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html5, standards, internet explorer

by biscit05 / January 21, 2010 6:25 AM PST

Hi guys,

I'm just doing a bit of research about html5 and I'm just wondering what peoples opinions were?

Looking at past releases of Internet Explorer (most notably IE7), it appears they have always been fairly troubled and riddled with issues such as the lack of backwards compatibility. I myself gave up using this browser a long time ago in favour of Opera and more recently, Google Chrome.

IE8, despite being the most standards compliant release of IE so far apparently still has flaws and doesn't render some pages (such as some facebook pages, cnn, bbc, etc) properly. I just wondered why this is? Does the blame here fall with the web developers or with microsoft? I don't know a whole lot about it, but I'm leaning towards microsoft. Other browsers do not appear to have this problem. Can anybody set me straight?

I've also heard that IE doesn't at the moment have as much support for HTML5 as other browsers. Does anybody else agree that when this new standard is released, while it is long overdue and needed, it will create another hurdle for developers to get it working with Internet Explorer, which currently captures 75% of the browser market.

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I can't say about HTML5, but
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 21, 2010 7:59 PM PST

I know that the problem with earlier versions of IE compared to other browsers was, as you say, it's use of non-standard and non-compliant code.

As well as non-standard html, IE uses ActiveX, and used to use it's own Java engine, but that ceased some years ago.

The problem is, many web sites are written with IE in mind because, for various reasons, it is the most popular browser. So for example, if you intended to create a web site and the currently most popular browser was IE6, you would create it with IE6 in mind. You may or may not add code that examines which browser version and make the visitor is using, and use additional code that can render the web page accordingly, but all that is hard work and complex.

So, your web page is created and attracting visitors. Then Microsoft introduces IE7. You test IE7 on your web site and find it works, with, perhaps, only a few minor modifications. But don't forget, many users out there will still have IE6, so you don't want to do too much that breaks your web site for them.

And so it goes on. The facts that IE is the most popular browser and that Microsoft used it's own version of HTML causes problems as Microsoft turns towards compliance.

Most professional web sites should work with any browser because they have professional web designers. You mentioned the BBC web site, but I have used IE and other browsers at the BBC site and have seen no issues, so I am not sure what problems you are referring to there.

Hope that helps.


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Re: html5
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 8:15 PM PST

That's a work in progress. You can find draft specs on

However, it says "This document is changing on a daily if not hourly basis". That's not a good basis for anyone (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Opera or Mozilla) to browse a solid, well-tested, stable multi-platform browser on, I think.

Firefox 3.6 seems to support it, more or less (see But I don't expect Microsoft to do it earlier than in IE9. Microsoft isn't the company to issue short-living releases of its software. Their main customers (companies) want stability, not endless lists of feature updates. At my work, we still run IE7 on Windows XP. Upgrades are a major pain.



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IE is problem to web developers
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 8:22 PM PST

If you use IE you ask web developers to develop page for your IE version and after 2-3 years M$ will create new BS browser and breaking all old web pages. M$ simply ignores most of free and open web standards and tries to push their commercial * instead. They want internet where you will pay to M$ for opening web pages.

If you do not like this and think that web should be open and free standard for everyone and do not follow M$ dictatorship so you should download other browser right NOW.
Firefox, Opera, Chrome ...

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Some details please.
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 8:26 PM PST

Assuming there are 50 "web standards", your use of 'most' implies Microsoft ignores at least 26 of them. The numbers might be different, but 'most' is more than 50%. Care to list a few?


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acid 3
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 8:31 PM PST
In reply to: Some details please.
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Re: test
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 8:36 PM PST
In reply to: acid 3

That's an impressive test, but it isn't an answer to my question. Let me assume you can't support your claim.


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You simply...
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 8:37 PM PST
In reply to: Re: test

Like to be ruled by dictator Balmer and hate freedom.
Test answers it all just see results will all popular browsers and what exactly test do.

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The test didn't answer ...
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 8:42 PM PST
In reply to: You simply...

my question what exact standards Microsoft doesn't adhere to (let alone that it are 'most' standards. It only proves that IE8 fails rather miserably on the acid3-test. And probably proves also that the test has been designed to do so.


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by GODhack / January 21, 2010 8:48 PM PST

test is test it test how well browser supports latest (even draft) web standards.
You see problem is not in test. Problem is that Microsoft as always play dirty games. They try to stop open standard development. So they win time to develop and sell they new advanced web technologies. Strategy, Watson.

And you miss the big picture of battle it is not like one browser agains other it is battle for freedom of web too.

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Freedom of web?
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 9:00 PM PST
In reply to: eh

I learned there was some censoring in China. But what has Microsoft to do with that? Or do you mean something else? If so, what?


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no it not like that
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 9:24 PM PST
In reply to: Freedom of web?

no it not like that.
Freedom where everyone can develop pages and browsers as they want: not in way they are told by others. Pages should not be developed for one corporation product and people should not be forced to buy windows and ie or who cares what to open web pages. Everyone should be free to use what they want. Everyone should have free access to web and develop web with tools they like to use and even develop those tools themselves without any restrictions.
Of course these freedoms hurts corporations profits so some of them are against these freedoms.

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Re: freedom
by Kees Bakker / January 21, 2010 9:54 PM PST
In reply to: no it not like that

Well, surely anyone is allowed to make browsers and pages with html and javascript (and even flash). And even web development tools. I donb't know of any restrictions against doing that. That's not the problem.

And of course, it's very desireable if any html or javascript construct that's syntactically correct and has a clearly understandable semantic works the same on all browsers.
So what webdevelopers need is a clear and exhaustive list of such constructs that don't work in all browsers. Something like:
- don't do x if you want it to work in Firefox 2.5; use x' instead
- don't do y if you want it to work in IE6; use y' instead

Making such a list is much more constructive than saying Steve Balmer is a dictator.


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People around are FORCED to use IE6 and you say that there i
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 10:16 PM PST
In reply to: Re: freedom

People around are FORCED to use IE6 and you say that there is no problem?
This is huge problem. Both freedom and technology advancement problem.

>And of course, it's very desireable if any html or javascript construct that's syntactically correct and has a clearly understandable semantic works the same on all browsers.
This is not about desires this is all about freedom to use browser you like. Pages developed for one browser are bad because they go against this freedom. Browsers failing to comply standards are bad too because simply it is impossible to develop good pages with them around.

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I've never been forced to use IE
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 22, 2010 9:06 PM PST

And I have always been free to use any browser I wish, even when Microsoft bundled IE4 into the Windows 95/98 OS.

I never quite understood the uproar against Microsoft then. It is there OS, they can do what they like with it. I didn't bother me as I knew the web was free and no-one was retricting me to use any one particular browser.

By the way, my Firefox 3.5.7 browser failed that Acid with a score of only 92/100!


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HTML 5 technology demos
by GODhack / January 21, 2010 8:36 PM PST
In reply to: acid 3
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Several points...
by John.Wilkinson / January 22, 2010 4:46 AM PST

1.) IE6 was preinstalled on older versions of Windows, but users are free to install the browser(s) of their choice.

2.) IE used to rely largely on proprietary coding techniques, but that has been dramatically changing under IE7/IE8/IE9, with the browser coming closer to full standards support.

3.) Most websites will work in any of the major browsers.

4.) The ACID3 test does not guarantee that 100 tests are actually performed, is not complete, and is not designed to represent how well the browser will handle real life websites. In addition, it performs some tests for standards that have yet to be finalized. (See #5.)

5.) If the website is designed to follow web standards, it will properly render in future iterations of web browsers, including IE. Web developers run into trouble when they rely on proprietary technologies, hacks, and pre-release standards, which are later changed, removed, etc. It is rare when a standard is broken in future iterations, especially with the prevalence of compatibility modes.

6.) HTML5, CSS3, etc are still recommendations that change on a daily/monthly basis and may not be finalized for well over a year. With features being constantly added/removed, it is not prudent for Microsoft to invest in implementing them and pushing out updates to previous browsers. Mozilla and others do, but they only implemented some of the functionality, and often using proprietary markup in the absence of finalized standards. Microsoft has long been criticized for such practices, yet you now criticize them for not doing so?

7.) Microsoft supports the open source community, releasing some of their own code under such licenses and even creating a portal for developers to share open source code.

8.) Microsoft has not tried to force users to pay for opening websites in general, nor have they made any move in that direction.

Bottom line: Microsoft is far from perfect, but most of your complains are unfounded/misinformed. As Kees said, you need to add substantive proof to your claims for them to be taken seriously. So far, I see little.


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