Enterprise Software

Photos: First Look at IE8

We take a look inside the new beta of IE8 that was released to developers today.

A beta of the eighth version of Internet Explorer was released to developers today.

Among the changes are CSS 2.1 support, CSS certification, HTML 5 support, new developer tools, activities and WebSlices.

One of the more heavily touted features of IE8 is passing the Acid2 test, and here it is finally in a version of Internet Explorer, on the default rendering mode no less.

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Just because it can pass the Acid2 test doesn't mean that it can pass the Acid3 test. Although no other browser can yet lay claim to that either.

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Rendering issues are to be expected with a new version of any Web browser that adheres to standards its predecessor did not.

Take for instance the video portion of the Builder AU homepage in IE7.

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Here is the same section of the Builder AU homepage in IE8. The good news is that this was the only portion of the page that appeared to render incorrectly.

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This is the lovely greeting that you receive when opening a new tab. Thank you IE, I had no idea what that Ctrl+T keystroke was going to do.

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One of IE's unexpected quirks is the highlighting of the domain name that you are visiting. No doubt intended to prevent phishing -- no idea how successful this will be if a phishing site is properly cloned.

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Activities are a new way to extend the functionality of IE8 -- there is already a selection of activities to choose from.

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Add an activity follows the same process as a plugin, without the need for a restart.

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Right clicking on a link with the Facebook sharing activity installed allows for sharing of links on Facebook, what did you expect it to do?

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One of the more interesting features of IE8 in the big "Emulate IE7" button. This will set IE8 to render identically to IE7, however it does need a restart. I am not aware as to why it needs to restart when the next page shows how to change the render mode on the fly.

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The new developer tools allows for quick changing of the rendering mode without restarting, as well as having the addition of an IE5 mode.

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The developer tools also allow for inspection of the HTML code to deduce which styles are affecting what components.

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A Javascript debugger is also in the developer tools, allowing for breakpoint insertion to help get past any bugs.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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