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Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise
Waltish 
30/8/08 5:08:31 AM
Hero
Titan


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/29/hakon_lie_ie8_interoperability/

Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

Microsoft said the right things, then blew it
By Hakon Lie, CTO, Opera Software → More by this author
Published Friday 29th August 2008 11:37 GMT
Nail down your security priorities. Ask the experts and your peers at The Register Security Debate, September 24 2008.

Comment In March, Microsoft announced that their upcoming Internet Explorer 8 would: "use its most standards compliant mode, IE8 Standards, as the default."

Note the last word: default. Microsoft argued that, in light of their newly published interoperability principles, it was the right thing to do. This declaration heralded an about-face and was widely praised by the web standards community; people were stunned and delighted by Microsoft's promise.

This week, the promise was broken. It lasted less than six months. Now that Internet Explorer IE8 beta 2 is released, we know that many, if not most, pages viewed in IE8 will not be shown in standards mode by default. The dirty secret is buried deep down in the «Compatibility view» configuration panel, where the «Display intranet sites in Compatibility View» box is checked by default. Thus, by default, intranet pages are not viewed in standards mode.

How many pages are affected by this change? Here's the back of my envelope: The PC market can be split into two segments — the enterprise market and the home market. The enterprise market accounts for around 60 per cent of all PCs sold, while the home market accounts for the remaining 40 per cent. Within enterprises, intranets are used for all sorts of things and account for, perhaps, 80 per cent of all page views. Thus, intranets account for about half of all page views on PCs!

Furthermore, web standards are discriminated against in IE8 by the icon that appears next to standards-compliant web pages:
The picture shows a broken page. A broken page? Why is broken page icon shown next to standards-compliant pages? The idea, apparently, is to encourage users to escape standards-mode by clicking on the broken page. There's a dastardly logic here: showing a broken page may make users wonder if they are seeing pages correctly. Authors are probably not too thrilled by having a broken page shown next to their pages, and the only way to avoid the icon is to not trigger standards mode. The message is clear: don't use standards!

I have a few suggested remedies. First, I suggest that IE8 not introduce version targeting which only perpetuates the problem of non-compliant pages. Instead, IE8 should respect the established conventions which don't need manual switching between modes. If Microsoft insists on displaying some kind of icon next to standards-compliant web pages, I suggest they use this image instead:

Microsoft has a long-standing tradition of saying the right things about standards, but shipping non-standard products. IE8 could be different. Microsoft have done the hard technical work. They've made a promise they can keep. I call on them to make the right choice. ®

-----------------------------------------

Not much to say about that except that it is no surprise.

So much for their change of heart re interoperability, an MS promise is not worth the air expelled saying it.

Should go to the site there are links and images on the page {:)




Edited by Waltish: 30/8/2008 05:09:57 AM

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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece

spielentwickler 
30/8/08 6:51:15 AM
Guru

Actually, I think it's reasonable for them to have it switched on for intranet sites.

Most people using Internet Explorer visiting my website are not going to be on my Intranet.

However, there is, at least in my experience, more IE only pages, that rely on IE's screwy behaviour, on corporate Intranet sites. This only effects sites accessed via the intranet zone in IE, which for most people, is very VERY few.

Coporate users, who have a local intranet, or B2B users via vpn links to partners, have web applications set up to do specific tasks, and if they currently rely on the dodgy behaviour, it would be irresponsible of Microsoft to possibly break them by default. Intranet sites are the ones that have highest risk of cost to a company if they break.

So this default for enabling it for Intranets doesn't actually harm most people, including most developers. Even if the number of page views for intranet sites are high in coporate environments, the correlation of this to the number of sites effected outside of that specific environment, and in fact to most websites, is very low.

As for the broken page icon, after the most recent update, it sits next to the address bar and is obviously a button, not an icon. Buttons are not supposed to display information to the user, they are supposed to be used by the user to tell the program something, or to take an action.

I see a broken page button, and I think "if the page is broken, I click that button".

It makes sense to me, and judging my knowledge of my mum's understanding of her computer, it would make sense to her too. And if not, I can say to her "if the website is broken, click the broken page button".


Edited by spielentwickler: 30/8/2008 06:57:21 AM

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/

Catmosphere 
30/8/08 7:55:03 AM
Guru

My work's version of IE is so old that this conversation is irrelevant. To be SOE I don't change it.

This is interesting none the less.

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"Be a man. Take some Pepto Dismal, get dressed, and come on over here and pick me up!"

Virtuoso 
30/8/08 10:19:52 AM
SuperHero
Resident alien


Microsoft still refuse to serve Windows Update and other necessary services to theif customers by anything but Internet Explorer.

As if there's something special about IE that makes that necessary.

Monopolistic arseholes.

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I came. I saw. I did not concur.

Cpt. Lock 
30/8/08 10:31:06 AM
Banned

That's why you use automatic updates, or go to Microsoft's site itself and download the shit. I can't remember the last time I used windows update, must have been before windows 2000 came out

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spielentwickler 
30/8/08 10:31:24 AM
Guru

Quote by Virtuoso
Microsoft still refuse to serve Windows Update and other necessary services to theif customers by anything but Internet Explorer.

As if there's something special about IE that makes that necessary.

Monopolistic arseholes.



Actually, as this has more to do with updating their OS, and requires major access to the system, via a web browser, I don't entirely hold it against them.

I would like to see the functionality mirrored in the Operating System itself, rather than just have the browser as the only access to it. Automatic updates is only one small part of the overall system updates functionality.

Otherwise, I feel it is up to web browsers to implement the functionality required (activex) to use the update site.

Many of the updates are available as seperate downloads which can be accessed via other browsers.

None of the web technologies currently available have standards in place for delivering system level updates. So long as Microsoft is properly supporting standards, they can add other functionality as they see fit.

I think the problem is the Microsoft Update site, and it's functionality, is ONLY available through the web browser, and not the Operating System itself, making the browser a requirement for the system.

Other browsers accessing the site is not that much of a problem, and not Microsofts job to ensure.

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/

Cpt. Lock 
30/8/08 10:34:09 AM
Banned

I think the problem is that activex is the shitiest bit of code ever implemented. I can understand exactly why other browsers don't implement it given the amount of security holes it has

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spielentwickler 
30/8/08 10:44:02 AM
Guru

Quote by Cpt. Lock
I think the problem is that activex is the shitiest bit of code ever implemented. I can understand exactly why other browsers don't implement it given the amount of security holes it has



Oh I totally agree, which is why I don't mind that I can't access microsoft update from my other browsers :D

Actually, having just gone to the microsoft update site from Opera, I was informed that to use the site I required IE 5.5 or better, but that if I wanted to use another browser, I could get updates from the Microsoft update site, and that security updates were available through the automatic updates facility in Windows.

So they aren't using an open standard to create their update site, but they have made their updates available to people who do not wish to use Internet Explorer.


Edited by spielentwickler: 30/8/2008 10:46:30 AM

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/

Cpt. Lock 
30/8/08 10:49:09 AM
Banned

I just don't use it personally. Most if not all of the updates can be accessed by other means.

Automatic updates needs to be more like apple updates where it tells you about every update available essential or not

Either way why is this in the green room?

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Waltish 
30/8/08 4:05:34 PM
Hero
Titan


Quote by Cpt. Lock
I just don't use it personally. Most if not all of the updates can be accessed by other means.

Automatic updates needs to be more like apple updates where it tells you about every update available essential or not

Either way why is this in the green room?



So more people can see it, Some folks live in the green room and hardly visit the other sections {:)

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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece

Jeruselem 
30/8/08 5:26:27 PM
Guru

I just loaded IE8 Beta 2 in my work PC, and I like it so far. Beta 1 was too unstable. Seems a bit snappier than IE7 was.

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PC 1: XP Home SP2, Opty 165@1.8Ghz, GEIL 1GB PC3200, 320GB SATA Cuda ES,XFX 9600GSO 580/700x2/1450, Seasonic S12+ 550W
PC 2: XP Home SP3, XP 3000+@2.24 Ghz, 1GB PC3200, 80GB IDE,ASUS nVidia 6800 512MB, Antec PlanetWatts 380W

Waltish 
30/8/08 10:33:02 PM
Hero
Titan


The real issue is that it reports pages that aren't broken as broken when its the browser its self that breaks the standard.

Then if you click the button with the broken page icon, its doesn't just render that supposedly broken page viewable it resets the default parameters of the browser.

Quite an underhanded way to push a broken standard {:)

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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece

TheSecret 
31/8/08 9:13:29 PM
Overlord
No...

No promise is broken...

Standards mode is not the default for intranets, which is a necessity since a lot of corporate intranets are IE6 only and full of activex shit.

They are trying to be standards compliant.., don't shit on them until they actually do break their promise...likewise, maybe the Opera CTO is not the best guy to get an unbiased report from..

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is
competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

TheSecret 
31/8/08 9:15:48 PM
Overlord
No...

No promise is broken...

Standards mode is not the default for intranets, which is a necessity since a lot of corporate intranets are IE6 only and full of activex shit.

They are trying to be standards compliant.., don't shit on them until they actually do break their promise...likewise, maybe the Opera CTO is not the best guy to get an unbiased report from..

Virtusso,

You are wrong. You are not forced to use Internet Explorer to download windows updates in any way. A better example of monopolistic practice would be ignoring your browser preference and opening any link hotmail through msn in IE.

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is
competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Jeruselem 
31/8/08 10:47:46 PM
Guru

Intranets are never designed to conform any sort of international open standards for interoperability. They serve a single purpose based on a certain set of (mainly Microsoft) software so I do understand by Microsoft did this.

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PC 1: XP Home SP2, Opty 165@1.8Ghz, GEIL 1GB PC3200, 320GB SATA Cuda ES,XFX 9600GSO 580/700x2/1450, Seasonic S12+ 550W
PC 2: XP Home SP3, XP 3000+@2.24 Ghz, 1GB PC3200, 80GB IDE,ASUS nVidia 6800 512MB, Antec PlanetWatts 380W

kikz 
1/9/08 10:57:28 AM
Immortal

I have to agree with the Intranet default thing. From a developers point of view, many developers, myself included, work under the requirement that the Intranet is a controlled environment (in many cases an SOE). That means we *know* every user will at least have IE on their machines, even if it's not their operating system. There's almost no chance the users will be using Linux.

That requirement based assumption makes it much easier to develop rich applications hosted in a browser, through the use of Microsoft technologies (interpret this as .NET). We're safe in the knowledge that how it appears on our dev boxes is how it's going to appear on the client's machines.

It may not be best practices, but it's the real world.

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Q6600@3.2Ghz | 8Gb PC6400 | 2 x 500Gb RAID 0 + 2 x 320 Gb RAID 0 | 19" Benq FP591 + 24" Samsung 245B + 19" Dell | 8800GTS 640 Mb + 8400GS 256 Mb | Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P | Antec P182 | Corsair HX-620 | Thermalright 120 Extreme | Vista x64

Waltish 
2/9/08 1:07:10 AM
Hero
Titan


Only part of the real world, there is another part of the real world the does not use any MS stuff.

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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece

ozacube 
2/9/08 1:51:16 AM
Guru

There's also the part of the world that uses whatever tools their company gives them; in this case, use OUR intranet, using OUR systems, in the way WE TELL YOU TO.

On the other hand, they could also make an intranet page that did its thing using Javascript and server side processing, if they really wanted to... if that would even facilitate their needs.

The truth is, if a company already has Windows computers in their workplace, then making a dodgy ActiveX site may be a lot easier and cheaper than writing a full blown application.


Also, on the Windows Update front ... Vista doesn't use a browser at all; it has a small 'Windows Update' program which shows you all the possible updates, including no essential ones, which you can then select.
So, it would seem that continued complaining would be unwarranted.

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*ISAIAH 53*

Waltish 
2/9/08 2:18:52 AM
Hero
Titan


I haven't mentioned windows update {:)

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http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece

zebra 
2/9/08 7:36:54 AM
SuperHero
Titan


...looks like you did it again, hey Waltish? There seems to be a pattern forming.

Sort of reminds me of this thread, you posted in "Windows OS" rather than the "Security" section...

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=21&t=2413

Like I said before fella, if you want to be an OSS Evangelist, you can be (I think you'd make a good one, for you are passionate) - but simply posting news about "the evils of MS" where people will see it, is not the way forward. You will earn respect through showing us the good parts of OSS.

z


Edited by zebra: 2/9/2008 7:55:57 AM

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Specs:

I don't own a computer.

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