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IE8 To Stand Firmly Behind Web Standards

Microsoft has caved to pressure, and in the long run, the entire internet will be better for it. MS has announced that Internet Explorer 8, the next version of its popular web browser, will make its IE8 standards mode the default.

IE8 will have three web page rendering modes: Quirks Mode, which contains all the old IE weirdness and bugs deliberately included to avoid breaking web pages; Standards Mode, which debuted in IE7 and more closely conforms to some web standards, but not nearly enough; and an IE8 so-called “super Standards” Mode, which conformed so well to web standards that it passed the notoriously difficult Acid2 rendering test.

Originally, Microsoft planned to make IE7, previously an opt-in mode for web developers, the new default, and make IE8 mode an opt-in, but developers and users complained. Even though Microsoft’s plan of taking things slowly and giving the web time to adjust was sound, the web community wanted to move faster and get the hell out of this era of inconsistent browser support, and as a result, IE8 mode will be the default mode when IE8 ships.

Lazy web developers can still opt backwards to IE7 or Quirks Modes, but they might be too lazy to do that, too. When IE8 and Firefox 3 start gobbling up the last generation’s market share, we’ll start to see a web that works the way it is supposed to, whether it wants to or not. Expect more websites to start running properly in Opera, Safari and other alternative browsers, as developers become more predictable and consistent.

March 4th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Firefox, Internet Explorer, Applications | one comment