The next version of Internet Explorer, IE8, will render identically to IE7 unless instructed otherwise, despite recent improvements to IE8's standards compatibility.
IE platform architect Chris Wilson detailed in an IEBlog post a new third rendering mode in IE8 that will provide enhanced Web page rendering. IE7's two current modes, "Quirks mode" and "Standards mode", will remain as they are now and will be the modes available by default in IE8.
For developers to take advantage of the new enhanced standards mode in IE8, a new meta tag specifically targeting IE8 will have to be added into every HTML page the developer wishes to be rendered in the new mode.
Defending the decision, Wilson said: "In IE7 we made a lot more changes to improve IE's standards compliance, particularly with CSS. We limited these behavior changes to IE's 'standards mode' only, and we expected that this would help limit compatibility problems as it had in the past. Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly to us, this wasn't true."
Wilson stated that this new meta tag is needed for IE and not Firefox or Safari as "developers of many sites had worked around many of the shortcomings or outright errors in IE6, and now expected IE7 to work just like IE6. [...] In many cases, these sites would have worked better if they had served IE7 the same content and stylesheets they were serving when visited with a non-IE browser."
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 adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets — he claims he once read an entire one.