felt our priorities in platform were not following that, I expect IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d leave.
On integrating WebKit – we would have to add a number of features to WebKit in order to provide compatibility, particularly in the enterprise space – e.g. ActiveX support, which would be a political nightmare, as well as support some of our user features, like activities and WebSlices and printing. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even imagine for a moment that could be overcome – but we would need to bring WebKit up to Windows security and code quality standards (which includes test coverage and quality). ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to do for hundreds of thousands of lines of code youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not familiar with. We would have to be responsible (to each and every Windows consumer) for servicing that code (with security updates, etc.). ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just not a path that Microsoft is likely to follow, as it places tremendous responsibility on us, and the only benefit is a short term catchup.
Politics are not the blocking factor. Ramping up a team and effort to make it happen is.
@Schill IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m surprised you still see IE6 as dominant over IE7 – browser share trends (e.g. http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=3) showed IE7 share passing IE6 share late last year. I understand 26% isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t zero – itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s roughly all the other browsers put together – but surely itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting better?