Web site developers may be interested to hear promises made in blog posts by the IE8 platform architect Chris Wilson, who says there is a “lot of potential breakage” in the new browser.
With half a billion supposed IE users and thousands of sites already customised to work with earlier browsers, IE8 has the potential to make Web surfing slicker, or to screw it up for thousands of people.
The team wants IE8 to support the right standards without “breaking the existing Web”. The new hope is an opt-in approach to standards using a element rather than a blanket approach. In theory, this should help avoid the problems that plagued Web sites when IE7 first launched.
No matter what you think if IE, it’s clear that the developer team is aware of these problems. Their goals are certainly admirable, according to this blog post: “We must deliver improved standards support and backwards compatibility so that IE8 continues to work with the billions of pages on the web today that already work in IE6 and IE7 and makes the development of the next billion pages, in an interoperable way, much easier.”
As Chris Wilson explains, “many sites had worked around many of the shortcomings or outright errors in IE6, and now expected IE7 to work just like IE6… Sites didn’t work, and users experienced problems.”