IE7 Team Chat Transcript

Microsoft has posted a chat transcript from February 9th, in which the IE7 team answered questions about the browser from developers and other members of the public.

Though the chat was largely dominated by questions that have been answered elsewhere, there are a few tidbits of information worth noting.

First, it looks like Microsoft is still working on a few rendering changes, and the final list of supported CSS features is still not known:

Chris Wilson [MS] (Expert):
Q: Will max/min-height/width will be implemented in final release of IE7?
A: We knew that min/max-width/height would be even more important with the overflow changes. We’re working hard to get it in to IE7, but we can’t promise support for it just yet.

It sounds like Microsoft is planning to implement a public bug tracking database, so that developers have a centralized place to report and document work-arounds for rendering issues in the browser:

Anurag [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I’d like to see a public bug triage system similar to bugzilla… wouldn’t this help you weed out duplicate feedback?
A: We are working on implementing a similar system. Thanks for the great feedback.

We have confirmation that there will be no JavaScript fixes in IE7. It’s especially depressing that we still have to put up with the nonstandard and painful event processing model:

Dave Massy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: In your blog posts you haven’t discuessed Javascript changes too much (with the XMLHTTPRequest being an exception), will you plan to improve your JS support? Will you add support for standard methods like obj.addEventListener(), obj.watch()?
A: We aren’t expecting any additions to JScript in IE7. We have heard the requests and want to concentrate on script engine improvements in the future. We know we have plenty of work to do here :)

We also have what seems to be a commitment to a release window for IE8… though I’m not holding my breath:

Chris Wilson [MS] (Expert):
Q: [...] Will IE8 be released before 2010?
A: Yes, IE8 will be released before 2010.

And finally, I particularly enjoyed this quote:

Chris Wilson [MS] (Expert):
Q: Is the IE team worried that firefox share is increasing exponentially while IE can’t revise and ship new versions because they are bogged down with OS dependencies?
A: No.

Fair enough, I guess!

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  • malikyte

    I personally think the team is doing a marvelously wonderful job. Considering how outdated the code from IE6 is, as well as all the standards that have come about within that time frame, I can’t even imagine how much addition needs to be done to just the core of the system. …then add additional modules, features, and bugfixes, and you could easily state that Internet Explorer won’t be up-to-par for another 2-3 revisions (which is actually what I’m expecting, version 9 will be the best viable option for standards compliancy and a definate competing platform to Firefox as it is now).

    The only thing I worry about is how much code Microsoft will take and modify from Mozilla’s source repository…afterall, it is open source, and Microsoft isn’t usually ever afraid to buy what they want if need be. However, as nice as it would be to make all browsers use a standard rendering engine that was updated by a conglomerate council of sorts, that might reduce innovation…and I’m sure none of us want that. …I digress.

    They’re doing a great job given the timeframe they had, and the amount of time they’ve had to work on the project. I think limiting features and implementing others is the best approach. It’s sad that they were unable to work on JavaScript (especially with the AJAX boom), but even so, code will have to work on IE6 and IE7 regardless, so it shouldn’t matter too much for the short-term.

  • http://www.realityedge.com.au mrsmiley

    Strange they say no Javascript enhancements (actually they said JScript, not sure what the differences are if any) will be made because I came across a bug in a page I wrote that works in IE7beta2, but not in IE6 or Firefox for that matter. Seemed to relate specifically to event handlers as well. Go figure. Still not even sure which behaviour is supposed to be correct in this instance.

  • JediCharles

    For some odd reason this blog entry causes my IE6 to crash while it renders the block quotes. Firefox is fine though.

  • auveeb

    Yeah, it crashes IE for me as well.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    For some odd reason this blog entry causes my IE6 to crash while it renders the block quotes. Firefox is fine though.

    Yep, guys. Tested it here and got the same thing. Definitely the :first-letter selector used to apply the opening quote graphic. Not sure why it’s an issue on this page only. Perhaps just the fact that there are more than usual? Undocumented bug perhaps?

    I’ve disabled it in IE for now, so let me know if it still causes problems.

  • http://www.perpetualpat.com logitron

    lol… How funny it is that IE crashes on this particular page. Funny as hell! ;)

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    http://www.satzansatz.de/cssd/pseudocss.html#fltadjacent

    Looks like it might well be a documented bug.

  • John

    As far as I’m concerned, Microsoft is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too late with IE7. I tried the beta and hated it. The file menu only shows when you mouse over, the useability is a nightmare, and yes, the rendering still sucks.

    I used to be all for IE but now FireFox is king. Swift updates, a team passionate about its development, etc, etc. The *ONLY* reason MS are doing IE7 is because of Mozilla, and that’s the truth.

    I personally only use IE from MSN messenger when I check my hotmail because I can’t figure out how to switch it to FireFox. I imagine many others are the same.

  • Martijn

    I can only see one reason why the development of IE7 has been started and that is because of the rise of Firefox.
    So if you want to ensure that Microsoft keeps developing IE7, IE8, etc, it is important that people keep using Firefox.
    Otherwise Microsoft will abandon browser development again.

  • shockbotkins

    It’s nice to see that we’ll be designing websites the same way for the next 5 years or so still using the same code but with improvements.

  • http://www.ubt-uni.net Fiska

    I apsolutely agree, MS tendds to develop it’s product just to sink it’s rivals (gain market share), same applies with other technologies, they started with C# just because Sun offered something better – Java.

  • chrisb

    Of course they only put major effort into products when necessary – its a business! I doubt there are many businesses that actively choose to make less money…

    Slightly different; but I remember an entry on Andrew’s blog sharing that he’d raised the price of a service by a considerable amount. why? purely ‘cos he’d decided he could get away with it and make more money – with a number of comments following congratulating him for it [not a shot at him in any way, just example..]

  • http://www.pixelsoul.net pixelsoul

    You are right it is so annoying.. i have set a default browser but still ms products like messenger don’t use it :(

    I personally only use IE from MSN messenger when I check my hotmail because I can’t figure out how to switch it to FireFox. I imagine many others are the same.

  • colinmcc

    With all the money Gates &Co have, I totally fail to see why Microsoft can’t start again and build a browser from scratch, especially since I suspect it is the most used prog of their Windows user base.

    Having found (been driven to use by the bugs in IE) firefox, I then started using thunderbird, and am migrating all my work, sites and customers to open source.

    So Microsoft’s poor implementation of standards and blatant attitude of two fingers up to developers and users has lost them market share in any project I am involved in, not gained.

    Everytime I sit down at a customer’s computer the first thing I do is download firefox and explain why they should use it rather than IE.

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