As reported all over Internet, Microsoft has completely turned around regarding their initial Standards Mode approach in the upcoming IE 8.
I expressed my concern in Version targeting in IE 8, and an alternative path for Microsoft and IE 8, shooting browsers and what to do, and was even willing to compromise if they delivered a well-performing web browser, ridded of all the existing bugs.
Lo and behold, out of nowhere, the IE team posted Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles and IE8, where they reveal that Standards Mode will be enabled by default in IE 8.
What does this mean?
As far as I can interpret it:
- DOCTYPE switching still matters. A strict DOCTYPE will trigger IE 8 Standards Mode, and a transitional will trigger the same quirks mode as in IE 6 and IE 7 (unless it’s tweaked to behave strict).
meta-tag proposal is only for those who use a strict DOCTYPE but want the strict rendering of IE 7, as opposed to the one of IE 8. This is offered to those who can’t easily ensure IE 8 compatibility, and need a transition period before they’re ready.
My hope is that Conditional Comments will work as before, though, just in case IE 8 doesn’t deliver as much standards support as the competitors, or if the implementation isn’t a 100% stable.
Credits to the IE team
I, for one, have to give credits to the IE team. To adapt this way and actually deliver what most people want, and, more importantly, needs is outstanding! I’m convinced they will have to take a lot of shit from people where their web sites will break in IE 8, and will oppose the
meta-tag, so it is indeed a bold decision. And, dare I say it: it’s for the better of the web. 🙂
Experts losing face
The evil part of me can’t help on reflecting on web experts standing up for Microsoft’s first idea; writing articles, blog posts and arguing against their peers and colleagues. They lost respect and credibility, took a lot of shit, and for what? So Microsoft could use them, and then stab them in the back?
I hope Microsoft will offer some kind of halfway house so they can get back on track again…
But let us now all celebrate, because this will make life a lot easier for us Web Developers and at the same time knowledge about web standards will have to be spread and learnt. An inevitable side-effect is that Microsoft will have to seriously shape up their code in MOSS and other products, because their tools have to generate code which works in their web browser, right (unless they insert the
meta-tag, but let’s not go down that road 🙂 )?
Bring it on, Brave New World!