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View Poll Results: What is the ONE thing you want to see most in IE9?

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  • XHTML (as application/xhtml+xml)

    11 8.87%
  • SVG

    12 9.68%
  • CSS3 selectors

    48 38.71%
  • multiple backgrounds and background-size

    16 12.90%
  • RGBA colors

    3 2.42%
  • border-image and border-radius

    7 5.65%
  • CSS unit calculations

    3 2.42%
  • Animated PNGs

    4 3.23%
  • Web fonts

    7 5.65%
  • XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0

    1 0.81%
  • None of the above

    12 9.68%
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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot boen_robot's Avatar
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    What is the ONE thing you want to see in IE9?

    Well folks, at the time of this writing, IE8RC1 just "hit the streets". The MSIE team say it's "done", and they'll only fix critical issues between here and the final version.

    So, we finally have (nearly?) complete support for CSS2.1 and a dozen of JavaScript fixes and additions, but I bet there were still a lot of things you wanted to see, right? I know I did.

    If it was up to you to select ONE thing among all the great new stuff, which would you select? Yes, I know you want it all (me too), but try to limit yourself to just ONE for a second. What is the ONE most important thing for you that you REALLY REALLY want to see in IE9?

    XHTML (as application/xhtml+xml) - (supported in all other browsers) draconian error handling (which in my book is a good thing), and hopefully a less quirkier and lighter engine to go with it. JavaScript functions like createElementNS() should also come along because of the XML parser.
    SVG - (supported near fully by Opera, partially by all other browsers) vector graphics and animations with no plug-ins needed, naturally bringing in stuff like rounded corners and resizeable canvas along with it.
    CSS3 selectors - (most, if not all, are supported by all other browsers) easy zebra tables and form styling are just the most obvious use cases.
    multiple backgrounds and background-size - (background-size is available in WebKit and Opera, but with prefixes; multiple backgrounds is supported in WebKit) Basically, no more <div> and/or <img /> elements just for decoration's sake.
    RGBA colors - (supported in all other browsers) applicable to all places where a color is expected. Who needs opacity and/or filter when you have this?
    border-image and border-radius - (supported in WebKit and Gecko, but differently and with prefixes) separately, I don't think they are too much (as multiple backgrounds would be able to emulate them), but together, they are note worthy. Not to mention that they make the most obvious case for multiple backgrounds trivial.
    CSS unit calculations - (not implemented anywhere... I think) 100&#37;-2px anyone?
    Animated PNGs - (supported by Gecko and Opera) Animated images with alpha transparency and full color palette (as opposed to GIFs that have binary transparency and up to 256 colors). Is that cool or what?
    Web fonts - (supported by all other browsers) That is, support for .ttf and/or .otf fonts, not just .eot.
    XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 - (not supported anywhere... but then again, MS were the first to support XSLT 1.0 in a browser) I'm probably one of the few developers that is excited about this, but it's worth a mention anyway. XSLT 2.0 brings into the table a lot of new things, the most valuable of which are text manipulation and custom function creation. XSLT 1.0 implements them by extensions which are not supported across all browsers. In "everyday client-side development" XSLT is useful for processing XHR responses, as a single XSLT processing is often faster than a ton of JavaScript used for the same purpose. XPath is useful for lightningly fast node selection, and version 2.0 brings in some new functions to match nodes against.
    None of the above - I left out a lot of things, mostly because I don't think they are major enough or because they could easily be emulated with some of the things on the list or (better yet) current things. For example, document.evaluate() can now be emulated in IE8 thanks to the new prototype implementation. box-shadow could be implemented as multiple backgrounds and/or border-image, etc., but it's likely that I've also forgot about something else that's as equally important while still being hard (or impossible) to emulate. Please do share what it is for you.

    Edit:

    NOTE: A good thing that I missed, but should now probably say to anyone who hasn't voted yet - DOM 2 Events, Traversal, Views and/or Styles. Think of those when you think about what "None of the above" includes.
    Last edited by boen_robot; Feb 1, 2009 at 11:27.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    From that list, I think the CSS3 selectors would be most useful. Full (or at least much better) compatibility with DOM2 (Document Object Model Level 2) specifications would also be really nice.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    XHTML support: Microsoft has already said they will not be supporting this in IE9.

    SVG: I don't recall if they said this was high on their "wish list" or if they said it was a "probably".

    border-radius: This is the other one that is "wish listed" or "probably". Forgot which.

    Animated PNG: That's something the PNG group would have to come up with and not Microsoft. Not that they can't themselves and submit it to the PNG group but it's not necessarily something they do.

    CSS unit calculations: Is that something the W3C CSS committee is working on at all?

    I agree with Tommy about the DOM. IE7 is sitting on 1998 standards and IE8 only brings it up to 2001, possibly.

  4. #4
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    Full 2.1 support in IE9 is a *must* - IE8 final release will *not* support the full 2.1 spec; I think people mis-read this point alot.

    The 'box-sizing' property fixes many of the common use cases (that I can think of, at least) where the 'calc()' property could be used - like the example you give. With the release of IE8, 'box-sizing' is now supported by all four of the main browsers:-

    - IE8 (without vendor prefix)
    - Opera (without vendor prefix)
    - Webkit (with vendor prefix)
    - Firefox (with vendor prefix)

    Whereas 'calc()' isn't supported by any. Judging by the speed of implementing even 2.1 specs and Level 3 Values and Units still in Working Draft, I honestly can't see IE9 implementing it.

    It would be nice to get the Opacity property in IE9 - they certainly fell short of peoples expectations this version. OT: IE8 RC1 (since Partner Build, in fact) allows opacity to be emulated via the 'filter' property without the -ms- prefix.

    Selectors Level 3 would be sweet, even if they do just pick the most commonly used ones - :nth-child, :last-child etc etc

  5. #5
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    By unit calculations do you mean the 'calc()' function (w3(.org)/TR/css3-values/#calc) , that I mentioned above?

    FYI, the Values and Units module has been given a medium priority on the WG roadmap, and it's currently a Working Draft

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot boen_robot's Avatar
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    OK, the main reason I created this topic was for what you want, not what is most likely to get implemented. So, please stop using arguments like "Microsft have said they will not support it" (in favor of things like "this solves more use cases" and "this is far cooler").

    Besides, as far as I know, Microsoft have said nothing for sure. All of their answers so far (from what I've read) are among the lines of "we understand the high demand for this, and it's on our TODO list, but we can't say for sure if it will or will not be in the next version". So, it's all "maybe"s.

    And BTW, yes I did mean the calc() function. It's just that I wasn't aware of it's actual name and syntax. I only knew such thing was in CSS... I'd have searched for it, but I wasn't sure what to search for.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast cssiscool's Avatar
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    I voted for Animated PNGs. But I would really like to see all of those options implemented in IE9.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by boen_robot View Post
    OK, the main reason I created this topic was for what you want, not what is most likely to get implemented. So, please stop using arguments like "Microsft have said they will not support it" (in favor of things like "this solves more use cases" and "this is far cooler").
    Woah - maybe I formatted my wishlist incorrectly .

    Five of the six features I mention are on my wishlist, and I simply give an alternative to calc()

    Indeed they are all 'maybes' at this stage, but based on implementation priority of specs (and their somewhat limited roadmap) in IE8, and how they've prioritsed implementation based on testers feedback, we can make some calculated assumptions on what features we think they'll include in IE9.

    So just to clarify; for me I would like to see:-

    TOP - Level 2.1 support
    - Opacity
    - Selectors Level 3

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot boen_robot's Avatar
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    Well, yeah... we could make calculated guesses. I only meant to say you shouldn't base your opinion based solely on it

    If I was to guess though (and ironically enough, that's exactly my vote ), I believe we could expect some sort of SVG support in IE9. Maybe incomplete, maybe not as good as in Opera, but still some support. Why the guess? There were many requests for SVG at the IE7 beta. It was among the top requests along with display:table and generated content. IE8 is now feature complete, and we have no SVG, but pretty much all else on the IE7 top priorities list. There were even more requests for SVG at the IE8 beta (assuming you also count the blog comments and newsgroup posts), and TBL has also critisized IE for not supporting it. Microsoft already have XAML and VML. They have every reason to implement it, they have the resourses and the people to pull it off. It would make sence that they finally do it.

    And, like I said, SVG is the one thing I want most too. Ideally, also have it displayable from <img /> elements and background-image. RGBA colors and multiple backgrounds come next (in this order) on my wishlist, but if I had to pick one - SVG.
    Last edited by boen_robot; Jan 29, 2009 at 10:43.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boen_robot View Post
    OK, the main reason I created this topic was for what you want, not what is most likely to get implemented. So, please stop using arguments like "Microsft have said they will not support it" (in favor of things like "this solves more use cases" and "this is far cooler").
    I pointed out those things because it doesn't make sense to wish for something that just isn't going to happen. XHTML won't happen no matter what.
    Besides, as far as I know, Microsoft have said nothing for sure.
    They have, and I showed the link where they did in another thread, but I'd have to dig to find it again.

  11. #11
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Full support for all the current standards is more important than support for uture standards still in draft (that's what got Microsoft into the trouble in the first place). The biggest thing currently missing in IE that is covered by current standards is support for XHTML.
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  12. #12
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    I'd like them to get proper DOM Core support; it would be nice if they changed their parser and layout architecture to have a proper DOM tree rather than a graph where nodes can have multiple parents and what not.

    I think they basically have to do that before supporting XHTML or SVG makes any sense (implementation-wise). But we'll see.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot boen_robot's Avatar
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    "Full support" of any standard sounds nice, but can you please be more specific? What features of DOM Core and/or CSS2.1 you need that are not implemented in IE8 or are buggy? Name at least one use case for them. Can you possibly emulate those features now that IE8 allows all JavaScript objects to be extended by their prototype?

    The only one I can personally think of is addEventListener() with event capturing, but then again, I've never been a fen of event captuing. Event bubbling has always seemed more logical, and that is what's available with attachEvent(). I mean, after all, even if addEventListener() and event capturing come in IE9, we'll still have to keep using event bubbling at least until IE8 dissappears, right?

    I'm only being pragmatic here. There are certain things that are needed more than others, and "full support of existing standards" may not open the door to that many scenarios as partial support for a new standard would. As far as implementation of drafts is concerned, SVG and XHTML are reccomendations already, which is one more reason I'm guessing they have the greatest chance to appear in IE9. Animated PNGs are not part of an official W3C specification, but having a spec from Mozilla that's already implemented in Opera as well makes me think APNG will become a de facto standard either way.
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  14. #14
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    Being able to use addEventListener() only, rather than forking code and use attachEvent() for IE, would be very nice even if you don't use event capturing. Not having to fork code to check for a global event attribute would also be very nice. In short, not having to do everything twice just to accommodate one bleepin' browser.

    I haven't read up on what IE8 will change in DOM support (I thought it was very little). Will it support DOM2 Views, Events, Style, and Traversal & Range?
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I haven't read up on what IE8 will change in DOM support (I thought it was very little). Will it support DOM2 Views, Events, Style, and Traversal & Range?
    Link
    Unfortunately, there are almost no advances at all in DOM support, and IE remains nearly a decade behind the other browsers. Important DOM modules like DOM 2 Style, DOM 2 Events, and DOM 3 XPath have been ignored. The DOM support is basically just as bad as it was in IE 7. The updates are not really worthy of mention next to the missing parts that Web developers are still in desperate need of.
    What does your browser claim to support?

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot boen_robot's Avatar
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    From what I've read, it seems there are mostly bug fixes, and a few new additions (of which the mutable prototypes seems the most significant to me):
    http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/200...e8-beta-1.aspx
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/int...opers-new.aspx
    http://ejohn.org/blog/javascript-in-...et-explorer-8/

    As for having addEventListener() with no event capturing - that's not good if you ask me. You still have to use attachEvent() to accomodate IE8 and earlier, and what's worse is that when you do have addEventListener(), you won't know for sure if event capturing is supported. Having addEventListener() only when event capturing is available will make it easier to write applications that scale down when it's not available (i.e. if you really must use event capturing, you can at least reliably fallback to event bubbling or show an error for older IE versions).

    BTW, regarding the full support thing... here are a few links from the sitepoint DOM Core reference that show that other browsers too don't really have "full" support for DOM Core, though yes, I realize their support is (far?) closer to full than IE:
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Attr
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Comment
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Document
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/DocumentType
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Element
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Entity
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javas...ntityReference
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/NamedNodeMap
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javas...ode/attributes
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/javascript/Notation
    Last edited by boen_robot; Jan 29, 2009 at 11:36.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Multiple backgrounds for me, although it seems like I'm the only one!

    XHTML - Meh. Gone off it more recently in favour of vanilla HTML, doesn't bother me at all.
    SVG - Useful, but not used enough to be a major pain if it wasn't included. Support in other browsers isn't exactly complete either.
    CSS3 Selectors - Would be nice, but there are at least ways around it using classes for zebra striping etc.
    Multiple Backgrounds - Would certainly help with divitis, and very useful for complex layouts.
    RGBA - would be nice. Do other browsers support this?
    Border-image and border-radius - useful in a few specific situations I guess
    CSS Unit Calculations - would be very nice indeed, along with regex in the selectors
    Animated PNGs - why? aren't animated gifs enough of a pain to have to deal with?
    Web Fonts - Would be quite nice, but not desperate
    XSLT/XPath - I just don't use it enough TBH.

    Generally, I would just say 'CSS 3', which includes a few of the things above, but I can see multiple background being the most useful.

  18. #18
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    No browser vendor I know of is even attempting full DOM 3 Core support. DOM 3 Core contains stuff which don't make sense to have in a browser, such as validation and EntityReference.

    Opera, Firefox and WebKit do, however, have pretty much full support for DOM 2 Core, minus 2 specific things where one needs to violate the spec in order to be compatible with the Web, namely getAttribute returning null instead of the empty string when there's no attribute, and allowing nodes to be moved between documents without adoptNode-ing them first.
    Simon Pieters

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict Fre420's Avatar
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    multiple backgrounds & background scaling for me.
    The faster browsers adopt this, the faster I can start playing with it.
    The possibilities are huge for design & animation.

  20. #20
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    I was thinking CSS3 selectors or SVG... I chose CSS3 selectors as it is going to be really useful from my point of you! and I think it is more realistic to wish for CSS3 selectors than SVG for now..

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict wibble wobble's Avatar
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    I went for CSS3 selectors. But they <i>still</i> haven't got CSS2 perfect. 2 of my sites had issues with IE8r2 that needed CSS hacks. (stangely, the same bug was happening on IE7 but not IE6. If you want screenshots/css just shout)
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Member Terry Kyle's Avatar
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    Speed!

    In a 3 horse race with Chrome and FF, IE is unacceptably slow.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    How about a new rendering engine? WebKit or Gecko would do just fine

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    CSS3 selectors. Then again… I'd probably have to wait another 5-10 years to actually be able to use them to their fullest potential, but it would be a start.

    I'd say multiple backgrounds as well, but I think once that feature is available a large majority of people will abuse it. Similar to what I think about the idea of embedding fonts in pages so that any font may be used. Some times restriction is a good thing.

  25. #25
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    I'd like to see them just support CSS2.1 properly. Why start on the newer stuff if you haven't got the basics down?


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