Internet Explorer 8

Internet Explorer 8
   There is one browser in human history the popularity of which can only be compared with the popularity of this no-blog. This browser used to own the Web several years ago with like 95% market share. Most of the web users today first saw the web using this browser and even though in recent years it lost some of its glory it is still the dominant browser on the Web. Love it or hate it, it is here to stay. So without further ado I present you the latest installment in the history of Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer 8.

   I have been using Internet Explorer 8 for two weeks now on all of my machines and before that I used the Beta 2 and RC releases on my machine at work for a couple of months. In the days of beta the experience of using IE8 was considerably worse so if you decided the browser is not worth it based on betas you should reconsider your decision. Note that the version of IE8 in Windows 7 is also Beta 2.

   Although not immediately obvious to users the most important and deep change from IE7 in IE8 is the new rendering engine. This new engine is supposed to be compliant with the so called standards. It seems like it renders pages as close to the "standards" as other browsers. Unlike IE7's rendering engine that used to render pages considerably different the differences between IE8's engine and other browsers are comparable with the differences between the minority browsers themselves (i.e. if you develop for Firefox you are as likely to have glitches with IE8 as with Opera). If a page is tweaked for IE7 you can use the compatibility view button to switch back to IE7 engine so in theory nothing should break... but this is just the theory. The new engine still has some bugs especially when selecting elements on the page. Sometimes the elements will change position when selected. This bug used to be severe in Beta 2 where sometimes the whole page moved around when you select something but now this rarely happens and the consequences are not that severe as the text moves just few millimeters. If you are annoyed by this just go in the options and switch to compatibility view for every website to get IE7 behavior. The new rendering engine is obviously faster and according to Microsoft it renders more pages faster than other browsers. It even seems to me that this is true. Note that this has nothing to do with JavaScript speed where IE8 is slower than the minority browsers.

   Contrary to the popular belief Google Inc. did not pioneer the multiprocess browser. Internet Explorer 8 uses multiple processes since Beta 2 which was released 2 weeks before Chrome was announced. Unlike Chrome IE8 uses fewer processes than the number of tabs. It seems that it moves tabs between processes and shuts down processes for tabs that do not have any activity. According to the developers the browser monitors your computer resources and scales the number of processes accordingly. This way you gain better performance on slower machines at the cost of reliability.

   There are a bunch of new features in IE8. Accelerators are a glorified copy/paste. Microsoft's usability studies have shown that users do a lot of copy/paste from one tab to another so they made that easier. For example you will often copy some text from a page and search it on Google. Now you can just select the text and click on the "Search with Google" accelerator. Except for the search accelerators I only use the Share on Spybook accelerator but I guess if I used Twitter, Live Maps or some other website that required text to be pasted often I would find accelerators extremely useful there. On the other hands some of the built in accelerators are plain stupid. "Blog with Windows Live" – WTF? As if anybody blogs five times an hour. Of course you can define accelerators for your website and I hear it is easy.

   Web Slices are something like visual RSS feed. You can subscribe to a slice and pin it to your favorites bar. The slice is a part of a web page and the browser will refresh this web page and alert you if the slice has changed. This can be very useful for websites that require constant attention like eBay. The problem I have with web slices is that they take valuable space between the tabs and the address bar so I will need at least 4-5 useful slices before I enable the favorites bar. Too bad I do not use eBay. Let us hope that more websites will provide slices in the future.

   The new address and search fields help greatly in finding what you are looking for. The search field provides a quick way to switch providers on the fly. Both fields provide visual search in the browser history which helps a lot. According to Microsoft's usability studies the user goes to pages that he has visited much more often than to new pages. I think this should be obvious to everyone. The new search and address fields provide you with easier and faster ways to get back to pages you have already visited.

   Internet Explorer 8 has a lot of security enhancements. It has protection from cross-site scripting attacks, marks the domain in the address bar in bold to prevent phishing and is the first browser to feature clickjacking protection. Of course it has all the features from IE7 including security zones, and an anti-malware service that checks against a database of known malware sites. Worth mentioning is the Pr0n Mode (officially called InPrivate Browsing) which does not save anything on your hard drive. No cookies, no history, just pure fun.

   My favorite feature is what I call the Anti-Google filter. It is officially called InPrivate Filtering and is aimed at stopping services that can profile your browsing habits. I have been blocking Google Analytics for months but I had to do it manually through the blocked sites list. Now the browser keeps track of resources that are shared between multiple websites (like the Google Analytics script) and if the number of sites that request this resource exceeds the number that the user has defined the resource is automatically blocked. I do not need Google Inc. knowing which sites I visit. The problem is that I could not find a way to turn this feature on by default so I have to click the button every time I open the browser. It is good that I do this like twice a day.

   Internet Explorer 8 has several minor but important improvements that other browsers have had for a long time and previous versions of IE had only through add-ons. There is a "reopen last closed tab" shortcut, reopen last browsing session and crash recovery at last.

   If you are a web developer I have reasons to believe that Internet Explorer 8 is the best browser for you. The new developer's tools come out of the box and include JavaScript debugger AND profiler, DOM inspector, CSS editor and many more. This is nothing more than what other browsers have to offer through add-ons but IE8 is the only browser that can debug the IE7 and IE6 rendering engines (or at least something close enough through quirks mode). This is something you cannot do with Firebug. So basically in one browser you have three rendering engines including the most problematic IE6 (not identical though) and something which is close to the "standards" (the IE8 engine).

   I advise everyone to install IE8 not only because of the end user features but because of my firm belief that there should be only one browser and everyone should use its latest version. However IE8 is not a good thing. Wait a while and you can read on your favorite no-blog how Microsoft broke the web. AGAIN!
Tags:   english tech 
Posted by:   Stilgar
15:55 02.04.2009


First Previous 1 Next Last 

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   17:20 02.04.2009

IE 8 sux.
IE 8 e nai loshiq browser EVER
pyrvo ACID 3-kata estestveno ne pokriva poradi tam razni pri4ini ne mi se komentirat i fakta e che pochti celiq AJAX se chupi.
OTDELNO pri AJAX renderirani poleta t.e. ako s JavaScript se renderva neshto i se dobavq to nqma antialiasing na fontovete tova e i taka shte byde koeto e adski GROZNO osven vsichko drugi
taka narecheniq compatability mode pravi edin shit ne e tolkova zle kato IE 8 ama e po zle dori ot ie 7 koeto go pravi ... rabotesht v 10% ot sluchaite
WebSlice e tehnologiq na microsoft koqto nqma da q ima v drugite browseri i edva li shte se polzva nqkade izvan *microsoft*domains*.
Accesorries taka narechenieto ( shto za typotiq ) e nesht okato kopie na Ubiquity plugina za firefox da be vernu cuka se s mishka i sa po zle izvinqvam se) da de riazano Ubiquity
realno nishto dobro ne vijdam osven che e i baven

IE 8 donese edno neshto :
sega za da testvam saitovete mi trqbva :
IE 8 s compatability mode
IE 8 bez compatability mode ( dotuk 1 windows )
IE 7 - 2ri windows
IE 6- 3ti windows
4ti windows - moq eventualno BEZ IE.
da kajem 3 windowsa vyrshat rabota na edin developer COOL.
Skoro shte ima neshto podobno na tova za IE 8:

Posted by   Stilgar   on   17:50 02.04.2009

Web Slices veche ima na mnogo domains i kakto kazah nai-vajnite sa Digg i eBay
iakoto na Web Slice-a e che ne iziskva nikakuv zor da go napravish i ne prechi izobshto na drugite browseri. Compatibility View si raboti perfektno osven deto ne vaji za JavaScript-a

Kato cialo se radvam, che izpitvash bolkata, koiato az izpitvam vseki put kogato vidia che niakoi e pusnal nov browser.

Posted by   livetoday   on   22:46 02.04.2009

ИЕ* Съкс :)

Posted by   Stilgar   on   23:56 02.04.2009

ne poveche ot vseki drug browser:)

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   00:30 03.04.2009

mnou qk browser

Posted by   Stilgar   on   00:33 03.04.2009

ne che niakoi mu puka za VML ili JS performance...

Posted by   JOKe (Unregistered)   on   01:31 03.04.2009

men mi puka.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   06:37 03.04.2009

kolko hubavo che tova niama nikakvo znachenie:)
puk i ne che niakoga si polzval VML

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   03:18 27.04.2009

takaia cyka microsoft

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   15:25 19.05.2009

Az lichno ne kriq che s IE winagi sym imal po-golemi griji da nakaram daden dizain da se sraboti, otkolkoto s FF, no ne otricham, che IE8 e stypka napred. Pochti porawno polzwam i IE, i FF, FF e po-customizabilen, no IE8 opredeleno e po-dobyr ot IE7, i e PO-BYRZ ot FF wyw wsqko otnoshenie, wkl. po startup, i rednering, ne znam zashto nqkoi hora twyrdqt obratnoto.
FF polzwam za primary browser zaradi poleznite 2-3 add-ons koito dobawqt funkcionalnost, koqto w IE edwa li nqkoga shte widq.

Posted by   Stilgar   on   18:06 19.05.2009

i kva e tia?

Posted by   Guest (Unregistered)   on   14:05 25.05.2009

"There is one browser in human history the popularity of which can only be compared with the popularity of this no-blog." Ако наистина е така, тогава си загазил :) Или пък МС за загазили :D Избери си!

Posted by   Stilgar   on   23:34 25.05.2009

95% v nai-dobrite godini i 60-70% v nashi dni mi se vijda dobre:)

First Previous 1 Next Last 

Post as:

Post a comment: