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.