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IE PNG Support Blows

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  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Why must PNG support in IE be so broken?

    http://webfx.eae.net/dhtml/pngbehavior/pngbehavior.html
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q294714

    Dear I.E. Team,

    Please support the alpha channel in PNGs without requiring the use of ugly, inefficient and stupid "behavior" files.

    -Me
    A web developer who is getting pretty tired of working around IE bugs and limitations so that IE can produce layout at least 80% as well as Gecko.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Been there, done that

    They're fully aware of the problem, and I've been assured via the IEBlog that the issue WILL be fixed in IE7

    ...But thats not for another year in the least

    'till then stick to GIFs or put a warning up, telling people not to use a fundamentally disfunctional and broken browser Smiley

  • User profile image
    Cairo


    IE7? Did I hear that right?  Seven?

    So PNG support ill be broken until the whole world installs "Longhorn". Holy alpha channel, batman! Is that the best Microsoft can do? What about my potential? Is that no longer your passion?

    It might be less work to put the Gecko engine in an ActiveX wrapper than to kludge around IE's limitations.



  • User profile image
    Maurits

    They'd have to pretty seriously redo the rendering engine to fix this.  Although while they're in there, it would be nice if they could fix the issue where "select" boxes peek through elements with a higher z-index... including Flash objects (which is really trippy...)

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    The current engine, Trident IV, isn't XML based, its still based off HTML3.2's concept of boxes.

    Gecko and Opera 8, they do it "correctly" and treat ALL tags as arbitrary containers and apply styling information accordingly, even <script> and <style> tags

    See for yourself...

    In Mozilla/Firefox/Any Gecko browser, change your User.css file to set:

    script, style, head {
    display: block !important;
    visibility: true !important;
     
    }

    'nuff said Smiley

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Tee hee I keep instinctively reading !important in its C pronunciation Smiley (makes no sense that way)

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    Maurits wrote:
    They'd have to pretty seriously redo the rendering engine to fix this.


    Supporting PNG alpha transparency is more than a simple bug fix but less work than "seriously redo the rendering engine". 

    Maurits wrote:
    Although while they're in there, it would be nice if they could fix the issue where "select" boxes peek through elements with a higher z-index... including Flash objects (which is really trippy...)


    Windowed elements (those that use HWNDs) don't respect Z-order.  The SELECT is based on the Win32 HWND based control, so it doesn't respect Z-order.   We have considered implementing a windowless SELECT that does respect layering.  We'd probably have to do it in strict mode only.

    The Flash ActiveX control is implemented however Macromedia decided to implement it.  If it's windowed, then it doesn't layer.

    Neither of these have anything to do with PNG support.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Supporting PNG alpha transparency is more than a simple bug fix but less work than "seriously redo the rendering engine".

    Hi there.

    Can you clarify that statement? How much work is it? IE on the Mac supports it. Do IE/Mac and IE/Win use totally different rendering engines? PNGs have been for years, and browsers other than IE/Win have supported them (including the alpha channel which is what everyone wants) for years. Including at lesat one browser shipped by Microsoft. What's the shopwstopper in the IE/Win codebase that is preventing the IE team from implementing alpha channel support for PNGs? I am honestly curious. I think that insight will go a long way to undertsanding why IE is the way it is.

    Thanks,

    Michael

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    I had a discussion with Bruce a couple of weeks ago.
    I'll give you the best out-of-context quotes from that topic:

    • Jonathanh: full source code is included.
    • ZippyV: It's like MS is only doing the lowest amount of work to avoid serious trouble.
    • BruceMorgan: There's a saying at Microsoft: under-promise, over-deliver.
    • Rossj: But someone IS working on it ??
    • BruceMorgan: Oh come on Ross! It's not really true ...
    • ZippyV: This sounds like a great idea ... or not?
    • BruceMorgan: That's not really what it means.
    • Rossj: Darn those pesky kids !
    • BruceMorgan: That would be the "Japanese schoolgirl" demographic, followed by "South Korean teenager";
      We don't have such a system;
      I think there are better ways to be involved than writing "patches" to the IE source;

    For the right context:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=32459

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    Cairo wrote:
    . Do IE/Mac and IE/Win use totally different rendering engines?


    Yes. IE on the Mac adn Windows are completely different rendering engines with different display architectures. We've commented on transparent PNG many times and I made an entry on my blog last year discussing this and possible workarounds. We're hoping to address this in the future.

    Thanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Too bad that won't affect me Smiley

    *has FlashBlock, AdBlock, and Firefox*

    David: I was thinking....

    Why doesn't the IE team just use the Gecko engine? There's nothing stopping you using it... after all, IE is distributed "for free", right? Wink

    ...Or just make a sizable donation to the Mozilla Foundation and I'm sure they'll let you off

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    BruceMorgan wrote:

    The Flash ActiveX control is implemented however Macromedia decided to implement it.  If it's windowed, then it doesn't layer.


    Thanks for replying. Smiley

    The reason I brought up Flash:

    A site I work on has a form on the front page that includes < select > elements.

    We were lucky enough to sell a fancy dynamic Flash ad that grew and covered the page (until the visitor clicked an "x" to dismiss it)

    What was very peculiar was that the < select > elements were visible, through the Flash ad!  It wasn't an issue with Flash, because the rest of the page was not visible.

    We were able to successfully work around this by putting javascript code into the ad trigger that dynamically applied a CSS display: none; to all the < select > elements on the page when the ad loaded... and took it off again when the user dismissed the ad.  But we sure felt silly at the time. Smiley

    EDIT: Actually we used visibility: hidden; rather than display: none; so the layout wouldn't reflow.

  • User profile image
    DMassy

    W3bbo wrote:


    Why doesn't the IE team just use the Gecko engine?


    Browsing is an essential part of the user experience on Windows. I think it is pretty unlikely that we'd rely on third party code for for what is a central part of the operating system.
    I believe that competition is good, we're hard at work on the next version of Internet Explorer and are excited by the work we have to do.

    THanks
    -Dave

  • User profile image
    Cairo


    Using the Gecko engine for "standards compliant mode" in IE would be pretty cool...

  • User profile image
    Minh

    Cairo wrote:

    Using the Gecko engine for "standards compliant mode" in IE would be pretty cool...
    That would be like a certain president admitting he'd made a certain mistake.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Minh wrote:
    Cairo wrote:
    Using the Gecko engine for "standards compliant mode" in IE would be pretty cool...
    That would be like a certain president admitting he'd made a certain mistake.


    Not just a good idea - it's against the law!

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Cairo wrote:

    Not just a good idea - it's against the law!


    How so?

    Loads of preseidents and other politicians, even our own Blair, have admitted making mistakes

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    DMassy wrote:
    I think it is pretty unlikely that we'd rely on third party code for for what is a central part of the operating system.


    Uh... what?
    Help | About Internet Explorer wrote:

    Based on NCSA Mosaic...
    Contains security software licensed from RSA Data Security Inc.
    ... based in part on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.
    Multimedia software components... are provided by Intel Corp.


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