back to article Microsoft to search browsers for JavaScript compatibility

Microsoft's Internet Explorer unit has started the Herculean - and ironic - task of identifying which leading browsers work properly with JavaScript. The company's JScript development team has promised to crawl through the guts of Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, Opera 9.02 and Safari 3.0 running on the 32-bit edition of …


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  1. Tom Silver badge


    The thing about microsoft is, if it finds standard, it automatically has to 'extend' and breach that standard. It has to do it to its own 'standards' to force everyone to upgrade.

    These guys have put back computing for long enough! They must be ignored.

  2. Ian

    Could be good

    This has the potential to be very good for web standards but it depends on what is done about the report at the end of the day.

    It's hard to believe Microsoft will do good as a result of this going on their past record, but at the end of the day someone had to do it and realistically the same needs to be done for CSS.

    I doubt MS will do any worse of a job of this kinda of research than Mozilla as frankly Firefox is no better at standards compliance for Javascript and CSS than IE nowadays, it's only Opera that really seems to treat standards with the respect they deserve and implement them properly despite what open source Firefox defence zealots might say. As anyone who has done cross-browser web development will know it's an absolute headache trying to deal with Firefox's and IE's divergence from the standards.

    Let's just hope some good and better adherence to standards comes of this!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    My goodness, they're evil.

    When Redmond gets involved, it is never, ever "for the common good" - so as the article hints at, this is probably the first attempt towards the "Compatible with IE" garbage."

    Didn't we have all that in the 90s already? People having the "Works with Netscape" and "Works with Internet Explorer" graphics? Wasn't the idea to move away from that kind of mess?

    This is just going to screw everything up, in the way only Microsoft truly knows how. I'd like to think that it is to make IE better, but nothing in their history really would lead me to really, honestly believe that.

  4. Ian Yates


    At which point, he was promptly assassinated by guerilla Grammar combatants.

  5. Matt Black

    A Good Thing

    Surely it is? And if it leads to modifications (codification of de facto practices) to the standards then that too is 'a good thing'.

  6. Chris Cheale

    yeah - or nay?

    Potentially this could be great; potentially it could also be the most damaging thing to happen to web development since the IE/NS wars.

    Currently it's quite possible to write cross-platform, cross-browser compatible JavaScript that works with all the "main" browsers (Firefox, Opera, Konqueror/Safari) - even using AJaX. It's just IE that doesn't play nicely with others (ever); the DOM is broken, the CSS implementation is broken, AJaX (on IE) relies on an activeX control (which has changed since IE6) and is accessed in a slightly different way to how almost everyone else does it. Incidentally ICEBrowser works differently as well so it's not just MS, but IE has the biggest market share so it's far more significant when it doesn't work.

    This will be GREAT if MS actually throw some money/time at their aging hunk-of-crap browser and bring it into line with what everyone else is doing. Once IE had market dominance MS just left it to rot (as it's not a money-spinner) - it's so far behind Opera in basic functionality it's unreal... but since it's all tied into mshtml.dll I suspect they're stuck with at least some of their own stale faeces as I doubt anyone actually knows what will break if they alter that dll too much (there's a lot of third party apps that sit on top of it). They might be better starting IE again and doing it right... but that of course would separate it from the core of the OS and remove their ability to bundle it with Windows (without running into yet another abuse of monopoly position investigation).

    I'm all for MS/IE adopting the standards that are in place (the css box model would be a good place to start), however judging by past practices it seems more likely they'll try and twist the standards to suit themselves... and if they manage that, everything that ever worked across all the other browsers/platforms will become obsolete.

  7. Tim Hale


    Isn't W.A.S.P. the World Aquanaught Security Patrol?

    I bet they'd rather be battling Subterraneans than Microsoft anyday.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Microsoft and "standard compliance"?

    I will believe it, when i see it. Until then, I will still expect then to go with the "MSIE compliant" scheme...

    Hmm, isn't this a "net neutrality" issue? In some far-stretched way...

  9. Micha Roon

    I bet IE comes out on top

    it will come out as top of compliant browsers on M$ charts ...

    ... and as top of non compliant on everyone else's

    isn't it great to be first whatever the measure?

  10. Patrick O'Reilly


    Isn't it against Microsoft's EULA to publish the result of performance tests like this, if a 3rd party conducts the test on a Microsoft product?

    So isn't it a little ironic that they are going to publisise that they are going to do exactly just that to everyone elses programs!

    And what a great Opera Release to choose, one that's almost 12 months old and the JavaScript engine has since been rewritten.

  11. g e


    Microsoft Works

  12. coxy

    Opera 9.02

    Good to see Microsoft are up-to-date with their research. Opera is at version 9.24 (stable) with 9.5 on it's way (currently in beta).

  13. sixthring

    What about RSS

    Since IE is the worst browser for RSS compatibility.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having Standards

    Remember, this is Microsoft -- the company that likes standards so much that whenever it finds one, it does its best to create another.

    If it wasn't for Microsoft, the web would all be working to the same W3C standard.

  15. Bemi Faison

    What's that called?

    Microsoft isolated itself the day it decided to use JScript instead of JavaScript/ECMAscript. Irregardless of their nefarious reasons and malevolent intent, the language and name demonstrates their commitment to undermine anything non-MS and open-source.

    Same with bastardizing open-source languages via .NET, having them masquerade as the real thing - that being Java, C# and JavaScript. Why developers acknowledge MS as an authority on languages they've abused is beyond me.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The nice thing about standards

    is that there are so many to choose from!

  17. Thomas Morf

    Javascript creator blogs about M$ role in the next generation of Javascript

    This blog post of Brendan Eich has a lot of links which will give you an idea about how hardball the game is played about the future of Javascript and how Microsoft continues to try to derail the usefulness of the "Open Web" and Javascript in the rescent past and present:

  18. Michael McLaughlin

    My Favorite Quote

    A little switcheroo...

    "The point is that [HTML] developers shouldn't have to detect and workaround such issues. [HTML] should work the same across all implementations. We believe this is the first step in making [HTML] better," Lakshman blogged.

    Yes Mr. Lakshman I wholeheartedly agree!

  19. jubtastic1

    If MS had half a clue

    They would follow Apple's path, take an open source browser that already works then stick a badge on it.

    There's only one reason MS bothers at all with IE and that's because they get to control the search box (and the ad revenue that represents).

    They could take Firefox, 'tweak' the search box to default to Live Search, slap on a bit of chrome to make it blend in with the rest of the system, Job done, *everyone* is happy.

  20. Tom Hawkins


    your problem is?

  21. Tom Silver badge

    Why bother

    Write standard Javascript - it will work on standards compliant browsers - IE users can install Firefox for free.

    Why make yourself hoops to jump through?

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