Ok, once again some information regarding the new IE8. This product is occupying me quite a bit however I think it is important to tell the story about better W3C standards compliance and new compelling and easy to develop extensibility and what that means to users and site owners. Especially standards compliance unfortunately is something that may introduce the need to act for many site owners. What that means is that IE8 by default renders in the most standards compliant mode it supports however this may break the experience of existing sites if the site owner doesn't take actions since the markup and style information sent to browsers identified as Internet Explorer is not standards compliant or is optimized for older browsers. Luckily there is remedy for this issues and some of them are quite simple and can be implemented with a minimum of effort. Since those possibilities are already comprehensively documented on Microsoft websites I don't want to dig into the details of every aspect about how to attain site compatibility. But since I found that the resources are scattered across many different pages I want to summarize the possibilities and list them in a short, clear and easy to follow way in this blog post. There are two categories of changes that you can bring in in order to have your site rendered correctly. One is to tell Internet Explorer 8 to use a backwards compatibility mode to render the page or to alter the page markup and styles to reflect the latest W3C standards supported by IE8. So what is necessary to do so? Here are the compressed instructions.
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<add name="X-UA-Compatible" value="IE=EmulateIE7" />
If the you configure your webserver to set such a header and a page also includes a meta-tag already like described in 1.2.1 the tag in the markup takes precedence over the header set by the server.
But remember that Internet Explorer still is the released IE version with a significant market share and it will probably be around for another couple of years. So it would be not wise to follow a IE8 strategy only but keep a IE7 version as well. How strategies for versioning in conjunction with browser detection and conditional comments can be set up is briefly outlined in this whitepaper.
Of folks, I hope that this condensed reference is of some help to you and finally I will leave you with the call to action