Is Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1
all that Microsoft claims it is? The first public testing milestone of IE8 went live on March 5, 2008, following the keynote address from Dean Hachamovich, IE General Manager. Hachamovich introduced what is essentially a browser aimed at web content developers and designers, but not so much at the general public. This is why the focus of the first taste of IE8 fell on support for CSS 2.1, CSS Certification, enhanced performance, HTML 5 early support, the added developer tools, as well as the Activities and WebSlices features.
As far as developers are concerned, Web standards support is the main issue. And Microsoft reached
an important milestone with IE8
even as early as December 2007, by passing the Acid2 Test, and yet another one as of March 2008 when the company has announced that the standards rendering mode will be set as the default in the browser. But as IE8 Beta 1 hit the world wide web, and was thrown in the Acid2 arena, the browser failed to render the smiley face correctly. Microsoft felt the need to explain why IE8 Beta 1 was failing the Acid2 Test, when in fact it was applauded all along for dealing with it with no problems. Apparently, IE8 Beta 1 does not fail the Acid2 Test, but a certain copy of the Acid2 test.
"Although we said that IE8 Beta 1
passes the ACID2 test, some of you may be seeing results like the image above (included at the top of the article); we thought we should explain what's going on. IE8 passes the
official ACID2 test hosted on
http://www.webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html. (Note, this seems to be a popular destination at the moment. You may have trouble reaching the site.)There are also a number of copies of this test around the net. One popular copy that I've seen of late is http://acid2.acidtests.org/," stated Phil Nachreiner
, Internet Explorer Developer. "IE8 fails the copies of ACID2 due to the cross domain security checks IE performs for ActiveX controls. Since IE does not natively handle HTML content in the OBJECT tag, but rather uses IE's rendering engine as an ActiveX to display this HTML content, the same cross domain security checks also apply."
When it comes down to the official Acid2 Test, Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 has absolutely no problems whatsoever. This you can very well see via the screenshot integrated on the left. So in this respect, IE8 is indeed all that Microsoft cranked it up to be. And in this context, the successor of Internet Explorer 7 has finally reached the same level of standards compliance as rival products Opera, Firefox and Safari
"Showing a CSS 2.1 standards-compliant site that works on Firefox, Safari and IE 8. There are elements of the CSS 2.1 that don't define behavior and indeed explicitly allow browsers to implement aspects differently. We need to do better. As a result, we're announcing that we've contributed 702 BSD-licensed test cases to the CSS Working Group (available via W3C site and MSDN) to reach harmony on the implementation of the specification," added Tim Sneath
, Microsoft resident group manager for client platforms. "HTML 5 work is ongoing. One area of investment is improving AJAX / browser integration, so that the Back button works. We also have support for connection events so that a page can detect when the network connection has been lost and offer DOM-based storage so that any entered data isn't lost."