Internet Explorer Team Blog

September, 2010

  • IEBlog

    Add-ons: Detecting and Displaying Add-on Version Numbers

    In the past months we worked with add-on developers to release new versions of their add-ons that follow IE’s guidelines and requirements for add-on development. We used the Upgrade Advisor to help update their users to the new versions. Some add-on vendors asked how IE determines and displays an add-on’s version. This post answers this question so that all add-on developers can design their versioning schemes to be compatible with IE features such as Manage Add-ons and the Upgrade Advisor. There...
  • IEBlog

    IE9’s faster, more capable Compatibility View List

    We have talked about our goal with IE9 to run the same standards-based markup as other browsers by default. It is also our goal for IE9 to successfully run the Web that you browse today. For sites that are designed to run in older versions of IE, IE9 includes support for compatible document modes and a Compatibility View (CV) List that’s similar to what shipped with IE8. The CV List and compatible document modes are good for site developers because they enable developers to transition between...
  • IEBlog

    How We Evaluate the Experiences We Engineer

    How do you know when an experience is ready for consumers? This is something we ask ourselves all the time. In this post, we’ll cover how we set our experience goals for IE9 and how we measured (and continue to measure) our progress toward these goals throughout the development cycle. We set experience goals for all of the products we ship. These goals are at the product and “experience” (i.e., a meaningful unit of experience for people, not at the feature level) levels of analysis...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Quieter Notifications

    Today, there are various ways in which the browser communicates with you to help provide a safe and reliable browsing experience. IE9 emphasizes site content , to keep your focus on the site, with a quiet and consistent way for the browser to communicate with you. This builds on the work done in Windows 7 to reduce notifications (see Chaitanya’s blog post that talks about the Windows notification area as “The whisperer”). We designed a new notification bar that delivers messages...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Sites in the Spotlight

    The web is changing rapidly. More than ever before, web sites provide highly engaging, immersive experiences that people revisit frequently (e.g., web email throughout the day) or stay on for extended periods of time (e.g., Facebook all day). From captivating media to highly interactive web games, from social networking sites to online productivity tools, sites enable people to do things that were previously not possible on the web. In turn, people spend the majority of their time (57%) on the PC...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Accessibility in IE9 Beta


    Internet Explorer is a universal product used by people young and old, new and experienced, speaking many different languages.  A lot of people take advantage of IE’s built in accessibility features (like page zoom, caret browsing, find in page, etc) and additional assistive technology such as screen readers to use the web.  Accessibility is beneficial to everyone no matter what their abilities.   

    As with every Internet Explorer release, we are committed to delivering a browser that’s accessible for all users.  Part of achieving that goal is making sure assistive technology works well with IE.  IE9 fundamentally changes how users interact with the browser and how the browser takes advantage of the entire PC.  Those changes also impact how assistive technology interacts with IE, which necessitates updates from some assistive technology.  For example, the new notification model is not read by many screen readers, and screen readers can no longer depend on the GDI display subsystem since IE9 uses Windows Direct2D and DirectWrite as part of enabling hardware-accelerated HTML5. 

  • IEBlog

    Add-ons: Staying in control of your browsing experience

    In recent posts we discussed the various ways that add-ons can impact browsing performance . We shared some data about add-on performance , described how we measure performance and included guidance to help add-on developers do the same. These efforts help us drive improvements to the quality of the add-on ecosystem. It’s equally important for consumers to be able to stay in control of their browsing experience with add-ons. We recently shared our point of view on the benefits of having...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Customizing Pinned Sites

    With this week’s beta release , IE9 brings the most familiar experiences of Windows and makes them available for websites and the people who browse them. Users can pin sites in the taskbar just as they pin applications, and launch web tasks directly, the same way they launch everything else in Windows. Websites can program jump lists for pinned sites, to make common tasks easier for their users as part of the desktop experience. Sites can also program notifications when the user pins them in the...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Evolving the blue “e”

    “IE9 started from the premise that the modern web will deliver HTML5 experiences that feel more like native applications than sites. Building on hardware-accelerated SVG, canvas, video, audio, and text, developers will use the power of the whole PC to achieve great performance. On the modern web, developers will use the same markup across different HTML5 browsers.” – Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Windows Internet Explorer Why start a post on designing the new Windows...
  • IEBlog

    User Experiences: Site-Centric Browsing on Windows

    Dean shared earlier today that the IE9 beta is available for download at ! Through continuous releases of the IE9 platform preview we’ve shown how the platform uses the whole power of the PC to deliver HTML5 experiences that feel like Windows applications. Sites can create amazing experiences through hardware-accelerated SVG , canvas , video and audio that use the same markup across HTML5 browsers. We anticipate a new class of sites for this era of modern browsers. Our...
  • IEBlog

    Putting sites at the center of the browsing experience, using the whole PC: IE9 Beta Available for Download

    Our approach to building a faster web browsing platform, as seen in the Platform Previews, involves using everything the PC and its hardware have to offer. Before IE9, browsers used perhaps 10% of the PC’s capability. IE9 has shown the clear performance benefits with full hardware-acceleration of webpages. Our approach in designing a site-centric web browsing experience also involves using everything available around the browser. We see all the pixels and code that people need for a significantly...
  • IEBlog

    IE9 Beta Webcast: Tune in

    Since March, many of you have downloaded the IE9 platform preview builds and visited the Test Drive site. Your thoughtful feedback in the comments here and in the bugs you’ve logged in Connect is helping to make a better IE9. On Wednesday, 10:30am PST, you can tune in to a web cast to learn more about what’s next with IE9 Beta live from San Francisco . - The IE Team
  • IEBlog

    Performance: What Common Benchmarks Measure

    Many enthusiasts want a fast browser, and they want to consistently and easily measure the performance of different browsers. There are lots of “benchmarks” in the history of software, and lots of benchmarks around browsers. The challenge with benchmarks is generally understanding what the benchmark measures and deciding whether those measurements are important to customers, developers, and you. This blog post takes a closer look at some of today’s most common benchmarks. We’ll provide context on...
  • IEBlog

    Web Standards: from Working Draft to Recommendation


    Complete Web Standards with multiple browser implementations and comprehensive test suites are the backbone of the interoperable Web. Getting web standards through the complete standardisation process and turned into official W3C Recommendations takes a lot of effort. While it is tempting to view the latest editor’s draft of a specification as a “standard”, a large part of the complexity that ensures good interoperability happens in the “last mile”. In the last couple of weeks, several key web specifications have reached important milestones and these examples illustrate how the process works.

    Last Call is the signal that the working group believes the spec is functionally complete and is ready for broad review from both other working groups and the public at large. The working group must respond to all the comments received during Last Call and this often results in changes to the specification. A further Last Call could be necessary if the changes are substantial.

  • IEBlog

    Interoperable HTML Parsing in IE9


    The HTML parser is an important part of how we deliver on same markup because it plays a vital role in how the DOM is constructed.  Therefore, it also plays a big role in how any DOM API or CSS rule is applied.  While we’ve talked a lot about some of the high-profile API improvements in IE9 – getElementsByClassName, addEventListener, and so on – one important improvement we haven’t talked about is the HTML parser.

    This is clearly important for developers, so we made interoperability improvements to our HTML parser in IE9 Standards Mode.  This blog post provides practical guidance on how these improvements affect your site and how to avoid pitfalls in areas where all browsers still don’t behave the same way.

  • IEBlog

    Add-ons, Measuring Performance

    After our recent posts on add-ons performance and installation experiences , we’ve seen some questions from developers. This post answers a few of the more common questions, and offers suggestions about what developers can do to improve the add-on experience. In this post , we described what IE measures (e.g. the impact of each add-on on page navigation) and when IE measures it. One question is how frequently does IE measure, and how does IE calculate the average. There are many alternatives to choose...
  • IEBlog

    The Architecture of Full Hardware Acceleration of All Web Page Content

    We’re excited that other browsers have started to use hardware to accelerate graphics performance. With different implementations starting to become available, now’s a good time to blog about the difference between full and partial hardware acceleration. In November 2009, developers had their first look at hardware accelerated graphics in a browser at the PDC. In March 2010, we released the first IE9 Platform Preview with “GPU-powered HTML5” turned on by default. In that release, hardware acceleration...
  • IEBlog

    Debugging Common Canvas Issues

    As we’ve previously discussed , IE9 includes support for HTML5 canvas. You can test it out right now by downloading the latest platform preview . In our testing of sites that use the latest web standards, we are pleased to see that many canvas sites just work in IE9. For those of you using <canvas> on your site, we have two tips to make sure it works properly across browsers and in IE9: use feature detection instead of browser detection, and use <!DOCTYPE html>. Be sure to use feature...
  • IEBlog

    Transitioning Existing Code to the ES5 Getter/Setter APIs

    In my recent blog post, Chakra: Interoperability Means More Than Just Standards , I explained why IE9 only supports the ECMAScript 5 API for defining getter/setter methods. I also mentioned that it is fairly trivial to define a simple compatibility library to help transition existing code to this new API. This is part of what it means to support the same markup using feature detection , not browser detection , so you get the same results in different browsers. In this post I‘ll show you the...
  • IEBlog

    Same Markup: Using <canvas>, <audio>, and <video>

    On this blog we’ve repeatedly discussed enabling the "Same Markup" for Internet Explorer 9. Part of making "Same Markup" a reality involves supporting the right features in IE9 to make the same HTML, JavaScript, and CSS "just work" the same way they do in other browsers. Part of how IE9 contributes to enabling the "Same Markup" is through support for the <canvas>, <audio>, and <video> elements from HTML5. These were introduced in the third...
  • IEBlog

    Add-ons, Installation Experiences, and User Consent

    As discussed in previous blog posts, add-ons can have a material impact on browser performance . IE measures the performance of add-ons so that users can make informed decisions about them. It is important to understand how add-ons arrive on a user’s system to begin with because browser performance is so important to site developers and to consumers. The notification and control that users have around the add-on installation process is equally important because add-ons can also have an impact...
  • IEBlog

    Exploring IE9's Enhanced DOM Capabilities

    For IE9 Platform Preview 4, we significantly re-architected how the Chakra JavaScript engine integrates into IE. This re-architecture, described in Dean’s post , subtly changes the programming model of the DOM for IE9 standards mode, making it consistent with new ECMAScript 5 capabilities, more interoperable with other browsers and aligned with emerging standards ( WebIDL ). In this post I want to dive into the details of some of these programming model changes. You can take advantage of...
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