Tagged With internet explorer 8
Internet Explorer 8 is now in general release, but that doesn't mean that the product is bug-free. In an interesting move, Microsoft has now opened up its online bug tracking database for IE8 to the general public, meaning you can vote on which bugs you'd like to see fixed most urgently. Many of the currently listed bugs are relatively minor rendering issues, but it's a good place to check in if you are having issues with how IE8 handles your own site, or weird performance problems. IE8 Technical Beta Bug Database
The Google Operating System blog points out that the recently released Internet Explorer 8 packs in a good number of power user features for serious searching, including suggestions from the search bar, instant "answers," and right-click "accelerators." We're using "surprising" in the headline because, for most of its history, IE8 followed the company line of a lot of Microsoft products, extending advanced features only to in-house products like MSN, Hotmail, or the myriad of Live web services. Now IE8 can, however, pull in native search suggestions from Google, if you've made that your default search provider, and adding other search providers can give you things like direct jumps to Wikipedia pages and product image results from Amazon. Right-clicking a selected word or phrase brings up your installed accelerators, so you can translate with Google, map with Yahoo, or plug the words into any other service. Neat, useful stuff; a more detailed breakdown is offered by Alex at the link below.
If you've managed to download Windows 7, then the official IE blog has a useful rundown on what features of Internet Explorer 8 work differently on the new Windows platform. Most of the changes relate to the new Windows 7 interface, such as offering "jump lists" for common sites, previewing IE tabs from the taskbar and modifying the browser for touch screens. There's also a handy list of IE plug-ins that don't work as yet on the platforms, some of which have workarounds.
IE8 in Windows 7 Beta
Microsoft's official IEBlog points out one of the less obvious features of Internet Explorer 8's most recent beta: the ability to use alternate style sheets, effectively enabling people to define their own approach to site layout. While it's likely to be some time before this feature is widely supported, it's worth remembering when you're laying out your pixel-precise site design that user interference is likely to be more common in the future. The CSS Corner: Alternate Style Sheets
One of the major changes in Internet Explorer 8 is that it adheres much more strictly to web standards than past IE releases. That's a welcome and sensible move, but it has resulted in many sites not rendering well, since they have been built to work with the slightly skewed design principles of earlier IE releases. The second beta of IE8 handled this with a 'Compatibility View' button, but Microsoft's internal research suggested that this wasn't quite enough, as a post on its IEBlog explains:
We saw from the telemetry data that IE8 Beta 2 users still have to use Compatibility View a lot. Looking at our instrumentation, there were high-volume sites like facebook.com, myspace.com, bbc.co.uk, and cnn.com with pages that weren't working for end-users with IE's new standards compliant default. We could also see from our instrumentation that not all IE8 visitors to those sites were clicking the Compatibility View button. So, large groups of people were having a less than great experience because they weren't aware of the manual steps required to make certain sites work.
Microsoft's latest solution is to allow users to opt-in to an automatically updated list of popular sites that need compatibility view and have those sites rendered using the older IE7 approach without requiring manual intervention. That feature will be added to the next beta of IE8, due early in 2009 (there's a similar feature already in Opera). This seems like a pretty good interim solution to me; share your take in the comments.
Compatibility View Improvements to come in IE8