Oi, web developers, listen up! Microsoft has now released beta 1 of IE 7! Unfortunately, though, it’s only available for MSDN subscribers (however, it seems to be available from a number of BitTorrent web sites as well). I’ve only had a couple of hours to test it, but here’s the first impression.
- It’s got tabs
- About time, to say the least. Open a new tab with
Ctrl + Tand close it with
Ctrl + W. Works like it should.
- RSS support
- Finds RSS feeds for the current web page you’ve navigated to, and offers a view of the feed.
- A search field adjacent to the address field
- A small search field is placed just next to the address bar, for easy searching. However, I haven’t found out a way to open up the search results in a new tab, nor any keyboard shortcut for setting focus to search field.
- No additional CSS 2 support
- Yes, you read that correctly. Still no support for Child selectors, Universal selectors, Adjacent sibling selectors, Attribute selectors, Pseudo-classes (except
atags, but has been there since version 4) or Pseudo-elements. Why, oh my God, why? You tell me.
- Only two CSS bugs fixed
- The Peekaboo Bug and the Guillotine Bug, but to me it seems that the fix for the latter one isn’t a 100% stable, if you look at the tests in the test page. And they still haven’t fixed the doubled margin bug for floated elements. Sigh.
- Correct event handling
- Nope. Only the same ol’ non-standard event handling as before.
- No support for the
- No support, and no validation of XHTML as XML.
Yes, I know, this is only the first beta, and a lot of things can happen before the release. But it certainly doesn’t look promising, to me it seems the focus has only been on the end-user and not for web developers at all.
Another thing that bothers me is that the beta isn’t publicly available (at lest not yet). I can understand the reason for only releasing certain products that will eventually cost money to MSDN subscribers, but IE 7 will not cost money, and they definitely need a lot of web developers to test it, to get the feedback necessary to avoid a scenario with a release that has to be patched soon after its release date.
Chris Wilson just posted the extremely interesting post Standards and CSS in IE. In it, he addresses what will come in beta 2, where he outs this dream list:
- Peekaboo bug
- Guillotine bug
- Duplicate Character bug
- Border Chaos
- No Scroll bug
- 3 Pixel Text Jog
- Magic Creeping Text bug
- Bottom Margin bug on Hover
- Losing the ability to highlight text under the top border
- IE/Win Line-height bug
- Double Float Margin Bug
- Quirky Percentages in IE
- Duplicate indent
- Moving viewport scrollbar outside HTML borders
- 1 px border style
- Disappearing List-background
- Fix width:auto
- HTML 4.01 ABBR tag
- Improved (though not yet perfect)
- CSS 2.1 Selector support (child, adjacent, attribute, first-child etc.)
- CSS 2.1 Fixed positioning
- Alpha channel in PNG images
- Fix :hover on all elements
- Background-attachment: fixed on all elements not just body
If this happens, it really is amazing! I’m sorry for my doubts.
The one and only essential thing I can think of is missing from that list is correct DOM event handling. Support for the
application/xhtml+xml MIME type would be nice, but as Jim states in his comment at the IE blog:
Anne van Kesteren’s suggestion for an Internet Explorer that can follow the specs 100% and still render old websites with quirks is a great idea, and I hope you guys will consider it for Internet Explorer 8 – implementing a buggy application/xhtml+xml will ruin any chance of it working though
The only thing I’m wondering about is why they didn’t let us know this till know. Weren’t they allowed to, or are they simple masochistic and longed for a real backlash like they got? 🙂
Anyway, I can’t wait to get my hands on beta 2!!!