IE8 released at Mix; will it cripple the web-user experience?

IE8 released at Mix; will it cripple the web-user experience?

Summary: The next generation of Internet Explorer, once the leading web browser in the world, has just been updated to version 8 and released at Mix 2009. While many will rejoice at the new browser; updated features, porn mode, tab recovery and better web standards, the last one has been a controversy from day one.

SHARE:

The next generation of Internet Explorer, once the leading web browser in the world, has just been updated to version 8 and released at Mix 2009. While many will rejoice at the new browser; updated features, porn mode, tab recovery and better web standards, the last one has been a controversy from day one.

The web standards debate has sparked mass protest and anger from thousands, if not tens of thousands of people.

To break it down simply, previous versions such as Internet Explorer 6 and 7 have not had web standards compatibility installed, and most web developers optimise their websites for IE6, IE7 and Firefox - the three main web browsers used on the market - and are customised to look visually pleasing in these browsers. Now IE8 has web standards installed, a lot of websites appear broken or parts missing because the customisation in the websites code makes the site literally appear as it should, but not how the developer intended.

Gallery To see a screenshot gallery of some of the errors encountered by the new web standards in Internet Explorer 8, click here.

Microsoft are telling developers to add code to websites which tells IE8 to assume the site isn't up to the web standards and to view in compatibility mode. However, there are only around 2,400 websites at the time of going to press which were configured this way. Many major corporate and visited websites, including a number of Microsoft ones, ironically, are still broken in IE8 as a result.

Many argue that developers, regardless of large or small websites, should face the music and adapt their websites to suit all browsers; after all, that is what web standards are for. Yet others would argue that, for a next generation browser, that it should give users the option to decide for themselves. Not everyone has realised yet that you can. Here's how:

  • If the menu bar doesn't appear in Internet Explorer 8, press the Alt key.
  • Go to Tools > Compatibility View Settings.
  • Make sure the two check boxes at the bottom of the dialog box are checked, then hit Close.

For those who want to avoid the impending web browsing experience massacre, you can always switch to another browser.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Software Development

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

56 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Let me see if I understand the following correctly:

    [i]For those who want to avoid the impending web browsing experience massacre, you can always switch to another browser.[/i]

    In order to avoid the "massacre" of IE 8's standards compliance your recommendation is to switch to another standards compliant browser?
    ye
    • Ironic, isn't it? But there is no other viable option.

      Only IE could produce such a mess.
      InAction Man
    • The advice is correct

      [i]In order to avoid the "massacre" of IE 8's standards compliance your recommendation is to switch to another standards compliant browser?[/i]

      Yes, that would be the correct thing to do. When your browser reports that it is Firefox, Safari or whatever, the site should send you standard HTML. When you connect with IE8, it will send you the IE specific code which IE8 no longer supports.
      jwillum
      • So wouldn't it be easier...

        ..for the developer to simply send the compliant code when the browser reports IE8? I mean they are doing a browser check already. Its not that difficult to add a case.
        storm14k
        • Did you read the article or just start talking against the title...?

          "Microsoft are telling developers to add code to websites which tells IE8 to assume the site isn?t up to the web standards and to view in compatibility mode. However, there are only around 2,400 websites at the time of going to press which were configured this way. Many major corporate and visited websites, including a number of Microsoft ones, ironically, are still broken in IE8 as a result."

          Sure they could do it. The point of the article is they HAVEN'T!

          IMHOYAAAH
          • They HAVEN'T and they WON'T!

            M$ took no one's advice while creating this mess. They created it in order to make life difficult to everyone else.

            Now that they find themselves in deep shite because of it they want others to undo the mess they created. Sorry, no one will do it. M$ will have to live in the mess they created.

            It's only fair!
            InAction Man
          • Wow, I'm impressed with that logic...

            The majority of the non IE users claim they don't want to use IE for a variety of reasons, the smallest not being that IE isn't "standards compliant", and web developers have long been decrying IE because it's not "standards compliant" and so when Microsoft creates a version of IE that *is* standards compliant (or at least so it seems), non IE users and web developers (and you apparently) are now complaining because they now have to go remove all the special handling for IE 8 (which basically amounts to a single line change in the web code)?

            In case you're only 12 or 13 (which I highly suspect to be true), both IE and Netscape were adding "proprietary" extensions on how they supported web pages because there *WASN'T* a true standard back then. And some of those those "proprietery" extensions have actually been adopted as part of the standard now, but I expect that flies in the face of your "true history" of web browsing and browsers in general.

            Anyway, I expect that you're sitting there with blinders on and your fingers in your ears going "lalalalalalalalala" quite loudly so that no real logic can make it into your anti-Microsoft brain.
            PollyProteus
          • Get real.

            There are many reasons I like IE8 and many reasons I don't....trust me when all of the bugs are worked out you naysayers will find somthing els to complain about...30years ago all this was a pipe dream. Be glad you live in a time that is so tech savy and not in the stone age. Quit bithin' bout the browser..if you don't like it dont use it. BUt...if you still feel as though you want to complain at least get your facts straight.
            Jwp72
          • @#$%$%&^?

            Why the personal attacks and the nastiness? Is this the Microsoft lover?s form of communicating?
            kro1
          • Thats not what I said and it makes no sense.

            If you're site looks fine in the standards compatible browsers that means you have standards compatible code. If IE 8 is standards compatible then the same code that works for the other browsers will work for IE8.

            This article is talking about the code written for IE6/7. My question is why do you have to rewrite anything or signal IE8 to use compatibility mode. Don't send the IE6/7 code to IE8. Include IE8 as one of the browsers that receives standard code. Simple as that. Hell almost by default the only non-default cases are IE6/7 if you're smart. IE8 should work right out of the box. It just goes to show some folk have no business developing.
            storm14k
        • That's what we do!

          We send out standard code to all browsers, apart from IE 6 and IE 7, which require, themselves, different levels of buggering up of the CSS code...

          IE8 is a huge step in the right direction... It just needs lazy web developers to change the [if IE] tags to [if lte IE 7]...
          pico_D
    • This is what I have yet to understand...

      If IE 8 is standards compliant then all you have to do is check for IE8 and serve the same code you're serving for the other compliant browsers. Its obvious that some browser checking is already being done. Just add an additional case for IE8...problem solved.

      I simply cannot understand what people are complaining about unless they never did design compliant code and simply designed for IE to begin with. These are the only people that would have to worry about serious recoding.
      storm14k
      • OR . . .

        Don't check for which browser you're using and just send standards compliant code . . . Unless you know of another browser that uses proprietary code . . .

        'Course that means that they'd have to move everyone from IE6/7 VERY quickly. And there are still companies that are programming for IE6 only (my employer's in-house website is one of them, unfortunately).
        JLHenry
      • users are complaning not developers

        Users are complaining that the pages are broken, a developer should be happy for two things:
        Microsoft is finally going the right direction
        If they were in the midt of losing a job, now they have something to do.

        I'm a developer and think only wsers complain because they are so used to seeing their usual site as it were. Those are the same that looked at firefox and al and thought something was wrong and prefered the wrong one.
        wifiwolf
    • New IE8 Release Allows One to See ALL Websites in Compatibilty View

      Select TOOLS/Compatibility View Setting.

      There is a 3rd check box that one can check to allow all websites to use compatibility view.
      mustang_z
      • Porn Mode

        What is the "Porn Mode" in Internet Exployer 8?
        cynthia_sparks2002@...
        • PORN mode

          YEAH ....iWANT SOME OF THAT WHAT EVER IT IS.....LOL
          joesodium
    • with IE8 you say good-by to having control

      IE8, a menace to freedom of choice!
      If the average users? desire is to receive on a silver platter without any thoughts or efforts put into actually doing something by themselves, then IE8 is well deserved. Microsoft?s new browser has a predatory attitude. It decides what you can and cannot download. And as for the comment: ?you can always use another browser,? I must say that you would be dumfounded when you see some of them are not having a download switch somewhere on their webpage! If you don?t believe me, try going to nvidia.com on both IE and Firefox, and then attempting to download a driver for your hardware. Predatory behaviour of IE8 came through right after I installed it, and it shutoff the Wi-Fi. If you have IE7, I?d suggest you stay with it and next disable the automatic updating from your machine.
      kro1
  • hilarious!

    So let me extrapolate... If you have a web site that was setup so that it ONLY supports internet exploder, and someone tries to access it with IE8, it is/might-be broken?

    (Yes, there actually is a site that checks your browser and if it's not internet exploder, you can't see it...)

    So in this case, you get firefox and then add the plugin that makes you look like it's internet exploder and then go there?

    hahahaha!
    ridingthewind
    • Exactly, that is the right thing to do, but to me that's no fun

      and I can't understand why you find it hilarious.
      InAction Man