back to article Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Beta & dodgy maths

    First, this is a beta release... the idea is to find issues like this so they can be fixed in the final release.

    That check box is almost certainly able to be toggled during the deployment process - that way enterprises can set it when they roll out IE8, on the basis of whether or not their intranet is standards-compliant.

    The logic must be that companies with standards compliant intranets are more likely the ones who can use group policy to set this behaviour; conversely those companies that need the non-standards view are the ones less likely to have the know-how to set this.

    In this respect, I think they've done the right thing.

    I think your maths is a little off though - more like 30% will be intranet based.

    The icon could do with being more meaningful, but otherwise they seem to have done a pretty good job.

  2. David Kelly
    Flame

    ... suggested remedies

    How about educating the masses to boycott M$'s useless browser altogether?

  3. Chris Wood

    Slightly unfair

    My employer hasn't even deployed IE7 yet as our Intranet pages were coded to work with IE6 and are broken under 7, so maybe Microsoft is actually listening to the enterprise and doing the right thing by making compatibility mode the default for Intranet pages.

    No idea what's going on with the icon though, surely the 'broken page' icon should be for compatibility mode not standards mode!

  4. Martin Lyne
    Gates Horns

    QUEL SUPRISÉ!

    There is no justice in this world. If I go to great lengths to make a site conformant to standards then IE puts a goddamned broken page next to it I'm going to fornicate someone with a rusty garden imlement.

    Everyone should stay detecting IE browsers and boycotting IE users with a "Please use a stands compliant browser such as Firefox or Opera found at.." message, then display a giant picture of a middle finger instead of the intended page.

  5. Dylan

    'Taint Rocket Science

    How about using standards mode if the page actually validates against the DTD it claims to? Then you get the good stuff if you've earned it. If you haven't you're probably expecting the historical cruft.

    Some might claim that validation would be too costly, but iCab on the Mac has always done it in a very small fast browser. Shows a cute smiley with a valid page. Sadly, it very rerely gets to smile.

    http://www.icab.de

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair...

    ...most intranets probably won't work in compliance mode -- that was always one of the biggest concerns with standards mode.

    However, given the user profile, couldn't that have been left out of the UI and managed by Active Directory?

    Joined up thinking and all....

  7. Mo

    Um

    The icon is retarded.

    However, defaulting to compatibility view JUST for intranet-mode sites is entirely sensible. it completely avoids the problem that Microsoft has had in the past—that enterprise customers and the entire rest of the world had differing requirements.

    Let intranets be viewed in compatibility mode. None of us web developers will actually care, because all of the stuff WE deal with will be standards-compliant.

    Meanwhile, enterprise developers who are stuck with a horrific godawful legacy mess won't have to scramble to fix them.

    The fact that IE has "security zones" is something that was completely forgotten about in the debate over the IE8 meta tag, and making use of them is a rather elegant sidestep of the whole problem.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    I think you are making a bigger thing out of this than it actually is. Traditionally, intranet applications are poorly coded because they rely on IE6 / whatever rendering engines to 'break', and aren't standards compliant. Rendering intranet sites in compatibility mode is a perfectly sensible decision imo, and can even be turned off. The internet is rendered in standards mode by default, as promised by them.

    While I agree the icon is a poor choice, I can see their thinking behind it - use it if the page 'looks' broken. Any other suggestions for what they could use instead that is intuitive?

  9. TeeCee Gold badge
    Flame

    What a load of utter cobblers!

    There's a cast-iron reason why Intranet pages *should* default to compatibility mode by default. As has already been said many times around here, IE dominates in the corporate market due to its central management features. Thus the majority of corp Intranets are built for IE (who needs to handle multiple browsers when you have a corp standard?). Thus the corp Intranets are the most likely things to break when standards mode is preferred.

    MS are taking an eminently sensible approach to this one. Defaulting to standards mode for Intranets would serve no purpose other than to piss off large numbers of admins who would have to push a settings change to all their users (still, at least they *could* with IE). If Mr Lie thinks that a standards default would cause the corp boys to suddenly update all their pages to standards-compliant (either writing off compatibility for all their older setups in the process or creating a need to do every subsequent change twice), providing a way in to the corp market for Opera, he's an even bigger idiot than the article makes him sound already.

    The "standards" icon's a bit of a pig's ear, I agree. We call this a "cosmetic" error in the real world though. If that's the best he can do by way of a problem in IE8, that sounds like a ringing endorsement to me.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. DZ-Jay

    RE: Slightly unfair

    >> No idea what's going on with the icon though, surely the 'broken page' icon should be for compatibility mode not standards mode!

    I believe he meant the opposite: The "broken page" icon appears when you are in Standards Mode, pressumably as a switch to engage Compatibility Mode, i.e. "broken page mode".

    I see nothing wrong with this. I have not used IE8, nor have I seen this new icon and how it's shown; so it could be that the author is complaining that it is not clear that the icon is a switch button. However, I will hazard a guess that if the button appears on a /toolbar/, along with other /tool/ buttons which perform some /action/, then it's hardly likely users would think that the icon is instead only a /status/ marker.

    All in all, the article is alarmist for very little reason, and seems only to bash the new browser for the sake of complaining. I much more enjoyed Austine Modine's take on the new Beta release of IE8. Now that's unabashed bias with style.

    -dZ.

  12. Hugh_Pym
    Stop

    @Ac (bollocks)

    "The icon could do with being more meaningful"

    I think you will find the icon is perfectly meaningful. They mean 'please, gullible user, assume this perfectly good, standards based page is in some way broken and only microsoft can fix your viewing experience. Don't trust those other guys no no no'.

    They should have used a broken ie logo.

  13. Donn Bly
    Thumb Down

    Promise KEPT, not BROKEN. Internet pages are rendered in Standards Mode

    Microsoft said that their new browser, when released, would render Internet web sites in standards mode by default, and the majority of the world applauded. A few companies, however, that have heavily invested in Microsoft’s broken technology stood up and reminded Microsoft that they needed to maintain compatibility with their existing base. The solution to render INTRA-net sites that never see the light of day outside of the companies for which they were developed and which often include very old, poorly-developed pages (developed? More like thrown together in Word and Publisher of which senior management is extremely proud and the rest of the staff snickers)

    The splitting of Intranet vs Internet and rendering them differently is an elegant solution that allows IE 8 to be deployed as a more drop-in solution for businesses, and I for one applaud it. It will increase the deployment of standards-compliant browsers across the board, and hopefully some day soon I won’t have to keep testing the web sites that I develop under IE5 and IE6 to make sure that they are usable by my corporate clients.

    So then I had to ask, “What kind of out-of-touch idiot would write an article like this”. Microsoft hasn’t broken their promise to the Internet, and they haven’t broken their promise to the companies that pay their bills, and if anything they have found a solution that appeases both. Then I looked at the byline, and things became clearer.

    Of course, companies that COMPETE with Microsoft don’t like it when Microsoft actually does something right for a change.

    Chief Technical Officer? A More apt title would be Minister of Propaganda.

    This article was nothing more than a propaganda smear by someone who tries to spin something that is right into something that is wrong, and is doing so purely for financial reasons.

  14. Andy

    Hmm.

    I'm surprised with myself, but I don't actually see the problem with using the old rendering mode for intranets by default. Most corporate intranets are old, IE-only and maintained by people without the technical knowledge to update them. Obviously this isn't ideal, but it makes this a user-friendly decision by Microsoft.

    The broken page icon is pretty bad, though. You can see the logic - if this page looks broken, click here - but they should find another way of doing it.

  15. Whitefort

    A beta release... so they'll remove this piece of stupidity, right?

    "First, this is a beta release... the idea is to find issues like this so they can be fixed in the final release."

    Yeah, right... Let's wait and see if this 'feature' is absent from the final version. Somehow I'm not expecting to be surprised...

  16. Graham Robinson

    At least...

    By having standard mode on intranet sites the organisation can choose to over-ride it with a group policy.

    Users without group policy shouldn't have to worry as they are unlikely to be looking at intranet documents.

  17. Hakon Wium Lie

    Beta

    Yes, IE8 is still in beta and the issues I point out in the article can still be fixed. I ask them to do so in the last sentence.

  18. Hakon Wium Lie

    promises vs. business models

    Perhaps it makes business sense for Microsoft to not support standards and to listen to their enterprise customers instead. If so, however, they shouldn't make promises regarding support for standards.

  19. Hakon Wium Lie

    intranet math

    Maybe you're right that intranet page views is 30% instead of 50%, it's hard to measure. Still, it's a very significant number and it shouldn't be forgotten when promises are made.

  20. Mountford D

    Standards and "Beta & dodgy maths"

    Standards are standards. If you are not going to adhere to standards, why have standards at all?

    If all browsers are standards-compliant from the word go, then every roll-out will be standards-compliant - IE8 or not. Having an option to toggle into a non-standards view simply takes the piss, something Microsoft are very good at doing.

    As a developer, I need to code for all platforms (fact of life) and having to cater for a Microsoft-only platform only increases my workload, costs and pain. Rather than tying punters to Windows, which is Microsoft's objective in everything they do, they just succeed in pissing everybody off. That is why I (and others like me) hate them.

  21. Matt
    Stop

    What a totally irrelevant rant

    Can someone fire this guy?

    You do know the difference between intranet and internet right?

    While IE might only have 75%-80% browser share in the general market, in the corporate market that is going to be well over 95%.

    Any corporation is only going to install a web browser if it doesn't break their internal applications and therefore costs them as close to nothing as is practical. Most internal corporate web applications are usually rarely updated, in house coded, and so on. Also they'll have been written specifically for IE because no Corporation is going to pay for cross browser compatability code when they can just say 'just code for this'.

    The upshot of microsoft doing this is, therefore, get a better more compliant browser onto as manay machines as possible. Those corporate types browsing the internet will still view it in standards mode without their internal applications breaking.

    If the whiney designers want to develop standards based websites they're free to do so only when a very significant amount of the internet uses said standards. Right now, they're just dumb creating pure stanadards based sites because 80% of their audience won't see it displayed correctly. Sure MS is out of line, but there's a big difference between an abstract standard set by some NGO and the effective standard that is actually used by end users.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooh...

    ... looks like Opera have picked up the FUD mantle now. Or should that be OP£RA? ;)

  23. Snake Plissken
    Paris Hilton

    Am I reading it wrong?

    The box below the intranet one says "Display all websites in Compatibility View" and is unticked - therefore any website outside the intranet will be in standards mode by default.

    Paris - because I feel like I'm asking a dumb question.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Beta & dodgy maths

    Re "...the idea is to find issues like this so they can be fixed in the final release."

    I think you are being way too kind to MS. What do you mean by "the idea is to find issues like this"? They deliberately MADE the issue. It's not a bug. It's a very specific and deliberate design decision. I'm sure MS are fully aware of this "feature" and how it's working. And no doubt, they have no intention of changing it.

    Why anyone uses IE at all is beyond me, but that's no excuse for not following standards. But then that's MS for you - they have always systematically ignored or abused any standard that ever was. I'm sure they would have preferred not to support TCP/IP back when they were adding networking to Windows. Unfortunately for them, it was just too engrained in the internet for them to ignore, and I bet that really grated!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Um .... where are these figures coming from?

    So according to the Chief Technology Officer of Opera, entreprise pcs using webbrowsers spend 80% of their time on intranet sites? Where exactly does that figure come from? The air?

    Care to substantiate any stats presented in that "article"?

  26. David Cornes
    Gates Horns

    Rod for their own back

    MS (and Netscape in their day) created this problem by deliberately ignoring standards in favour of their own proprietry implementations, simply to try and maintain market share.

    So now they're in something of a hole: imagine the screams if IE8 became standards compliant overnight and 'broke' all the pages they'd spent years cultivating?

  27. David

    Broken page mode

    [Entirely uninformed, since I've not seen it in action, but] it seems to me that if this is a button, then the logic is sound - "click the broken page to go to broken page mode". The same way a button with a magnifying glass and a + means "make this big", not "this is big, make it small".

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Icon

    I think the icon is trying to represent two things fitting together ...

  29. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Standards? Who needs standards?

    "our Intranet pages were coded to work with IE6"... it's this kind of stupidity that is the cause behind so many of the problems in web pages / services these days.

    Other than this, the "intranet" option is likely to be their work around to allow sharepointless to actually work... in the latest version MS purposefully reduced functionality for anything other than IE (and all in the name of compatibility). Doubtless if IE8 worked in any forms of standards, sharepoint would fail. The problem is, sharepoint is so pathalogically badly designed and cobbled together that there's no way they could fix it and maintain any form of compatibility between "applications" designed for older versions of it and a newer version. Instead, MS can only add more and more bloat (occasionally touted as features) and make an already awful system even slower and less efficient than previously.

  30. C
    Alien

    Just another atempt at "Embrace and extend"

    MS products = POS (no that's not 'Point Of Sale')

    To be honest I consider Firefox 2 to be superior to any MS web browser precisely because of such shenanigans, plus it just plain works better!

    Firefox 3 is nice and all, but did they have to make it look like IE7 by default?! IE7 is nasty I avoid it like the plague.

    Hey Mozilla! Don't copy your imitators, its really bad form!

    The downhill slide of MS products seems to have picked up a lot more speed the last few years .. just like a rocket sled pointed down. The crap they've released in the last 2 to 3 years is just not usable IMO. Although I've been using and supporting MS products since 95', it is time to go to something else.

    MS is a sinking ship, while MAC and Linux are coming to the rescue.

    This week I had to setup some networking stuff on a MAC which I've not done for years. Even though I was a bit lost at first, it was surprisingly easy. The whole experience left me with a very nice impression compared with the nightmare that is VISTA. At this point I would even recommend it over XP.

    And I thought I was a Linux fanboi! Long live Linux! .. but let me have a MAC.

  31. frymaster

    Oh the irony

    all the text on this site is far too small unless I click on the compatibility icon :D

  32. Ryan Mitchell
    Gates Halo

    Tripe

    Totally of the mark for me, being able to maintain a list of sites to use 'compatibility mode' means you dont become relient on the button. If i had to keep clicking that button on and off for my intranet to work I'd just leave it on, making the improved standards support etc pointless.

  33. Mark

    Broken page icon

    Maybe it ought to be the IE "Blue E" icon with a break in it. IE is, for W3C standards, broken.

  34. Anthony
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Slightly unfair

    Same here - no IE7 in current workplace. Previous workplace migrated after a long test period. Exactly how many workplaces have not standardised on IE???

    El Reg, I think it is about time you took your beak out of your date and got some fresh air. These ongoing bitchfests about MS, the evil of renewable energy, PS3s, iPhones, these poor poor thieving pirates, etc. etc. are getting seriously tiresome.

  35. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Hysteria?

    Bit of an OTT article this. Most people don't know/care about standards compliance; they won't be receiving any messages about whether or not it's a good idea.

  36. Daniel Klima
    Stop

    BUTTON NOT ICON!

    Reg got it wrong.That button is for those bastardly coded pages,which are under IE8 unviewable.It is NOT ICON BUT BUTTON!!!

    Please,check your facts,before posting,since it shows that you think that at least part of your audience is stupid and/or MS/IE haters who will not check whether it is true or not..

    And it is needed as hell,since soem servers will send IE7 CSS to IE8,which causes IE8 to render page incorrectly.

  37. Funky Dennis
    Thumb Down

    Standards!

    Now I like to bash MS just as much as the next guy, but almost all browsers have problems with rendering:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid3#Desktop_browsers

    Shock, horror! Eric Raymond LIED to me!

    Also, standards are hard, mainly because there are lots of laissez-faire knobjockeys out there (not Joel):

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/03/17.html

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Come on!

    This seems to be a little disingenuous to say the least. While it may be true that Intranet pages will be displayed in compatibility mode, it's a little unfair to lambast MS for breaking their promise. Most Corp customers would be most displeased if their Intranet pages suddenly started misbehaving because they weren't written correctly. They aren't created fro general use, but for a specific targeted controlled platform.

    On the other hand, public websites will now display in Standards mode, meaning that developers of public websites will be encouraged to code correctly to ensure that the page works.

    MS seem to have taken a reasonable middle-ground stance

  39. Andy

    This is desperate

    This article is so biased it's unbelievable, I know it was written by a mouthpiece from Opera but seriosuly this is pathetic.

    1) The compatibility button is for when a page is trying to be displayed in "modern standards like how IE 7 displays modern standards", rather than full standards compliance. Yes, this is Microsoft's fault for not implementing standards sooner but they're not trying to force you out of using standards now.

    2) It displays intranet sites in compatibility mode by default. Wow! Who cares? I'm sure most companies will be glad of this. Everyday home web users won't notice a difference or care one jot because they never, ever, see an intranet page in their life. So the writer's calculations is that 80% of all webpage views are intranet and so account for 1/2 of all PC's webpage viewing. Really? If so who cares? What companies get upto internally won't make one difference to the precious little world of the Internet, especially if IE8 is going to behave nicely on a company's intranet as well as the Internet.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. blackworx
    Gates Horns

    Probably internal

    I used to work for MS (there I've said it, I was satan's willing f*cktoy for a year or so back in 2002).

    Whenever possible (i.e. where an application is not mission critical) they strongly encourage product testing within the workforce and - guess what - they have a massive intranet full of IE specific sites. Could be that this intranet checkbox thing is on by default to avoid breaking their own workers' sites as the beta is rolled out internally.

    Still doesn't make it right though; and they are taking the piss with that broken page icon.

  42. frymaster

    In fact...

    ...to expand on my earlier comment, having tried IE8 for a whole hour now, an astonishingly high number of sites _don't_ trigger crufty quirks mode yet have errors or serious bugs when viewed in IE8 mode vs IE7 compatability mode. My online banking, for example, uses a drop-down box to show login options. Unless I click the compatability icon this disappears as soon as I mouse over it. I begin to see a) Why MS keep going on about backwards compatability, b) why that icon is there

  43. RW
    Boffin

    Extensions

    Proprietary extensions to standardized software have been a problem for decades. Just read the history of Fortran and Cobol. In the days of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[*], every company's compiler had features unique unto itself.

    The only solution is for those who hold the rights to a standard to stipulate that if there are *any* extensions available, even at the user's option, then the extended version cannot use even the name of the standard. It helps if as many as possible of the details of the standard are themselves copyright or trademarked.

    I believe this issue was the crux of Sun's lawsuit against MS for MS's "extensions" to Java.

    So the question arises: are the terms "html", "world-wide web", "web browser" and such copyrighted or trademarked? Probably not; too bad.

    Note that another issue is a standard that is ambiguous. This can be dealt with by the creation of test suites, as exist now for various features of html & JS. I'm waiting for someone to create test suites vis a vis the OOXML standard that are (a) reasonable interpretations of said standard and (b) break Word. ha ha

    [*] IBM and its seven competitors in the big iron business: NCR, CDC, Burroughs, Univac, RCA, GE, and Honeywell, iirc. Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. I remember as a boy having to chase a pterodactyl down the street if I want protein for lunch.

  44. Herby

    Microsoft Standards

    Just another one for the oxymoron file. That's all.

    "We don't have to, we're Microsoft" (said in wonderful Ernestine/Lily Tomlin voice)

  45. Doug Glass
    Flame

    Why The Rant?

    Wow, you must really be tough on babies. They can't walk, they can't talk and all they really can do is eat, sleep, and poop. A loud speaker on one end and total irresponsibility on the other. Obviously the Maker here is in serious trouble with you since the early iteration of human.1 is really not up to "standards".

    Brilliant bit of analysis Mr. Lie.

  46. Mark

    re: What a totally irrelevant rant

    Well, Matt, why did MS bother to update IE from 6 anyway? Surely just security fixes is all. Then you don't have to change ANY of your intranet, whereas you DO have to check and update to move from IE6 to IE7 and (if one poster is to believed) you still have to change for IE8. Not as much as doing it right once and for all, but you still have to change.

    Maybe you ought to be sacked for being an idiot.

  47. Brandon Paddock

    This article is full of crap

    Having Compatibility View on by default for Intranet sites only makes sense. Otherwise, IE8 would break every enterprise in existence. Nobody is complaining about this decision, so quit with the sensationalism about "broken promises." No promise has been broken here.

    Second, this article is full of lies or inaccuracies.

    Intranet pages, or any other standards-mode page, CAN define itself as being IE8 compatible and then it will never go into Compatibility View, and will NOT have the broken page icon.

    So please correct your asinine "article."

  48. Nater Kane

    Compatibility mode and Targeting IE with valid CSS selectors

    @Daniel Klima

    "And it is needed as hell,since soem servers will send IE7 CSS to IE8,which causes IE8 to render page incorrectly."

    My response to your comment, as well as talking a bit about the compatibility mode buttons, their states and what they represent can be found here:

    http://www.naterkane.com/blog/2008/08/29/compatibility-mode-and-targeting-ie-with-valid-css-selectors/

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intranet Mode

    It seems that intranet mode in IE8 is off by default. If you visit a local address, a yellow bar pops down asking if you want to turn it on, or leave it off and never show the bar again.

    The user has to ACTIVELY TURN ON intranet settings, otherwise EVERYTHING is rendered in standards mode.

    No broken promises here.

    Hakon Wium Lie: I applaud Opera for trying to push standards onto IE and the web in general, but this is just a really low blow, and a lame attempt to have a dig at MS when they are doing something right. Noone likes the state that IE 5/6 is in now, not even MS. They didn't design it that way on 'purpose' - the state of IE now is a result of being a market leader in the 90s when this kind of technology was new, and recent changes in user expectations. As a result of having such a large user base, they can't exactly just break all backwards compatibility as easily as some less popular software manufacturers can.

    IE are taking steps to bringing the browser back in line with modern expectations - yes it has taken longer than others, for the reason mentioned above, but don't start taking cheap potshots when they are making all the right moves.

  50. Rich Turner

    Mr. Lie ...

    ... you're not bemoaning Microsoft's focus on encouraging standards on the web whilst ensuring a great user experience for users browsing intranet sites crafted largely by people who are not professional web developers are you?

    Surely not.

    I mean ... you're not biased in any way, right?

    Of course you aren't ... I mean, even though your CTO of one of IE's competitors ...

    ... you wouldn't abuse that position would you?

    You would? Damn!

  51. Solomon Grundy
    Happy

    re: Comment

    Why are my comments censored if I say something about the author or Reg advertisers? I assault people in the comments section on a regular basis (i.e. the other day I called someone a "morbidly obese bald white homosexual" and that was OK...)

    This article has some major failings, as other comments have pointed out, but my statements have been kept secret by the "ministry of disinformation". I just want to know why. Why damnit, Why!!!!

  52. Shaun Bouckaert
    Thumb Down

    Seriously bad show by The Register

    Sorry guys, normally you report really well, but this is one example where you've taken things completely out of context.

    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 as I understand, 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".

  53. Phil
    Alert

    Inaccurate and misleading

    This is inaccurate FUD. InTRAnet sites are internal company sites. That still means that any inTERnet site accessed from the corporate internet connection will still be displayed in standards-compliant mode. However, any COMPANY HOSTED site will not.

    Duh.

  54. David Blomstrom

    Never Trust Bill Gates

    I don't get it - what's news about Microsoft breaking a promise???

    In the meantime, I find it ironic yet fitting that IE8's best known feature has been dubbed "porn mode." Is this what future historians will remember Bill Gates and Microsoft for - Vista, Zune, phony philanthropy and porn mode?

    David Blomstrom

  55. Hakon Wium Lie

    Two issues

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. Some people seem to be saying: "it's ok for Microsoft to break their promise for intranet pages because their position in the enterprise market is so dominant that all intranet pages have been written for IE and using standards mode by default is therefore highly inconvenient for everyone".

    I see two problems with this line of argument. The first is a moral issue. In general, when you've made a promise, you should keep it. Big companies, too, should keep their promises. Even when it's inconvenient for them to do so. We don't want search engines to break their privacy policies, do we? And we don't want ISPs to block ports they say are open, even if that would make their job easier? Breaking such promises is immoral, and it can also be illegal.

    The second issue is: do we really want internet and intranet pages to be treated differently? Should there be two sets of standards, policies and conventions? I don't think so. The sooner intranets are brought up to the high standards of the web, the better it is. In the short term, this may hurt a little. In the worst cases, some organizations may have to continue using IE6 or IE7 for a while. In the long run, enterprises will appreciate the unchaining from a monopolist.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Colour me not at all shocked

    Sorry Mr. Lie but we are supposed to be shocked by this why????

    Don't get me wrong I feel the same about the collective twits at M$ as you and many other do. However this is neither a new or surprising move on their part.

  57. Richard Fink

    Are you not concerned with your credibility as a serious man?

    Mr. Lie,

    I bought and paid for Opera when you were still asking money for it. I still use it, along with IE.

    Two questions:

    Firstly, as the "father" of CSS you have written articles and have been talking about implementing the @font-face CSS rule for over two years now.

    Why does Opera not have it by now? Please respond.

    Second, your position on IE8's Compatibility button seriously erodes your standing as anything other than an oddball crank with a hidden agenda. Do you have no intellectual integrity at all?

    At this point I have no idea why anyone would take anything you say seriously.

  58. Doug Glass
    Flame

    How The H3ll Do You Know?

    Mr. Lie I assume you have a working crystal ball. Just how do you know they aren't going to deliver what they say they will at some point in the future? The fact is you can only guess.

    Your arguments are based on incomplete data, you have a vested interest in IE failing, and you are not capable of making unbiased comments in this realm. Really Mr. Lie, can you honestly say you know what MS will ultimately produce? If you can I also assume you "own" the world's markets and have amassed the largest fortune in history because you know before it actually happens what stocks will rise and fall. No Mr. Lie, you're just one more pseudo intellectual con man in world of con men and frankly given the position of your browser in the market place, you're not very good.

    As to promises, again what is your basis in fact that proves MS will not deliver as they said? And again, if you think you know with absolute certainty what MS will do in the future would you please post here your crystal ball vendor's name and address. I want one badly.

    No Mr. Lie you've been caught making statements you can only argue about but can not factually defend. Your posted defense here is little more than a regurgitation of what you said in the first place. That Mr. Lie is misdirection and is one of he oldest forms of trickery.

  59. C
    Boffin

    RE: Oh the irony

    .

    It works fine in the (mostly) standards compliant web browser called Firefox .. and I don't have to fiddle with a retarded button with a confusing icon on it.

    The Mozilla guys have even found ways to display the non-standards compliant pages just fine! It doesn't have issues, however the Acid page only gives it a score of 71%. The current beta of Firefox improves this to 85%.

    The current beta of IE 8 on the other hand gets a pitiful 21%, the latest 'stable version' of IE 7 scores so badly that I think text mode browsers like Lynx could do better.. 14%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid3#Desktop_browsers

    So much for "improved" .. and its not "new" either. And while I'm bitching ... as much as the IE "development team" has copied from Netscape and Firefox over the years, you'd think they could at least get it working HALF RIGHT (50%)!!

    .

  60. nick
    Thumb Up

    I agree

    Hakon, you are spot on with this comment. Most of the corporate drones who have commented here seem to miss the whole point of the argue. Their argument is it's OK to create internal monopolistic silos , as it's the "corporate" way to do things, this must never change, now that is pathetic reasoning. The real answer is to enforce real standards across the board, and not let microsoft dictate anything. Once that is done, companies can choose to use any browser they want, which then allows them competitive choice over a lot of other Intranet choices. Microsofts' browser would then have to compete on merit and not lazy historical lock-in. Surely corporates want the ability to deliver IT strategic competitive advantage, and not just me-to answers.

    Listening to the tired old corporate rhetoric of this is the way it has always been, and we must never change it, does give an indication of the level of intellect of the average corporate IT bod, scary but there for all to see.

  61. Anne-Lise Pasch

    In the short term, this may hurt a little...

    Erm, can i have a job at your company? I'd love to work for a company where you can do a ***load of work without a business driver.

    No, really.

  62. BigPilot
    Unhappy

    Close but no cigar

    Obviously the 'broken page' icon should be changed to something else, I agree it's coimpletely bogus and misleading, as the author correctly states. I too see some evil mind behind this, there are certainly better ways to communicate the intent.

    But as many have already mentioned, the use of compatibillity mode for intranets is logical.

  63. Mark
    Thumb Down

    @Doug Glass

    What is the reason for having "a vested interest in IE fail"? Microsoft make it "free" so sabotaging MS's revenue stream from IE cannot be the answer. If he's a competitor wanting to sell his product, then ensuring that IE doesn't get fixed and doesn't become W3C compliant helps his product become dominant: most of the internet is NOT in your company intranet, you know.

    So how do you figure there's a vested interest in IE failing? Because he's critical of it? Is that all?

    And if you could install two versions of IE on the same OS, this would again not be a problem: MS just supplies IE6 and has an icon "IntraNetExplorer" and has a standards compliant IE8 that has an icon "InternetExplorer". You'd never have to change your intranet pages again. With IE8, you will, even on "compatibility with IE" mode.

  64. Bryan Sylvester

    @ Lie

    First thing first, yes Intranet and Internet should be treated differently. The former operates in a secure environment, while the latter operates in a hostile world. For your information, with these differences, you can do a lot of things within an intranet that you should or cannot do on the internet. Treating all network packets as hostile will only thwart usability, compatibility and innovation. That's why IE has multiple security zones feature since times memorial.

    Secondly, Microsoft did render all Internet websites in standard-compliant mode. If you did not see the icon when visiting a website, it is even better, because the webmaster has gone out of their way to tell IE to use standard or quirks mode exclusively (I just coded my website to tell IE8 to use compatibility mode by default and the icon did not appear anymore - apparently Microsoft does this too to Hotmail). So, your claim that they broke the promiose is misleading. Stop spreading FUD, it will only make you (and Opera) look bad.

  65. Hakon Wium Lie

    intranet vs internet

    Brian Sylvester,

    I agree that the security is more of a concern on the open internet. But, why should HTML and CSS be handled differently on intranets?

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Do you know what an Intranet is?

    No seriously - how does having compatibility mode switched on for int*ra*nets break a promise for int*er*net pages to be in standards mode by default?

  67. muuwii
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for pointing this out

    Thanks for pointing out this hard-to-find, but crucial change in IE. I'm among those who were relieved when Microsoft made their promise, and it's disappointing -- if not highly surprising -- that they break their promise. It seems that Micorosoft is only listening to some select customers who say what they want to hear. The rest of us are never asked. I make intranet pages and was looking forward to being able use all the web standards. I wish Opera or any other standards-compliant browser were used instead, but most companies are stuck in the IE tar pit.

  68. frymaster

    @Two issues

    To deal with your questions in reverse order:

    There already _is_ a difference between intranet pages and internet pages. Relying on complete stability of platform, intranet page designers have in a lot of places ignored standards and correct ways of doing things all over the place, as long as it worked (or appeared to). And why shouldn't they? There is no business advantage for them to do otherwise.

    Conversely, for an internet page there are definite advantages to making the page work on as wide a variety of browsers and platforms as possible.

    The fall-back to IE7 instead of IE 8 mode for intranet pages is NOT part of the rendering engine and does NOT require editing your pages to fix - all that's needed is altering one setting in one place ONCE for the entire organisation. I don't see this as going back on a promise at all.

    Oh, and @C re: oh the irony.... without having actually looked into it, my guess is they have some wierd CSS hacks on the go which don't all work in IE8. Kudos for the (mostly) in your statement, people who equate Firefox or Opera with "standards compliant" and then code to their implementations annoy me very much :D

    ....which is another point... as of now, IE8 passes ACID2. So everything from that can be used in webpages and will work in the latest versions of all browsers (once ie8 is actually released, that is.)

    But _no_ browser passes ACID3. So why would anyone write wide-audience webpages relying on things it uses? If it were only IE8 that had problems, the grumbling could be understood... (which will probably be the case in a few months)

  69. Hakon Wium Lie

    @font-face

    Somebody asked about Opera and webfonts. You can find a version of Opera with experimental support for webfonts here:

    http://labs.opera.com/news/2008/03/28/

  70. sc
    Alert

    Internet and intranet

    I can't believe how little credit HWL is getting in the comments above. Surely you must have read more articles written by him in which he defends standards. True, he works for one of MS's (small) competitors - that doesn't make his argument invalid a priori though. As long as companies have to keep IE because its "compatibility mode" is the only way to use their intranet, they'll never switch to another product. So there's Microsoft trying to keep a dominant position with a fairly dirty trick... does it matter that Opera's CTO is the one pointing this out?

  71. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Do you know what an Intranet is?

    Yes. Do you know any reason why you'd want two browsers on your computer to browse the intranet and internet?

    Add in that they'd have to be two different programs because IE doesn't allow IE to steal its space.

    So for businesses, that's two browsers to support, patch and so on instead of one.

    And you STILL have to check IE8 still works with your IE6 pages and change where necessary. And you'll have to do it again when IE9 comes out.

    OR you could change your intranet to use a standard, have only one supported browser and not have to change it again unless you want to add new features.

    Which is the *RATIONAL* choice?

  72. Bryan Sylvester

    @Lie

    With security and data transfer concerns are less of a headache, you can have a more 'feature-filled' intranet webpages that can do 'safe' thing like automated unsigned ActiveX executions etc. combined with HTML 3.xx standard pages. I know that isn't safe at all, but these kind of crufty websites are way too prevalent in company networks across the world, and more often than not, works fine in IE6-only browser. This kind of browser-based applications will not just be upgraded like that especially in conservative IT environment, just like what motherboard makers tell you about BIOS upgrades (do not upgrade if nothing is broken). HTML/CSS of those old applications can't just be treated the same way Internet HTML/CSS do, because it will certainly break. Now, if those Intranet webpages are standard-compliant in the first place, there there is no problem switching on standard-compliant mode in Intranet zone, but it seems that Microsoft think that there are many intranet pages out there that are not upgraded yet (and I do share the same opinion), thus compatibility mode is set to default.

    For Internet websites, there are incentives for webmasters to follow W3C recommendations, as it allows them to reach more people with different browsers. Intranet websites, there are no such incentives in a highly-controlled environment, where IT/HR departments can simply tell the workers to use IE.

    Plus, more importantly, Intranet zone can use standard mode anyway. Microsoft probably could have defaulted Intranet pages to use standard mode (after all, changing to compatibility mode for Intranet zone seems to be as easy as flipping a switch in Group Policy). You have to consider that unlike home users (who mostly have no use for Intranet zone - thus Microsoft can force), browsers in enterprise networks are tightly controlled and settings can be pretty brutal. So, in the unlikeliest chance that the companies actually upgrade those Intranet webpages to be standard-compliant, the drones at IT department can easily turn on standard mode later.

  73. Kirk M
    Boffin

    Not quite...

    IE 8.0 beta 2 does initially attempt to render all sites in standards mode but will initially ask if you wish to change security settings to "Intranet" rather than "Internet" if IE 8.0 is installed with default configurations. And the "standards" mode in beta 2 most definitely has bugs and problems since it fails to render many websites written to strict W3C standards correctly where these so called "broken" sites render correctly in both the latest version of Firefox and Opera (and for Opera it's strict standards only or else which is the major reason most folks won't use it.)

    Unfortunately, companies in general still need their installed browsers to be ultimately compatible with any possible website they might have to deal with hence the "compatibility" mode. Sad but true so as long as website developers either voluntarily or involuntarily cater to the old MS browsers the longer it's going to take for this age old problem to be solved.

  74. Doug Glass
    Thumb Down

    @@Doug Glass (Mark)

    vested interest

    n.

    1. Law A right or title, as to present or future possession of an estate, that can be conveyed to another.

    2. A fixed right granted to an employee under a pension plan.

    3. A special interest in protecting or promoting that which is to one's own personal advantage.

    4. vested interests Those groups that seek to maintain or control an existing system or activity from which they derive private benefit.

    Please examine #3. He obviously has a special interest, i.e. "vested interest" in promoting that which is to his own advantage which is his product. And given the situation of IE dropping completely out of the picture, i.e. "failure", his product would likely jump greatly in usage.

    Methinks you have the mistaken opinion that "vested" always refers to a monetary interest or is related to money.

    End of thread.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Why a broken page for standards based pages

    Because they have no real intention of supporting standards. Wasn't the phrase, "compatibility mode" all you needed to hear? Standards are designed for compatibility. Everything else is broken by design. Trust M$ to confuse the issue for their users.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Hakon

    Noone is advocating that internet and intranet sites should be built on different principles. The fact is however, in the current state of things, they are built differently, and this decision my MS reflects that. There is being idealist, and there is being practical. MS are making huge leaps forward with IE8, while trying to not break everything at the same time, and all you can do is try and belittle their efforts (efforts they ARE making).

    It isn't like they want intranet sites to be like that forever, it's just that they see what the state of things are and make decisions accordingly, whether it conforms to an idealist way of thinking or not.

  77. Mark
    Boffin

    re: @@Doug Glass (Mark)

    Re point three. I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous answer:

    "If he's a competitor wanting to sell his product, then ensuring that IE doesn't get fixed and doesn't become W3C compliant helps his product become dominant: most of the internet is NOT in your company intranet, you know."

    So why is he asking that they do that now? Why is he not waiting until AFTER Beta when it goes gold code? It would be harder to go back and change it when it is so close to release. Doing the complaining now would not hurt them as much.

    He doesn't HAVE to complain about IE8: if it can only be used usefully on an intranet, you'll need his product to view internets (or, indeed, other people's intranets in some cases).

    If his aim was to gain advantage for his product.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So it goes like this...

    Most corporate intranet designers are incompetent; they've created stuff that's broken unless it's used with an equally broken browser. So it's entirely right that microshaft should ensure that their latest attempt at a browser is broken too, so that all the broken pages that incompetent programmers have built won't need to be fixed.

    Is that right?

    Paris - because at least she's good at what she does.

  79. Ruttlekempf
    Gates Halo

    Compatibility view button

    The article says "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... "

    As I understand it, you're expected to push this when your page isn't designed to be standards compliant but doesn't explicitly declare that fact - it just renders badly.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something but isn't this:

    "not standards compliant" = "broken page"

    message exactly what Opera wants.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmpf - Microsoft = Bahhh Humbug.

    Hmmm bah humbug.

    Microsofts's greatest innovation is the people in that companies ability to steal and copy other peoples ideas and then do a shit job of replicating it, while they are at it.

    I mean the OPERA browser had pop-up blocking about 5 or 6 years before MS even managed to get their brains in gear about dealing with that issue.

    I am so sick of MS's idiotware, that everything I have has been or is in part, being migrated to linux (Ubuntu)... and all their sleazy antics and dodgy politicing - with office 2007 and MS Fister... and the scummy ISO certification of that....

    I wouldn't get or use any MS software even it it was free, pirated or I was paid too.

    Their scummy corporate practices of dumping crapware onto the market.. and having been burnt plenty of times by their nasty habits...

    Naaaaaaa Bye Bye - Microsoft and take your shit with you.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: re: Do you know what an Intranet is?

    In all honesty, most organisations I've worked at quite heavily lock down non-development IT machines to the extent that users wouldn't actually be allowed to install anything other than Internet Explorer to browse any sort of web page.

    I'm hardly what you'd call a Microsoft fan (in fact I'm not a "fan" of anything, it's all just tools at the end of the day and one tends to be more appropriate for any given kind of job) but I can see why Microsoft made it the default choice to have quirks mode on for Intranets.

    If you're on a Windows Intranet, it's liable that the "approved" browser is Internet Explorer, meaning that the intranet's probably also targeted at IE (you don't expend development effort trying to support non-approved software), quirks and all. If the "approved" browser is something else (i.e. Opera, Firefox, Safari etc.) then it doesn't matter as no-one will be running IE.

    Similarly, if you're not on a Windows network, you wouldn't use Internet Explorer anyhow.

    It's Realpolitik at the end of the day. If IE is the standard in an organisations IT environment, it makes sense that the latest version doesn't go breaking the Intranet out of the box. If it's not, it doesn't matter.

    For non-enterprise IT, nobody in their right mind writes a web page that only works with one kind of browser these days, so they in reality don't lose anything by making "standards mode" the default for that environment.

  82. Solomon Grundy

    Regarding Mr. Lie

    I wrote Mr. Lie an email shortly after another of of his Reg articles and his response was quite ghastly. He appears to be out of touch with many things, including the business world, and has a very, very strange view of IT history. I considered posting that email here, but it would prove terribly embarrassing to Mr. Lie - and while he seems like quite the asshat, I wouldn't want him fired, or suicidal, because of the unstable nature of his email rant.

    I'm sure he's quite good at his job (seeing as how Opera dominates the browser market) but it's obvious Mr. Lie is a serious techie who shouldn't be let out of his basement/cube. That's a major no-no in sales you know. (obviously Opera doesn't - it's a "free product" now), to let your techies have contact with the public. As a rule they act silly in public are far too arrogant, resulting in pissed off contacts and lost sales. It's proven true in this case for certain - I hope someone at Opera is listening and stops their CTO from making a fool of himself, and Opera in the future.

  83. Mark

    PS, Doug

    What makes you think MS don't have a vested interest in keeping sites IE only, even if only on the intranets? After all, if companies HAVE to use IE for their internal processes, that's one more lock in on their biggest and best paying clients.

    If they make an IE that doesn't contain back compatibility then these pages will have to be rewritten and then you have standard pages that don't need IE at all. And if you don't need IE, you don't need Windows (in the case that you don't need another MS specific product) and so MS lose some more seats to sell.

    PPS I think it was another browser that had tabs first, but tabs per se have been around for ages on computers with MDI requirements. Putting them on a browser isn't a problem if you have enough memory to hold lots of page renders.

  84. muuwii

    Intranet lock-in

    Marc wrote: "If IE is the standard in an organisations IT environment, it makes sense that the latest version doesn't go breaking the Intranet out of the box."

    I'm sick of the "Microsoft has screwed us in the past so we should thank them for contiuing to so so"-attitude by some. Hey, we need competition in this market! Not continued lock-in from a monopolist who's doing a classic "divide-and-conquer" maneuver in the dark.

    Marc: you only have your chains to lose!

  85. Will Simons

    A logo for web standards

    Given the uncertainly that MS has created over this issue, maybe it's time for sites that do adhere to web standards to say so. A simple logo would suffice, the idea being that users could tell a compliant from a non-compliant site. The benefits of this system would be 1) to send a clear and unambiguous message about a site and the standards it adheres to; 2) establish web standards as the de facto standard, and: 3) give the finger to those browsers that attempt to lay down the law to the rest of us by using their own, non-compliant standards.

  86. Hakon Wium Lie

    @Solomon Grundy

    I can't find any email from me to Solomon Grundy, an unlikely name, in my records.

    However, feel free to publish any email you received from me regarding articles. I would encourage you to do so under your real name, though.

  87. Solomon Grundy
    Boffin

    @Will Simons

    Hahahaha. That's just what the web needs, another logo taking up valuable real-estate; proving of course, that the site is the bees knees of all "virtual destinations".

    Jesus. That's the biggest problem with today's world; too many believe that a logo or a statement or a "law" makes everything OK and risk free. I'm quite surprised and shocked that our "civilized society", "advanced technology" and "educational infrastructure" are underwriting this sort of thing. We're hosed you know: hosed.

  88. Solomon Grundy
    Pirate

    @sc

    What does it matter if the "corporate world" suddenly throws away IE and takes on a give-away product? For better or worse the corporate world (i.e. the people who make a living in IT possible) will still be using Windows as their primary operating system - why should they screw around with something else? It's quite strange to me that certain members of the IT community (which is the epitome of laziness) would want to throw another administrative task into their daily work load...

    This entire line of product vs. product is annoying and insulting to the people that sign paychecks. It doesn't matter how someone gets to an Internet or intranet site - so long as they get there. The vehicle isn't the least bit important. The important part is access to business critical information (you know, the part that makes money...). Arguing about how you get there (browsers) is like saying "I drove to work in a Ford, and you came in a Fiat. Therefore you suck and the world would be better if you went away and died". Silly, silly, silly.

    Whether IT, sales, or exec, we are supposed to be professionals you know...

    Along another line; arguments and rants about "standards compliance", monopolistic attitudes, and open source are what makes it so hard for you guys to get dates with pretty girls you know. If everyone just shut up and went about their day, took their paycheck, and went looking for pretty girls afterward the entire IT world would be better off.

    I'm just telling you because I hate to see well meaning people suffer. I left the techie community quite some time ago and I get paid a lot more, and I'm a lot happier because of it, you ought to try it sometime - it's quite nice...And the girls are prettier.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mircosoft telling porkies never

    It is just a marketing company, that is the whole amusing about this thery are not a tech company - it is like buying a car from hovis.

    Oh people are so daft - but there you go.

    Suppose we will be putting in tricks to webpage for many moons to come, fine by me, it is just something else that keeps the riff raff at bay and the competition more granulated on the web.

    Vive la diversite - firefox makes quite a nice browser experience.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Intranet lock-in

    I think you missed my point somewhat. In my experience, corporations don't tend to allow more than one app for a given purpose onto the infrastructure anyhow. So therefore...

    - If "approved" app is IE-x, then it makes a lot of sense for IE8 to maintain compatibility out of the box.

    - Else If "approved" app is not IE6, then IE8 will never touch the network  (at least not officially) anyhow so it's a non-issue.

    Of course the thing about the broken page icon next to entirely valid sites is a different story...

    And as for those chains ... wait, I've said too much!

  91. Bryan Sylvester

    @muuwii

    There are no competition for Internet Explorer when it comes to corporate networks. For a long time, many IT and network administrators has pleaded at Mozilla/Opera to make their browsers to be easily administered with Group Policy and has updates to be easily adiminstrered via centralized server like WSUS (the last thing I need is when a Firefox update comes out is the whole 500 machines in the network will go out and do self-updating).

    So unless Mozilla/Apple/Opera makes their browsers more management-friendly, Internet Explorer will rule the corporate world.

  92. tempemeaty
    Pirate

    Darwinism and human behavior....

    So the next question. Will everyone collectively glom onto MS again because they didn't like a message from another and ignor all that MS has taught them over the years about how monopoly company execs behave?

  93. Hugh_Pym
    Flame

    @Solomon grundy re:HWL email

    Come on then Solomon the gauntlet has been laid down. Put up or Shut up...

    ...or is this just more of you following the MS corporate line. Threaten much - Deliver little(tm).

  94. TheNetAvenger
    Thumb Down

    This is getting insane...

    Everyone needs to go look up Intranet and realize that what companies use internally is usually very rigid browser specific code.

    This has nothing to do with the Internet or IE8 standards mode.

    Sadly, this comes from >>Hakon Lie, CTO, Opera Software<<.

    I recommend all users let them personally know how you feel about their FUD marketing articles like this.

    Opera, if you want to beat Microsoft, simply make a better browser, not one that is better is some ways, but fails so badly in other areas people can't commit or user it full time. PERIOD.

    We are attaching a copy of this article with a memo to our corporate clients and recommending policies to remove Opera from all systems. If this is how Opera wants to do business, they can find other supporters.

  95. Mark

    re: This is getting insane...

    Well why the fuck was it written in HTML then???

  96. Mark

    @Bryan Sylvester

    There's no need for Group Policy et al.

    Take a copy of the installed program with the defaults, roll it out to each machine.

    Use "rcp" or "rsync".

  97. Hakon Wium Lie

    @TheNetAvenger

    TheNetAvenger writes: "Everyone needs to go look up Intranet and realize that what companies use internally is usually very rigid browser specific code."

    Some of us are trying to change this; we'd like to use web standards both inside and outside of firewalls. Governments are starging to realize the benefits of this approach, and -- in the long run -- I'm very optimistic on behalf of standards.

  98. muuwii

    @NetAvenger

    NetAvenger writes: "We are attaching a copy of this article with a memo to our corporate clients and recommending policies to remove Opera from all systems."

    Yeah, right. I challenge you to publish your memo, letterhead and all.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hakon

    You might be trying to change it, but you are going the wrong way about it. IE8 is a big step forwards, just be grateful for that and stop trying to pick things apart when they are making the right moves.

    If IE8 used standards for intranet sites, noone in the workplace would upgrade, and you'd lose the benefits it brings to the internet. What the hell is the use in that?

    At least this way, IE8 gets out there and things start progressing forwards.

    You are hurting progress more than helping it by trying to get them to use standards on intranets. Why can you not see the practical side to this, rather than the idealist side?

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FUD

    "... dirty secret is buried deep down in the compatability .." Stopped reading after this as in my IE8 install I simply click on Tools/Compatability View Settings to view this dialogue - hardly deep !

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Much ado about not much at all...

    ... the real kicker here is that they are releasing ie8 so soon after ie7, meaning developers will have to support three iterations of microsoft browsers - ie6, ie7 and ie8.

    ie6 unfortunately still has market share bigger enough to make support necessary and we'll be supporting ie7 for at least another 5 years.

    All I care about is that ie8 renders the same as ie7 - the last thing I want to do is add yet more to my daily work load.

  102. Stephen Jones

    Seems OK to me

    Microsoft's action seems perfectly logical to me. What's the problem?

  103. muuwii

    @Christopher Emerson

    Chris,

    IE8 is changing exactly **because** Hakon and others have put so much pressure on MS. Without Acid2, IE8's support for standards would have been much worse...

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Heh

    Sod it, just ban and burn all software that does not comply with proper computer/network operation standards and be done with the lot of them.

    How bloody long do we want to live in the stone age anyway, Why even bother to bend your infrastructure around the faults of someone else's dirty work?

    Down with compliance modes!

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @muuwii

    "Without Acid2, IE8's support for standards would have been much worse..."

    You think so? It's not like MS don't want to fix the problem.

    I have no problem with pressure for change, but this is pressure for the WRONG change at this time.

  106. Andy Cadley
    Paris Hilton

    Wow, could you at least try to look a little less biased?

    It's a button, not an icon. When you see a page and it doesn't look right you click it, it clearly changes to a pressed state and a whopping big bubble comes up to tell you that the page is being viewed in compatibility mode. And you seriously think this is worth complaining about? It's not even guaranteed to be in the final release, as it's predominantly to get around the fact developers can't have both IE7 and IE8 beta 2 installed on the same machine.

  107. muuwii

    @andy

    Andy writes: "it's predominantly to get around the fact developers can't have both IE7 and IE8 beta 2 installed on the same machine"

    Well, they could if MS would let them, it's an artificial limitation.

  108. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Standard mode should be on

    These sound to me like bad changes to.

    "First thing first, yes Intranet and Internet should be treated differently."

    No they shouldn't. Many have been defending Microsoft's decision, saying "Oh it's easy to turn off non-standard rendering mode via group policy." Well, in that case, it'll be easy to turn it ON via group policy; it should be off by default, rendering EVERYTHING in standards compliance mode, to be turned on for those intranets where they use non-standard web apps.

    "Secondly, Microsoft did render all Internet websites in standard-compliant

    mode. If you did not see the icon when visiting a website, it is even

    better, because the webmaster has gone out of their way to tell IE to use

    standard or quirks mode exclusively (I just coded my website to tell IE8 to

    use compatibility mode by default and the icon did not appear anymore -

    apparently Microsoft does this too to Hotmail). So, your claim that they

    broke the promiose is misleading. Stop spreading FUD, it will only make you

    (and Opera) look bad."

    In other words, to make IE8 not show a broken page, "standard" pages are expected to have a non-standard, IE8 specific tag actively put in by the web page developer. I call bullshit on this (although it's par for the course for Microsoft). This button (or icon, I know several people flamed over which it was, but I don't care which..) should NOT be a broken page -- a broken key is used for sites that are insecure, a broken page implies the page is broken in some way. Personally, I would put a "IE7 mode" entry, or "standard mode" entry (DON'T call it compatibility mode, that's confusing, since IE7 is incompatible with so much stuff compared to standard browsers..) Pick that menu entry and you have a quick toggle, along with a place to add/remove URLs for standard versus non-standard rendering.

  109. hank
    Thumb Up

    IE not as big as someone may seem

    Some of the comments said IE has 80% of the browser market. NOT TRUE.

    IE6 only has 24.5% and IE7 26% and at least It kan handle PNGs. :)

    So have your facts right before you start sounding like an M$ employee.

    Somehow standards have a remarkable way of working in every other industry why don't they work on the web. When doing development work it is so nice to have a standard to meet upon. I can always check my compatibility while developing and the client can always check my work by using the same validator.

    Hopefully M$ will come to its senses and take care of this or the users using IE must come to there senses choosing a standard compliant web-browser.

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  112. Jim
    Dead Vulture

    Holy crap

    Yeah .. Go to the ACID 2 test, Load it, and if you enable "Compatiblity" mode, the the test fails. the "Broken Page" Puts it in IE7 or < mode.

    Way to do your research you disreputable hack!

  113. KAZ
    Thumb Down

    It's an Effing Beta, Technophobic Whiners...

    It makes perfect sense for Microsoft's BETA to be shipped in custom mode, not standards-worshipping mode, because they're wanting to test their experimental technologies, more than the normal stuff.

    If you can't understand that, you're not really competent to be commenting on such arcane things. Leave it to the techies.

    Another thing you relative net newbies don't realize is that sticking to standards is inferior. You don't remember that, when Netscape had a similar browser dominance, it was in large part because they did NOT stick to standards, but constantly pushed the envelope.

    Standards are established by bureaucrats attempting to GUESS what works best. The only way to KNOW what works best is to throw ideas at the real world and let natural selection run its course.

    IE is actually maintaining their own dominance, in part, the same way netscape did...by innovating. The people who whine that Microsoft does NOT really innovate are being quite hypocritical when they turn around and complain that Microsoft does not stick purely to bureaucratic standards.

    And no, I'm not a Microsoft lackey...I've not only been a web developer since 1995, when most of you guys were barely aware that some internet-thing existed, but have used Linux since 1993, when the kernel was in beta and there wasn't a window manager for X. I use Chrome as my default browser...but this "Microsoft isn't standards-compliant" whining is just pathetic.

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