Microsoft executives today said the problems only appear when developers use Visual InterDev, Visual Basic, and Visual J++, along with the IE 5 Web browser to create graphical user interfaces for their applications.
IE 5, released today, includes Extensible Markup Langauge (XML) support for data exchange and improved Dynamic HTML (DHMTL) support for Web graphics.
The bugs include browser crashes following the use of the Visual J++ and Visual InterDev debuggers, Microsoft said. The company plans to release a service pack this spring to fix the problems.
"The challenge we face is all these things are not released on the same day. We worked hard to make sure they're as compatible as possible. But a few [new browser] features are not fully supported in Visual Studio," said Susan Warren, Microsoft's product manager for the developer tools division.
Developers should not be hampered by the problems, she said. "All of these things we found are minor. [They have] no impact on productivity."
While Microsoft works on the service pack, the company is alerting software developers about the bugs on the Visual Studio Web site.
The new browser allows developers to run IE 5 and IE 4 simultaneously on their PCs to test content for each version of the browser. But Microsoft said Visual InterDev users should not use the feature--called "IE 4 Compatibility Mode"--because the tool's Design View editor isn't compatible with it yet.
Visual InterDev also cannot debug new DHTML and HTML features. The new DHMTL features, called "behaviors," are lightweight components that developers can add to Web sites. The components include calendar features and a component that plays music when a user's mouse goes over a button, Warren said. The HTML feature that can't be debugged yet is called HTML application files, which allow developers to build customized, standalone interfaces.
Visual Basic developers who install IE 5 can only distribute DHTML Page Designer applications that target IE 5. Developers using IE 4, however, can distribute their Page Designer applications to both IE 4 and IE 5 users.
Warren said that when the Visual Studio 6.0 Service Pack is released, it will be available for a free download on Microsoft's Web site. Visual Studio Enterprise customers and "Universal" and "Professional" subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network will receive free CDs, she said.