Friday, January 30th, 2009

Push back: Digital TV? or IE 8?

Category: IE

Some people are very excited to see the improvements that the IE team have made with IE 8 (and the hope that it will get some IE 6 users up up and away). However, others are not so happy. With IE 8 getting close to launch after the RC release, is it ready for prime time yet?

Michael Dayah (of the excellent doesn’t think so, and he gives the plea to not rush ahead:

IE8 is lined up to be a disaster. I’ve submitted about a dozen bugs to the
IE8 connect, but Microsoft is marking some as won’t fix and others are brand
new regressions with RC1. I know this really isn’t your primary interest,
but I was hoping you could assist in a grassroots effort to get IE
development pushed back a few more months in order to avoid another decade
of disaster on the web.

Here are a few screenshots of the mess IE8 RC1 is making of

Writing-mode: tb-rl now stretches to ridiculous heights (bug).

Radio buttons can no longer be packed in with height or margin (bug).

IE7 compatibility mode introduces white lines between border-collapse cells (bug).

Then we have kangax talking about misbehaving IE 8 and how you can still kill it with:


  1.; // or other Element.prototype methods

What do you think? Do you have more examples like this? How are you feeling about the rendering of your sites in IE 8?

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:07 am

4.4 rating from 44 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

Something like
document.createStyleSheet().addRule(g_vml_\\:*’, “behavior: url(#default#VML);”);
isn’t working any more. You need:
document.createStyleSheet().addRule(g_vml_\\: *’, “behavior: url(#default#VML);”);
Notice the space before the * ? Not sure whether it is documented or not, but it can take some time to figure it out by yourself.

Comment by frenchStudent — January 30, 2009

Going to sit out IE8 and wait for a fix, hopefully IE10.

Comment by Jadet — January 30, 2009

I don’t mind if they push the current release, it so unstable on my windows it will crash when you try to close the browser, making it restart with a annoying message: IE recovered from a crash. Its been in IE8 for a while now and its still not fixed.

I highly doubt I’m the only user that has this issue. But I don’t mind it.. It will only make IE users switch to a better browser.

IE will always be behind, we might as well accept it. While all major browsers are releasing newer faster JS engines.. IE didn’t even start developing one yet.. They are still considering it..

Comment by V1 — January 30, 2009

The only once that are really excited about IE8 are the people on the IE Team. It’s hard to take IE8 seriously as a real developer, RC1 has been one big joke so far. Submitting a bug is close to impossible through IE’s buggy bugtracker, gives me the impression they’d rather not get any feedback, they certainly don’t do anything with it as we’ve seen over the last year. Only thing IE8 is good for at the moment is downloading Firefox.

Comment by Jadet — January 30, 2009


Comment by jgeerdes — January 30, 2009

I have no idea how other people manage to submit IE bugs. Was bugtracker ever working? Is it broken temporarily? When will it be fixed and is IE team even aware of the issue?

It would be nice to hear some response from them, god damn it.

Comment by kangax — January 30, 2009

I’m disappointed in the extreme by IE8, and I don’t think holding it for a few months will make a difference. Why is it that Firefox, and Opera manage so much better support and do it on multiple operating systems? Why can Chrome come out of nowhere and have a better JavaScript and great standards support?
At this point, I’d be happier if Microsoft spent more time and money in transitioning people out of IE6 to IE7.

Comment by Nosredna — January 30, 2009

I uses Nick Stakenburg’s lightview on my sites, and I was over @ a friends house who had IE8 running on Windows 7… total and complete FAIL … IE8 eff’s up all the CSS, and most of the javascript… I’ld like to see microsoft come out with a working browser… which shouldn’t be too hard because there’s a bunch of really good ones that are OPEN-SOURCE…

Comment by JKirchartz — January 30, 2009

People are having MAJOR javascript performance issues with IE8 RC1 and the ExtJS framework. Compatibility mode seems to be the only workaround at this point.

Comment by ajaxery — January 30, 2009

I’m not even taking IE8 into the equation yet. Knowing Microsoft, anything that is working today will surely be broken in a next release.
May be the day it is out and people start to adopt it, then I will either test my sites on IE8 or add the killing one-liner to show those users the mistake they have made.
In fact, nothing could be better than a few major sites (read google, wikipedia, imdb et al) adding this code so people realize what a faulty browser they are using.

Comment by gonchuki — January 30, 2009

Last time I checked, to use Canvas in IE8 with excanvas.js, you had to be in quirks mode. Haven’t tried lately.

Comment by Nosredna — January 30, 2009

In my experience, IE8 is an outstanding leap forward from previous versions. Are there still some issues? Sure, but it’s not final. All it took for my sites to work in it was to treat it as a modern browser and not like IE.

Radio buttons display just fine, just remove the padding. IE8 by default applies a padding of 3px.

While that call of cloneNode obviously shouldn’t crash the browser, there is also absolutely no reason to call it like that. What are you cloning? It works fine if you pass in an element.

Comment by MattCoz — January 30, 2009

I’m not cloning anything. This is just an example of what should not be happening. Fail or error would be fine; crash – not so much.

Please, take a look at how Fuzz-testing enhances software security/reliability

Comment by kangax — January 30, 2009

We will be blogging more about some of the issues that people see when moving to IE8 but in the meantime I wanted to make a start by posting a short comment here.

We take all the feedback that we receive and consider it carefully but unfortunately some of the detail occasionally gets lost. We’ve updated Michael’s radio button bug report with more information and we’re aware of some issues with tb-rl writing modes that have been investigated since RC1. We are also aware of the issues reported by Juriy (kangax). Fixes in this area didn’t quite make it into RC1 but they are being addressed.

I’d like to encourage you to keep giving us feedback, especially if you have specific issues, either through the Microsoft Connect site or even simply by posting a comment to the IE blog.

Comment by AdrianBaMSFT — January 30, 2009

I don’t know when IE8 is scheduled to be released, but it’s clearly not finished. I’ll submit some bug reports in the weeks coming.

Comment by Tinus — January 31, 2009

Here are a few blockers for me:

* Very hard to install the next version of IE — hacks that you have multiple versions of the browser cause their own difficult-to-track-down problems.

* Dealing with the MS website when trying to install is frustrating and annoying. It loads several “checks,” prompts for several permissions, etc. before finally letting me download the software. Compare to the other browsers which have a big “Download” button that does just that.

* I keep all my IE css work-arounds in ie6.css and ie7.css files. The idea of having to add an ie8.css file is disturbing in the extreme.

* Wading through the “advanced” options of the browser is the biggest PITA — it requires scrolling through an endless list. I’ve adjusted Internet Zones settings (turning off Active X or Jasascript, etc.) for debugging, but I can never remember which settings I’ve changed when I see “Custom settings” and am offered the option to “reset.”

* The javascript errors are annoyingly unhelpful/inaccurate with their incorrect line numbers and cryptic messages.

* The lack of Canvas, SVG, downloadable TTfonts prevents the obvious technologies from moving forward and keeps us in the morass of retarded hacks and work-arounds. Instead, crap like WebSlices is shoved at us.

MS spends a lot of time and energy trying to appeal to people like me — small developers who have grown very skeptical of them over the years. I appreciate the humanity of AdrianBaMSFT et al, but the MS strategic vision (AKA their lame-ass, nihilistic business plan) is plain as ever, and as always, a major impediment to getting work done.

Comment by jamienk — January 31, 2009

I’m running IE 8 on Win 7. IE 8 misbehaves at many popular and regularly visited websites. It’ simply not ready for realease. An now, Vista users are being urged by Windows update to upgrade to RC1. Are they nuts? Upgrade to a release candidate? Anyone who doesn’t know NOT to do this is going to end up with an untested browser. Incredible. They’re going to ruin the the Win7 good press they’ve been getting.

Comment by azappdeveloper — January 31, 2009

This is such a Microsoft move. And once again, they are shooting themselves in the foot. They’ll learn eventually.

Comment by ajaxery — January 31, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s simply no evidence to date that Microsoft has both the intention and capability of delivering a first-rate, standards compliant, working web browser.

There’s also the question of whether they even *need* to be writing their own rendering engine, given the availability and serviceability of the open ones available…. unless it’s simply a point of market pride, or they’re either hedging against or already planning for a time when they will yet again diverge from agreed standards.

I would love to be proven wrong. I would love for the release of IE 8 to be what Microsoft has sold it as: a browser with suitably advanced standards support and the marking of a turning point towards a day where developers don’t have to dump hours into multiple workarounds for shoddy implementations.

But as I see these reports come out, it seems more likely to me that all that talk was basically a “take me back, honey, I’ve changed” that’s more or less parallel to the kinds of gifts and promises that flow from an abusive spouse when their partner decides to leave.

Comment by westonc — January 31, 2009

Time for Microsoft to LEAVE the browser business. They blew it.

Why does their browser (IE8 RC1) take almost an hour to install, including two reboots? Why is their browser so entwined into the OS? Haven’t they LEARNED anything?


Comment by m3tropolis — January 31, 2009

Amongst many other issues in IE8 RC1, one of my favorites is while in IE8 Standards mode an operation may work fine most of the time, but then seemingly randomly the browser will occasionally decide it needs to switch to IE8 Compatibility/IE7 Standards mode while doing that operation. This refreshes the entire page which in the realm of web applications is similar to rebooting the OS. Good luck tracking down the issue since not only is it intermittent and thus difficult to reproduce on demand, there is no error message logged anywhere telling you exactly why it decided it suddenly needed to change rendering modes.
I would much rather my page break so that I can see an actual problem than for IE8 to try to adjust itself willy nilly. Break my page and give me an accurate and useful error message.

Comment by GregHouston — January 31, 2009

There’s a lot of negativity towards IE, but personally I’m happy about the direction they’re going. It seems like they are making a legitimate effort to support W3C standards:

Comment by WillPeavy — February 1, 2009

Maybe we’re looking at it the wrong way.

If IE8 is crappy enough, and breaks even regular popular websites, more people will start switching to alternative browsers. In fact, we should all stop submitting bugs and make MS think they’ve got the perfect browser on their hands ;)

Comment by iliad — February 1, 2009

I’m just curious what percentage of developers still use IE for every day browsing and what percentage just use it for testing the websites they build.

Comment by mschipperheyn — February 1, 2009

@iliad: I’m curious too. I’d be willing to bet that very few serious javascript developers use IE for anything other than testing. Firebug is just too goddamn amazing.

Comment by adamschwartz — February 2, 2009

(sorry, meant @mschipperheyn — the username on the bottom really trips me up!)

Comment by adamschwartz — February 2, 2009

Also – and no offense to, which is a very cool demonstration of standards and styles – but that site reeks of something done just to prove it could be done using purely css, html, javascript and bells/whistles thereof.

This does not excuse IE8 from sucking, or breaking established behaviors. Just that the site used reeks of “I don’t care how tough this is – technically, I should be able to do it in CSS!”-ism.

Comment by dirtynine — February 2, 2009

@jamienk: “The javascript errors are annoyingly unhelpful/inaccurate with their incorrect line numbers and cryptic messages.”

The built-in developer tools including the Javascript debugger should help to figure out some of these issues. By default, when you enable the debugger, the engine will be set to break when an error occurs so you can investigate the current variables, etc. and debug the problem from there.

Comment by AdrianBaMSFT — February 3, 2009

@azappdeveloper: You can find out more about the differences between IE8 in Win7 and RC1 on Vista here:

Only Vista users with a beta of IE8 installed will be offered the RC1 release through Windows Update.

Comment by AdrianBaMSFT — February 3, 2009

@GregHouston: when IE8 switches into compatibility view in the way you describe it is usually because there was an issue in the IE8 rendering engine. Usually, there is nothing you can do on your site to fix the problem.

In previous beta releases, IE would show a blank page. In RC1, we flip into compatibility view to try to show you the content. If you participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program ( for IE8 then this will send us information about what caused the problem so that we can fix it. There are some issues that caused this problem that we have fixed since we released RC1.

Comment by AdrianBaMSFT — February 3, 2009

If you’re seeing unbelievable performance issues in IE8, it may be related to this:
(nested absolute positioned DIVs result in exponential performance degradation).

They say they’ve fixed it, and they were pretty darn good about getting after it. Mind you, I tried to make as much noise as humanly possible about the issue in the hope of calling attention to it. :D

They say they’re jumping from RC1 to final though. I strongly disagree with that idea, as I believe the difference between the final release candidate and the final release should be as trivial as possible. I hope I’m proven wrong.

Comment by tliebeck — February 3, 2009

@AdrianBaMSFT: Thanks. You’re right. Still, I don’t think they should rush this one out the door — release with Win 7.

Being a developer myself I can tell I surf with FF and Chrome — IE is what I use to test my work (along with the other browsers). I used to be a total IE proponent — they lost me around the 3rd year of IE 6 LOL. I hope they come back strong.

Comment by azappdeveloper — February 4, 2009


Foo bar

Comment by Aimos — February 6, 2009

Test 2


Comment by Aimos — February 6, 2009

There was a comment about IE 8 RC1 only being pushed to windows vista beta users or the such…

I am running plain old XP SP3 Media Center Edition and I just got a notice to install IE 8 RC1. It took almost 20 minutes to install on a fairly modern laptop. I actually thought it was crashed. It does seem a little snappier, but in the 4 sites I’ve visited, 2 didn’t work and 1 had display issues. I hope they do RC2, RC3, RC4 and RC5 before FC1, FC2, GM1, GM2, Release.

Comment by marco114 — February 7, 2009

from long time ago I have really want learn about code now it’s time to learn ajax

Comment by missjezi — March 27, 2010

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