Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 to Speed Up Web Development?

No sooner had I written about how Internet Explorer currently slows down web development, the IE team have announced that IE8, under development, is now rendering the Acid2 test correctly.

This is a great step forward.

The IE team has come under a fair bit of criticism lately for not giving any information to the web development community about what is going on, and when the next browser will be available.

Their announcement that the next IE was going to be called IE8 was almost taken as offensive by some people, judging by comments in that blog post, as they wanted to know more useful details, such as when there would be another browser release and what would be in it.

The IE team said they will “release a beta of IE8 in the first half of calendar 2008″ but have not currently revealed further details on what other features to expect.

However, they promise to offer more details going forward. Hopefully we see some other much-needed things like various JScript fixes and better standards compliance, more CSS 2.1 — even some CSS 3? — implementations and fixes, in-line spell checkers, etc.

Now we just have to hope that IE6 goes away even more quickly! When that happens, the speed of web development should be what we would expect; less time battling browser differences and making unnecessary trade-offs and more time innovating on top of a somewhat decent baseline.

Here’s to hoping…!

Update: February 9, 2008: Looks like Mike R’s concerns in the comments below from a while back were warranted. It turns out that when IE8 comes out, you will have to opt in to get IE8′s standards compliant rendering mode. Otherwise IE8 will render as IE7, which will likely be the case for the vast majority of sites.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Slows Down Web Development

This has been said so many times on the web by web developers frustrated at IE’s rendering bugs, lack of progress in support for web technologies, and so on, that at first I didn’t want to bother writing this post.

However, a number of other posts on this site make reference to this point and I end up repeating myself, side tracking from the point at hand. For that reason, and for the benefit of some readers not familiar with this issue, this post serves as a summary of those concerns.

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Book Review: Head First Design Patterns

Book details

  • Book: Head First Design Patterns
  • Authors: Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Freeman, Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
  • Publisher: O’Reilly (November 2004)
  • Purchase the book:

My Summary: 5 out of 5

For a book with about 650 pages, I got through this really quickly (for me, that is — about 8 hours)!

That should hopefully help summarize my view that I really liked this book.

An excerpt from the back cover answers the question, “What’s so special about this book?”:

We think your time is too valuable to spend struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Design Patterns uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep.

Head First Design Patterns

Using funny examples like duck simulators and gumball machines instead of some technical, boring algorithm or graphical windows application meant it was likely to be more memorable, and, crucially, not get bogged down in details about the application at hand, but the pattern being demonstrated.

The example code is in Java. I have been using .NET/C# as my main programming language at work the past 4 or 5 years, but this is no problem at all, as C# and Java are very similar, syntactically.

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