Helping the Internet Explorer team
Chris Wilson, lead program manager for the web platform in Internet Explorer, has posted to the IE development weblog asking for people’s opinions on which standards IE7 should best attempt to support. While there’s a lot of “IE doesn’t support standards!” warcrying out there on the web, it’s refreshing to see that the team do appear to be soliciting opinion on what the web development community wants them to work on. PPK has posted his top five suggestions and suggested that others do the same. Mine are:
[*]The DOM Event model. Leave window.event for backwards compatibility if you must, but support event objects being passed to event handlers, the event object being that described in the DOM Event spec, stopPropagation() and preventDefault() rather than cancelBubble and returnValue. That, all by itself, will make DOM scripting a lot cleaner; not easier, per se, since everyone knows that you need to check for window.event and then grab the target from srcElement or what-have-you, but event handlers will lose all the cross-browser forking stuff at top and bottom. This is my Number One Thing to be fixed.
[*]Support the CSS :hover selector on things other than links. There are loads of really cool CSS-only things possible with this (Eric’s pure CSS menus are the simplest example).
[*]Fix the HTML generated by richtext contenteditable boxes. It’s horrendous tag soup and could be much, much cleaner. This, I suspect, is at a pretty low level, since it’d affect things like copying-and-pasting HTML from IE into Outlook or similar as well, so it may not be part of the “web component” strictly.
[*]position: fixed. Please.
That’s my list. The top two are the important ones. There are a fair few little CSS things that I’d like to see fixed, but essentially that’s just “make it work like Firefox”, which is a very unfair and unhelpful complaint. I’ll leave that complaint to the CSS experts, who can diagnose the particular problems.