We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.
- Dean Hachamovitch on the IEBlog
This is great news, kudos to the Microsoft team for listening to the community and changing their approach.
(for more background see Jeremy Keith and Jeffery Zeldman's articles in issue 253 of A List Apart)
The proposed default behavior for version targeting in Internet Explorer solves the problem of “breaking the web” in much the same way that decapitation solves the problem of headaches. In its current state, version targeting is a cure that will kill the patient. Version targeting could have been an opportunity for Microsoft to demonstrate innovation. Instead, the proposed default behavior demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the World Wide Web, a place that according to its creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, will always be “a little bit broken.”
Markus Mielke has published the final list of CSS changes for IE7 now that they're in lockdown and getting ready for shipping.
In all, we made over 200 behavior changes (bug fixes or new features) under strict mode to improve CSS2.1 compliance.
As well as the bug fixes there are other improvements including
:hoveron all elements not just <a>,
background-attachment: fixedworking on all elements, and support for min/max width/height (finally!!).
I'm disappointed that
display: tablestill isn't in there but there is hope for the future
We are already planning for the next IE release and will continue down the road of improving our CSS support.
Praise where praise is due, I think the team over there has done a great job so far. Now I (and many others) want to see this kept up.
More news on the Internet Explorer front from the IE blog:
As we get close to the final availability of Internet Explorer 7, I want to provide an update on our distribution plans. To help our customers become more secure and up-to-date, we will distribute IE7 as a high-priority update via Automatic Updates (AU) shortly after the final version is released for Windows XP, planned for the fourth quarter of this year.
There will be the option to roll back to IE6 at any point or ignore the update (up to a certain point I should imagine) for those corporate installations that need to take their time about these things.
I think pumping it out through Automatic Update is a good thing, and not just from the security point of view. As a web developer I'm all for a mechanism that gets a more standards compliant rendering engine out there onto as many computers as possible. The memories of the upgrade path from IE5 to IE6, and watching visitor statistics slowly change, is still indelibly etched on my mind.
I'm still confused about what they're playing at with the user interface though.