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Category Archives: browsers


Pete LePage
Senior Product Manager, Developers & Security for IE

IE 8

IE 8 is a hybrid, has two engines; IE 9 will have three engines: IE 7, IE 8 and IE 9. This way can ensure site works in future versions of the browser.

IE 8 supports session and local storage (see presentation by Marcus Lofthouse to the New York Web Standards Meetup). Added addition to spec: a way to remove all.

Mutable DOM prototypes: take a DOM element and add properties/methods to it. Add method to

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img

. There are a number of things not implemented in IE 8. Can write a chunk of JavaScript that adds functionality to browser. This will be used by people writing the JavaScript frameworks (jQuery, Dojo).

Native JSON support.

Network events

CrossDocumentMessaging and CrossDomainRequest

Selectors API

Fixed getElementById.

Demos at ie8demos.com (browser-sniffs and only wants to work in IE 8).

IE 9

  • Faster; speed is important. Finally comparable to FF.
  • A lot of work on standards-support. Will implement border-radius. Acid3 score went from 20 to 32. IE 8 Current CSS3 support is vertical-text. Hope to more than double it in IE 9. ;)

Questions/Answers

Q: Why always trying to play catch up? Why not just adopt Webkit?

A: A lot of things that make adopting Webkit or Gecko more difficult than it seems.

Q: Any release date for IE 9?

A: No dates as of now

Q: Still trying to get Canvas out of the spec for HTML5?

A: Not sure; might be a miscommunication

Q: Any major updates planned for IE 8?

A: Probably not; next major version will be 9. Security updates will be released for 8, but the rendering engine will not change.

theMechanism follows Yahoo!'s Graded Browser Support and agrees with the GBS approach:

In the first 10 years of professional web development, back in the early '90s, browser support was binary: Do you—or don't you—support a given browser? When the answer was "No," user access to the site was often actively prevented. In the years following IE5's release in 1998, professional web designers and developers have become accustomed to asking at the outset of any new undertaking, "Do I have to support Netscape 4.x browsers for this project?"

By contrast, in modern web development we must support all browsers. Choosing to exclude a segment of users is inappropriate, and, with a "Graded Browser Support" strategy, unnecessary.

The two principal concepts of GBS are a broader and more reasonable definition of "support" and the notion of "grades" of support.

More

As Jan Odvarko notes, "I was surprised how many Firebug extensions … exist out there." Check out his list of 12 extensions at http://www.softwareishard.com/blog/firebug/list-of-firebug-extensions/. All extensions include a brief summary of what they do, a screen capture and a link to the download page.

Two that I use are YSlow and Odvarko's own Firecookie.. YSlow analyzes Web pages and determines why they're slow based on Yahoo's rules for high performance web sites. Firecookie makes it possible to view and manage cookies within the familiar Firebug UI.

Jeffrey Barke is senior developer and information architect at theMechanism, a multimedia firm with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa.

via Webmonkey:

Variables in cascading stylesheets are now available in the nightly WebKit build.

CSS without variables:

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//Sets the background of the page and tables to the hex code for the color grey<br />
body {<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;background-color: #eceae1;<br />
}<br />
table {<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;background-color: #eceae1;<br />
}

With CSS variables:

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//Defines "DefaultBGColor" to light gray<br />
@variables {<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;DefaultBGColor: #eceae1;<br />
}<br />
//Sets the background and any table on the page to the default background color<br />
body {<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;background-color: var(DefaultBGColor);<br />
}<br />
table {<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;background-color: var(DefaultBGColor);<br />
}

Jeffrey Barke is senior developer and information architect at theMechanism, a multimedia firm with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa.

One of our loyal monthly attendees of the New York Web Standards Meetup sent us a link to a video by Victor Tsaran, an accessibility engineer at Yahoo! who focuses on developing best practices for the creation of websites that work well with screen readers. In this video, he provides an important introduction to some of the things that work well in the world of screen readers and others that do not. Web designers and programmers who are curious about how people use software like JAWS would benefit from watching this 25 minute video of Victor navigating his desktop and explaining the process. It’s encouraging to see that Yahoo! has a proactive stance on accessibility.

Thanks again to Joe Devon for sending this around to our list:

Download Day 2008 Help the Firefox community set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours by downloading Firefox 3 on Download Day (some time in June).

You can pledge and get buttons and banners at the Download Day Headquarters.

Update 2008-06-12: The date of the download day has been set: Tuesday, 17 June 2008. While you wait, check out Deb Richardson's Field Guide to Firefox 3 to get an overview of all the new features and improvements.

Update 2008-06-17: Today is the day, but Firefox 3 won't be available until 10 am PDT.

Jeffrey Barke is senior developer and information architect at theMechanism, a multimedia firm with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa.

As a recent Mac and Safari convert (I only use Firefox for development now), I just read with enthusiasm that Safari currently has a 6.25% market share. While welcome news, unfortunately it reiterates how important it remains to make sure our sites work in Internet Explorer.

After hearing about Safari's growth, I became curious about IE7's penetration. How close is IE6 to death?

Unfortunately, not close enough. According to http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=0 (the same site that reports Safari has 6.25% market share), IE has 73.75% market share. The site does not differentiate between IE 6 and 7. thecounter.com reports that between 1 Feb 2008 and 31 May 2008, IE7 was used 40% of the time and IE6 still has a 37% market share!

Jeffrey Barke is senior developer and information architect at theMechanism, a multimedia firm with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa.

Peter-Paul Koch has released a new version of his browser event compatibility tables (the last major version dates to 2005) at QuirksMode.org. He has data on IE 5.5, 6, 7, and 8 beta 1; Firefox 2 and 3 beta 5; Safari 3.0 and 3.1 on Windows; Opera 9.26 and 9.5 beta; and Konqueror 3.5.7

Jeffrey Barke is senior developer and information architect at theMechanism, a multimedia firm with offices in New York, London and Durban, South Africa.