Coffeehouse Thread

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Chat with the IE team TOMORROW (Thursday 8th)

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  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Thanks to those that turned up it was fun.

    Sorry we couldn't get to all the questions although there were a few repetitions out there so the full transcript that will get published later should help.

    Sorry that you got booted ManiP but rudeness can not really be tolerated in any measure in these forums. Otherwise conversations can soon spiral out of control.

    As far as the hostility is concerned we have thick skins. It's good to see that people are passionate and we value the feedback. It's probably true to say that the feedback is a little more useful when it is precise, accurate and constructive rather than abusive though Smiley

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    After reading a few answers to my questions, I have to say that the IE team needs to learn from the VB.NET guys. They broke backwards compatibility and look at all of the good that did.

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    After reading a few answers to my questions, I have to say that the IE team needs to learn from the VB.NET guys. They broke backwards compatibility and look at all of the good that did.


    Yes. But Shining, the VB situation is quite different! In the case of VB a user's old VB6 applications still run. The compatibility was only changed for developers and even then there's an excellent conversion tool when you open a VB6 project in Visual Studio .NET to help the developer move forward.
    In the case of a webBrowser a user can update and if we ignored compatibility many of their existing websites and web applications might break. These might include things they use everyday from TV guides to banking. These users are not necessarily technically savvy and explaining that this is "good for them" isn't much use if their 7 year old child is screaming and in tears because they can't get to the site of their favorite cartoon character.
    Compatibility is an extremely important issue and extends beyond the internet that you and I experience to corporations with applications on their intranets. These corporations do not waste time picking up the phone to us if a browser update breaks them and is costing them huge amounts of money in terms of lost productivity. For these reasons we spend a great deal of resources on testing and do not believe that compatibility is an issue we can ignore. It's a complex issue and a change that even changes rendering by just one pixel could break something such as the printout of barcodes. So every change to code has to take compatibility into account.

  • User profile image
    infrared

    "John_MS : Q: Why do gifs show red X's in IE?

    John_MS : A: If you can give me a consistently reproable example of this I will be happy to follow up on it. I haven't seen this..."

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/6720

    It's a big issue, why aren't they aware of this??

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    infrared wrote:
    "John_MS : Q: Why do gifs show red X's in IE?

    John_MS : A: If you can give me a consistently reproable example of this I will be happy to follow up on it. I haven't seen this..."

    <url>http://www.dslreports.com/faq/6720 </url>

    It's a big issue, why aren't they aware of this??


    Infrared,
    That website does not include a consistent reroduction of an issue but is a list of possible solutions if you happen to be seeing it.
    The only time I see the red x on images is when the image could not be located on the website that is referring to it. If there is not reponse to the request to the server for the image then we display the red x. There could be many reasons for this including an unreliable connection or an unrepsonsive adn overloaded server.
    If you can give us a solid repro case for the issue then we'll happily look at it.

    Thanks
    -Dave

    P.S. Enough of chatting here this afternoon, I have to go and do some other work. I'll check back later today or tomorrow but I can't promise a response to every question especially if it concerns when we might support tabbed browsing Smiley

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    DMassy wrote:
    Shining Arcanine wrote:After reading a few answers to my questions, I have to say that the IE team needs to learn from the VB.NET guys. They broke backwards compatibility and look at all of the good that did.


    Yes. But Shining, the VB situation is quite different! In the case of VB a user's old VB6 applications still run. The compatibility was only changed for developers and even then there's an excellent conversion tool when you open a VB6 project in Visual Studio .NET to help the developer move forward.
    In the case of a webBrowser a user can update and if we ignored compatibility many of their existing websites and web applications might break. These might include things they use everyday from TV guides to banking. These users are not necessarily technically savvy and explaining that this is "good for them" isn't much use if their 7 year old child is screaming and in tears because they can't get to the site of their favorite cartoon character.
    Compatibility is an extremely important issue and extends beyond the internet that you and I experience to corporations with applications on their intranets. These corporations do not waste time picking up the phone to us if a browser update breaks them and is costing them huge amounts of money in terms of lost productivity. For these reasons we spend a great deal of resources on testing and do not believe that compatibility is an issue we can ignore. It's a complex issue and a change that even changes rendering by just one pixel could break something such as the printout of barcodes. So every change to code has to take compatibility into account.


    Many of the old sites will still be rendered to the point where they are accessible and there is a conversation tool, it is called HTML Tidy:

    http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/tidy/

    If someone codes their application to take advantage of a glitch in .NET 1.1's clientside code (which ironically breaks standards) that breaks the rules of the programming language the clientside code is written in, you guys aren't going to leave the glitch in the next version of .NET. It should be the same for IE.

    Regarding the child, well, you guys did that with Security.

    Also, I agree, compatibility is not an issue that you can ignore, however you are trying to maintain 100% compatibility while squeezing in standards support when you should be trying to maintain 100% standards support while squeezing in compatibility.

    I say that you should: make IE 100% support standards (e.g. everything that you claim to support) and have a quirks mode for sites without a doctype such as this one, have a public beta, have people submit things that are broken and see what you can do to make them accessible.

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Shining Arcanine wrote:

    <snip/>

    Many of the old sites will still be rendered to the point where they are accessible and there is a conversation tool, it is called HTML Tidy:

    http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/tidy/

    If someone codes their application to take advantage of a glitch in .NET 1.1's clientside code (which ironically breaks standards) that breaks the rules of the programming language the clientside code is written in, you guys aren't going to leave the glitch in the next version of .NET. It should be the same for IE.




    Shining,
    I have to disagree here, it is one thing to break developers and ask them to recompile and modify their .NET applications it is completely different to try and force many millions of websites to be updated. Many of these websites are run by companies who have other activities as their primary business such as making cars, banking, etc. Asking them to spend time and money to update their websites would get a very short and clear response. They simply will not do it. As a result users would refuse to install a newer version of a browser if they cannot access content.
    In the past we have broken very minor things in updates of Internet Explorer and it has been something we have received very clear feedback on that this is NOT acceptable. The only time I think such action could possibly be acceptable is when the change is in the interest of security, even then we get pretty strong feedback.
    This is not to say that we cannot make any changes in the future as use of the <!DOCTYPE switch in IE6 for stricter CSS compliance demonstrates. However rendering existing content remains extremely important. 

    Thanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    Manip

    But FireFox fixes most of these issues and that doesn't break sites. I mean of course some don't work and others look slightly odd but 90% work perfectly.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    DMassy wrote:
    Shining,
    I have to disagree here, it is one thing to break developers and ask them to recompile and modify their .NET applications it is completely different to try and force many millions of websites to be updated. Many of these websites are run by companies who have other activities as their primary business such as making cars, banking, etc. Asking them to spend time and money to update their websites would get a very short and clear response. They simply will not do it. As a result users would refuse to install a newer version of a browser if they cannot access content.
    In the past we have broken very minor things in updates of Internet Explorer and it has been something we have received very clear feedback on that this is NOT acceptable. The only time I think such action could possibly be acceptable is when the change is in the interest of security, even then we get pretty strong feedback.


    I made a few edits to my post to make it more complete (as what you replied to is the equivalent of a subordinate clause in English, it cannot stand alone), you should read them.

    DMassy wrote:
    This is not to say that we cannot make any changes in the future as use of the <!DOCTYPE switch in IE6 for stricter CSS compliance demonstrates. However rendering existing content remains extremely important. 

    Thanks
    -Dave


    So accessibility is what is important, correct?

  • User profile image
    infrared

    Manip, I would say I've seen about 5 sites that don't display correctly with FF, even 90% doesn't give Firefox enough credit IMO....this is much better than Mozilla 3 years ago.  However, I don't know whether this is due to Mozilla implementing some of IE's quirks, or the increasing amount of webdesigners adhereing to standards.

  • User profile image
    infrared

    Hi DMassy, it's really neat to see MS devs chat here Smiley

    I think the issue is with installing Sp1 on Windows XP but it never happened to me so I'm not exactly an expert here.  The thing was that not everyone experienced this, so I don't know how reproducible it was, but that a lot of people were bit by it.  However the registry key change fixes it (it's that last solution on the dslr link I posted).

    I'm just surprised you guys don't know about seeing as there are quite a few posts on webforums & MS USENET newsgroups...

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    I really have to go and do some other work now Smiley

    I think we are not in that much disagreement though.
    Rendering of existing content without the site having to be updated is very important for reasons we have already discussed. Given the size and diversity of our user base we will make every effort not to break any existing content. You can disagree with this but it is reality that we will not knowingly break existing content and seriously impact the productivity of large corporations.
    In Internet Explorer 6 we introduced the !DOCTYPE switch http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnie60/html/cssenhancements.asp to allow us to alter rendering for greater CSS compliance without breaking existing content. I'd expect us to use that same technique in the future.


    Thanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    Manip

    What is it you do at Microsoft?

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Manip wrote:
    What is it you do at Microsoft?


    I'm on the Program Management team on Internet Explorer. Recently returning to the team after a few years away.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    can't you just make everyone happy and release IE Beta where it's seperated from IE, isn't really 100% supported but is worked upon as a future version where that yes maybe it breaks 90% of sites but it contains all these features alot of people are crying out for?  surely it wouldn't be that much of a deal to do.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    DMassy wrote:
    I really have to go and do some other work now Smiley


    I think we are not in that much disagreement though.
    Rendering of existing content without the site having to be updated is very important for reasons we have already discussed. Given the size and diversity of our user base we will make every effort not to break any existing content. You can disagree with this but it is reality that we will not knowingly break existing content and seriously impact the productivity of large corporations.
    In Internet Explorer 6 we introduced the !DOCTYPE switch http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnie60/html/cssenhancements.asp to allow us to alter rendering for greater CSS compliance without breaking existing content. I'd expect us to use that same technique in the future.


    Thanks
    -Dave


    You're right. The problem is that you misinterpreted what I said. Quirks mode is for sites that do not have a doctype and therefore do not adhere to any specification. However standards mode is for sites that state that they adhere to a specification by having a doctype. I did not say that you should change Quirks mode's current behavior. I said that you should have full standards support.

    Full standards support means that any websites that claim to adhere to any specification should be rendered according to it along with their CSS stylesheets to the CSS spec. This means fixing/supporting:

    Under standards mode.

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Thanks Shining.

    "Full standards support" is an interesting term and one that we hear a lot. It is difficult for anyone to disgree with it as it sounds like you might be disagreeing with the idea of world peace.
    It implies support for every recommendation published by the W3C, ECMA and any other standards body. However I should point out that no browser does this, no browser I know of claims to do this and no browser I know of claims this as a goal as there are many standards for different applications and some that are in conflict.
    In your case you have defined a set of specific things you mean by "Full Standards Support". This is very useful feedback because it is specific. However the term "Full Standards Support" is a confusing one to use for the subset of functionality you would specifically like to see supported. 

    We certainly understand the need for us to address issues in this area. I cannot tell you when or how that will happen at this time but I can assure you we have heard the feedback and are taking it seriously.

    When we released Internet Explorer 6 in 2001 it passed the W3C tests for CSS1 compliance. Since that time other browsers have made significant progress in this area and as a result issues have come to light in our implementation. We do understand the need to address these issues. I'm sure you understand that at this stage of our planning I will not be drawn into making a commitment on features and schedule until I am very confident we can keep it.

    Thanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    release a beta with implementations to the tech crowd, keep it seperate from IE call it i dunno SE or something.

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