Anne van Kesteren

IE7 Beta 2

IE7 Beta 1 released with the wrong name. At least, in my opinion. Asa Dotzler says the same thing for different reasons. Anyway, Chris Wilson has some details on the final version. (Most of the features mentioned will appear in Beta 2.)

From what I read in the comments they want full CSS 1 support. Too bad it is dead standard, but it is a worthwile goal anyway. What strikes me as odd is that Microsoft first wants to support CSS 2 and wait with CSS 2.1 till it is a recommendation. The latter is basically an updated version of the former to comply with some Internet Explorer weirdness which sometimes made sense and sometimes not. It is also much more clear and easier to implement than CSS 2. (The features are reduced to those that are in wide use or that are interoperably implemented in at least two browsers.)

That last thing is important. Breaking hacks. I wrote about problems the new IE could cause and with this new feature list it might become more relevant. Like anonymous Jim I hope they do this for the next version.

Asking for application/xhtml+xml now is insane. At least, in my opinion. It might be that they already have a good implementation and are not telling anyone, but most likely they did not. Adding application/xhtml+xml and supporting XHTML — I think that is what most people are asking for — is adding proper support for CSS in XML and also the DOM. (Proper namespace handling, et cetera.) I would rather have the Internet Explorer team to add support for DOM 3 Events and DOM 3 XPath or so. And proper support for DOM 3 Core. Lack of testcases is of course a problem, but that is something every browser faces.

I think that it would also benefit Microsoft to partake in WHATWG as they are clarifying lots of issues that HTML 4 had and are defining how some undocumentated, but implemented, DOM interfaces should work.

What I also hope is that Microsoft is doing proper testing for the new features they add now. If they are doing the new selectors correctly in a dynamic way, for example. And also that they are following what CSS 2.1 says and not 2 as the former really is a newer version of the latter. And they have to know that by now.


  1. It's a bit of a non-issue, but you can easily defend how supporting CSS1 and CSS2 fully (instead of incompletely as they do, now) is not adding a feature but fixing a bug, hence the name beta is all but appropriate even according to your standard.

    Posted by Faruk Ateş at

  2. It is not. Fixing bugs, if that is what you would like to call them, this large is basically the same as adding new features and is generally not considered for beta releases as it may impact the product a lot and can cause various unpredictable regressions which require time and thorough testing to find and fix.

    Therefore unimplemented parts of specifications and major bugs are usually fixed in the alpha release cycle.

    Posted by Anne at

  3. To paraphrase Shakespeare: What's in a name? A bag of shit with any other name would still smell bad. ;-)

    Posted by Ben at

  4. Any word on XHTML MIME type and XML declaration compliance? What about XSLT MIME type compliance? And what about Javascript access to the entire CSS selector (not just the recongized parts) or support for the W3C's event model?

    Posted by Jimmy Cerra at

  5. Jimmy: I don't feel that XHTML MIME type support is really an important issue since HTML will do just fine for most applications...

    In general: the last few days my mood has changed from deeply disappointed to quite surprised and optimistic. I feel that MS is making a big step here, even when we're still stuck with IE6 for several years to come since IE7 will not be available for win2k...

    Posted by Tino Zijdel at

  6. I miss the q element. Probably too few people complained about it.

    could you elaborate on what you mean by "missing" the q element? did you in fact mean "i wish they'd implement the automatic quotes around q elements" or similar?

    Posted by patrick h. lauke at

  7. Well, implementing ABBR is done in one minute with changing about three lines of code; because they implemented ACRONYM years ago (which behaves exactly like ABBR), but missed ABBR. So this is a no-brainer and I would have cried if they didn’t implement ABBR.

    Posted by Lars Kasper at

  8. Any idea when Beta 2 is planned to be released?

    Posted by CJ at