Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tons of IE8 details from Microsoft (update)

One of the big announcements at MIX last week was the official release of IE8 beta 1. The beta marks the real beginning to Microsoft opening-up about their next browser version and breaks the painful silence suffered through most of 2007. And now that the seal has been broken, the members of the IE Team are wasting no time in telling you everything about the new features in the browser.

If you're not subscribed to the IE Team Blog (and based on the running poll results, you're probably not), you're missing a lot of info describing IE8's new features like WebSlices, Activities, and LCIE (Loosely-Coupled IE). Since this info should be very important to those of you developing for the web, here are some direct links to posts from the IE Team I think are important to review (in reverse chronological order):

Clearly, no shortage of reading material on the IE Team Blog. One of the more interesting points to note is that IE8 will render in standards mode by default. This is a change from the Team's position several weeks ago (which I blogged about) and it means you will need to make sure your sites work with IE8 standards mode soon. If you don't want to bring your site up to standards mode compliance, you can now use the new X-UA-Compatible meta tag to tell IE8 to render your site in IE7 mode. The passive behavior will now promote standards, which is a good move according many "web expert" opinions. Don't let it catch you off-guard.

So enjoy the beta and make sure you start preparing your sites for the new version of the world's (still) dominant browser. In my casual review of Telerik's ASP.NET components in IE8 beta 1, I do not see any major problems. Telerik will, of course, provide complete support for IE8 when it is released, but even in early beta stages you should find your Telerik controls work well in IE8 standards and IE7 emulation mode. We're just that good <wink>.

UPDATE: A quick correction about IE8 compatibility with the RadControls. Currently, there are a few issues with IE8 standards mode that are negatively affecting RadGrid and RadMenu. These issues are due to missing features of the IE8 table DOM and the bad handling of overlays and animations in IE8. Also, according to Telerik's devs, IE8 seems to have a major glitch with Sys.UI.DomElement.getLocation that is negatively affecting all absolutely positioned elements. All Telerik online demos are currently forcing IE7 emulation mode in IE8, so you won't see these problems online. Hopefully the IE8 team will address these problems in the next beta and we can enable true IE8 rendering support at that time.