IE 8 beta 1 available for download – some quick takes

For those of you who have missed it, IE 8 beta is now available for download. Let’s take a quick look on what’s in it.

Interesting features

Let’s start by taking a look at what I think are the most interesting support/new features in IE 8:

  • Full CSS 2.1 support
  • They hope to support the most requested CSS 3 features
  • querySelectorAll support, i.e. using CSS selectors in native script to find elements.
  • Some HTML 5 features supported
  • ARIA support

First impressions

I have only used it for a very short time, but as far as I could see, web standards compliant web sites seemed to work. However, I’ve heard from lots of others that they’ve encountered weird rendering bugs.

I was, at first, very impressed that they had added support for the Selectors API. THe second web browser out of the door, just behind nightly builds of WebKit. The major downside to this, though, is that they only support up to CSS 2.1 selectors, as opposed to WebKit supporting CSS 1- 3.

When Firefox and Opera, and I say when instead of if, implement querySelectorAll they will surely have CSS 3 support as well. Hence, the support in IE will have vital shortcomings, and basically render it useless for developers.

I hope/pray/beg that if/when they implement CSS 3 support, at lest for the most regeusted CSS 3 features, that they will also implement this in the script support.

What’s missing

  • Proper W3C event handling support (they’re still stuck with attachEvent).
  • XPath support (as in native with document.evaluate). Very powerful and flexible.
  • Hard to say yet, but I’m sure I’ll mention some CSS 3 support in the future.

Download IE 8 beta

You should right away go and download the IE 8 beta. If you don’t want to take the risk or taint your system, there’s a time-limited Virtual PC image with IE 8 available for download.

Give feedback

There are some options to give feedback, so please, instead of bitching about features you miss or think you are incorrect, help them out with bug reports, feature requests etc.

Reading elsewhere

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