IE8 More Standard if you Want it to be

Posted in Microsoft at 6:50 pm by Brandon Wirtz

So are you excited about the newest version of Internet Explorer being only a short ways away?  No?  How about if I told you that it was actually the most standards compliant IE yet?

Well sort of.  The problem with changing how IE renders web pages is that with so many web pages already made, and so much of the population creating pages to render correctly in IE6 or IE7 all of those pages could break.

Imagine being Myspace and all of those millions of templates that used to work, all of a sudden don’t.  That could be a support nightmare.

Fortunately Microsoft has a solution.

meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8"

when stuck in the header of an html file it kicks on the new rendering, and if it is not there IE8 Renders the way IE7 did.

Where this gets tricky is, when you start doing fun things with Meta Tags for IE, is when Safari, and FireFox want to do the same thing.  I can’t see having a Meta Tag for every browser on the planet, and since other browsers aren’t likely to support IE 8 Super Standards mode, using this mode will alienate some portion of your users.

I’m not sure what the "Right" answer is.

One person suggested that this should be supported in the HTTP header

GET / HTTP/1.1

Host: www.example.org

X-UA-Compatible: IE=8

But I think that would cause problems as files passed around the Internet or get saved to hard disk.

It is important to remember that just because a file started on your server doesn’t mean that will be the last place it lives.


This article is in response to:

IE8 and opt-in versioning mechanism (w3.org)

Compatibility and IE8 (blogs.msdn.com)

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