By Kevin Yank

IE 7 Incompatibility Sightings

By Kevin Yank

My girlfriend is about to graduate from a teaching degree, and is looking for a job in the area. Upon visiting the official government site where these jobs are posted today, she noticed this message:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7

Microsoft now has available for download version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7). Recruitment Online is based on a PeopleSoft platform which is yet to be certified for use with the new version of Internet Explorer. Recruitment Online users who have downloaded IE7 are unable to successfully log in to Recruitment Online. Currently there is no setting that can be altered to overcome this issue. Instructions for un-installing IE7 are available from the Microsoft web site (

Nice, eh? And if this looks like an attempt to pass the buck to PeopleSoft, you’d be right. According to related discussion groups and other sources, PeopleSoft, recently acquired by Oracle, has no significant issues with IE 7, and Oracle expects to certify current versions of PeopleSoft for use with IE 7 shortly.

Has anyone else seen any cases of IE 7 unpreparedness in the wild?

  • Pat Allan

    Here’s some text from my Basecamp account – a warning that they’ve had up the last couple of days:

    If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 with Basecamp you may experience some weirdness over the next few days. We’ll be scrambling with the rest of the web to tighten up support for IE 7 without breaking support for IE 6, Firefox, and Safari. It’s more of an art than a science, unfortunately. We’re sorry in advance for any issues you experience while using IE 7 with Basecamp. We recommend sticking with IE 6 or Firefox for the time being.

    I don’t have a problem with this – it’s not nearly as worrying as your message.

  • That’s still pretty bad, Pat. If technology leaders like 37signals couldn’t get off their duffs to address compatibility issues during the public beta period, how can the “ordinary” developers of the world be expected to? If we don’t step up and support Microsoft in the work they have done to improve their browser, those improvements will stop again.

  • lieb

    Many Universities like ours use SunGard (SCT) Banner. Like PeopleSoft they are not going to certify IE 7 for use with Banner until next spring some time.

  • My uni uses Peoplesoft software. It locked me out of the student admin section because it required a version 6 browser, and Firefox 1.0 (some time ago) failed it’s dodgy UA detection. Luckily FF makes it easy to change the UA string. Perhaps IE7 needs a “look like IE6 mode”?

    I’m not surpirsed to read this about Peoplesoft

  • lstals

    Why do *we* have to be prepaired for *IE7*

    If it’s supposed to be so damn good, why are there a whole new set of issues that developers need to deal with?

  • splashpoint

    Not a browser issue, but IE7 can stop Dreamweaver from saving ftp user name and password details (god knows why).

    Running the DW 8.0.2 installer solves the problem (KB article: )

  • @Splashpoint :

    You are absolutely right.

    At first I had NO idea what the cause of this frustrating problem was until I did some research on the web, sadly to find that it’s IE7’s ‘fault’.

    I’m going to obtain the 8.0.2 update for DW today. Hopefully that will solve my problems.

    Thanks. ;)

  • Immerse

    “Perhaps IE7 needs a ‘look like IE6 mode’?”

    There is in fact a download available from MS which starts an IE7 instance with a IE6 UA string.

    Download from:

    Found on page:

  • Divine

    There is in fact a download available from MS which starts an IE7 instance with a IE6 UA string.


  • Blue Monkey

    If I remember correctly Kevin, your girlfriend has previously created a standards-compliant website – perhaps she can offer some help to PeopleSoft!!!

  • !Why do *we* have to be prepaired for *IE7*

    If it’s supposed to be so damn good, why are there a whole new set of issues that developers need to deal with?”

    I presume that the issue is where the developer (in this case peoplesoft) have used some kind of script to detect if it’s IE6 so you can’t blame IE7 if that’s the case.

    IE7 isn’t perfect but any site written using web standards and valid code shouldn’t have too many issues. All my sites are using strict valid code and whilst I’ve checked all my sites during the beta stage, I’ve not actually had to alter my code in the slightest.

  • Anonymous

    See also:
    “Reuters Warns Customers: Install Internet Explorer 7.0 At Your Peril”

  • malikyte

    I just got this email from our organization’s overseeing IT body:

    “Microsoft has now released Internet Explorer 7.

    We would like to ask that all libraries please DO NOT install it on any machine (public or staff) until we have time to thoroughly test its abilities and interaction with all things involved.”

    I think I’ll email them the link to the IE6 UA string download since they seem to be more unprepared than we are.

  • seriocomic

    Considering it’s already borked on several of my Strict valid sites that worked perfectly under FF, IE6, Opera, Safari etc – I am already looking for the next bunch of IE hacks – *sigh*

  • seriocomic,

    This may be obvious and unhelpful, but I’d suggest that if a strict/valid site worked under IE 6 and doesn’t work under IE 7, chances are the blame lies with whatever you did to get it to work under IE 6. Non-hack techniques like conditional comments will allow you to split out your support for IE 6 and allow IE 7 to work with the standards compliant code.

    This is of course a vast generalization, and IE 7 will certainly prove to have a few unique foibles all its own. I simply believe they will be much fewer and farther between than IE 6’s problems.

  • We strive for standards compliant sites and base them on XHTML 1 Trans. Of course if a table makes sense (or dollars) we’ll use them and hopefully sparingly.

    I just did a quick look at the websites we’ve put out in the last year in IE7 and other than one CSS title being at the wrong level of z-index they all looked just as good as they do in Firefox which is our browser of choice.

    So far I’ve only used IE7 for a quick spin but I’m impressed. I’ll have to take it through Basecamp and out CMS to be sure I’m happy but so far it’s a far cry from IE6’s dodgy performance.


  • Ryno

    As a side issue, how are developers who do work for private clients managing required changes/updates as a result of IE7? Are you charging your clients for the extra work or are absorbing it?

  • LinhGB

    I only had to fix a few minor display problems with a menu and a search box on two sites. I overlooked them while testing with the beta version. Took about 5 mins to fix. The rest are all fine, so I’m not charging anyone. My sites are mostly strict/valid except a few old ones that are transitional.

    Here’s hoping MS forces the IE7 update down everyone’s throat. Can’t believe I said that. :D

  • Stevie D

    Why do *we* have to be prepaired for *IE7*

    If it’s supposed to be so damn good, why are there a whole new set of issues that developers need to deal with?

    If your site is written in pure-blooded pedigree HTML, you shouldn’t need to prepare at all for IE7, you’ve already done that.

    If your site is written in a cross-bred mongrel of hacks and bodges, it’s not surprising if it doesn’t work in a browser that follows the rules. If IE7 still allowed all these hacks to work, it would be no better than what went before – and we all know how bad that would be!

  • clintonG



    IE7 deletes Favorites when dragged and dropped. Furthermore, this POS IE7 still has the same bug since IE4 that prevents saving a Favorite by dragging the icon of a URL from the address bar into a Favorites folder. IE complains that the page title is too long — but we could save that same URL unmodified by going to Favorites > Add to Favorites on the toolbar.

    So the only work around requires using Favorites > Add to Favorites right? Then what kind of surprise do we get? Some Microsoft moron altered the code to force open all Favorite folders already expanded. This makes scrolling to try to find a folder nearly impossible for those with large collections of Favorites.

    Furthermore, when using Favorites > Add to Favorites with IE7 the entire collection of Favorites may not even be shown so it is now impossible to save a Favorite.


  • clintonG that’s a bit extreme but if it’s causing you grief then it’s a valid complaint.

    I like managing favorites in Firefox using the Manage Boookmarks item in the Bookmarks menu. I just checked and low and behold IE has added that to IE7 too. It’s under the star with a plus sign icon. They could have made it much more intuitive but it is there for organizing your favorites. I don’t know if it’s as effective as the one in Firefox but it’s much better than IE6.

    I’ve played with it a little more and most sites are ok. I’ve seen some really bad renderings, mostly of sites built in .NET using MS Visual Studio .NET. That’s ironic ;-)

    I’m a confirmed Firefox fan so it’s a hard call whether I’ll switch but I sure hope they cram it down everyones throat as a critical update. (What the heck? Did I just say that?)

    Hands down, it’s a much better browser than 6!


  • Hugues Lamy

    Our site at M2i3 isn’t being displayed correct.

    On the other hand, we’re making heavy use of CSS that contain IE6 hacks. I have to review them, I hope mostly remove all of them and get a nice display for the future.

    Anybody share my faith?

    Good day.

  • jmarkj

    Boy clintonG, do I feel your pain. Couldn’t believe that IE7 expands all the folders automatically. That’s one of the most boneheaded feature changes I’ve ever seen Microsoft do, and they’ve done some doozies. I’m one of those users who has a huge favorites archive, and it’s going to be e nightmare managing them now. If FireFox does this any better, this will be the thing that finally makes me switch. I haven’t seen a workaround anywhere, and it sounds like there isn’t one. :-(

  • jmarkj

    As a followup, I can successfully drag-and-drop links to the “pinned” Favorites menu (haven’t seen any get deleted yet). so that’s a bit of a workaround, but still a huge pain compared to the way it could be done with IE6. The only benefit with IE 7 is that I can now see my complete list of uncategorized favorites at the bottom of the list. IE6 must have had a memory limitation that prevented you seeing the titles of favorites beyond a certain amount. They were still “there”, you just wouldn’t see anything but a blank white region (that could be mysteriously scrolled, if you had a number of favorites in the list “beyond” the memory limitation. I confirmed they were there by deleting a favorite directly above the first “blank” one, which would cause that first “blank” favorite to move up in the list and become “visible”.

  • clintonG

    Open and pin the Favorites Center. Load Organize Favorites and create a new Folder called “1DeleteMe” and then Sort By Name to float 1DeleteMe to the top of the tree.

    Drag 1DeleteMe into and out of Folders and it will be gone on the first drag but not neccessarily so. It may disappear on the second or third drag operation.

    Can anybody replicate?

    I migrated all of my Favorites to Firefox and it has some quirks but I then realized those quirks were simply doing something a bit differently. Like creating a new folder in the Bookmarks collection feels quirky until you learn it is a two step operation.

    Firefox sure seems so much easier to use than IE and of course is quite easily extensible.

    I’ll still need IE7 because it installs the Windowss RSS Platform which is not otherwise available unless running Vista but I’m using Firefox more and more on a daily basis and all that I really need to go full-time is a way to synchronize Bookmarks with Favorites.

    Isn’t it ironic? Microsoft’s SyncToy will synchronize Bookmarks and Favorites but some process must transform the format when synchronizing.

  • WebCT Vista 4 doesn’t support IE7 at all. From what I’ve seen of our soon-to-be-upgraded package, it keeps popping up a browser-checking window and telling me to get a compatible browser. Heehee.

    (Our home-grown online course platform, however, works just fine. [I work at a university.] That’s what you get for paying millions of dollars for something you’ve already got. Stupid administration.)

  • sds

    Dell’s online store ( would not work in IE7 on Wed., November 1. I had to use Firefox to place the order. This is fine with me since I prefer Firefox. But Dell might take issue with IE7’s incompatibility.

  • Phill Arrowsmith

    Does anyone have the problem of IE7 not loading the graphics properly, ie. pictures don’t fully load they pixulate but do not complete. I have searched for an answer everywhere and can’t find one I am about to dump IE7 and go back to IE6. Any suggestions

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