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In every release of the browser, we make many major feature investments, most of which you can read about in posts over on the IEBlog. However, we also make thousands of small improvements that are often overlooked or not broadly recognized. In this post, I will provide a partial list of some of these small improvements which I think are most interesting. Improvements in IE9 that impact issues or features previously discussed on this blog can be found by searching for the tag BetterInIE9.
Of course, because there are thousands of changes that I will not be covering, please do not mistake this for a comprehensive list, and please note that I'm deliberately skipping over the big feature improvements that will be discussed on the IEBlog over the next few months.
ActiveX Phoenix Bits As explained over on the Security Research and Defense blog, a Phoenix Bit allows an ActiveX control developer to release a new version of a control which was previously killbitted to block exploit of a security vulnerability. The Phoenix Bit is a simple mechanism in which the developer specifies (via the registry) an AlternateCLSID for IE to load when web content is found with a reference to the original, killbitted CLSID.
var obj = new ActiveXObject("clsid");
var obj = new ActiveXObject("clsid");
Internet Explorer User Interface
You can read about other IE9 changes over in the IE9 Cookbook on MSDN.
That's it for now… I hope you enjoy the IE9 Beta, available for download here.
Update 2/11/2011: I've just posted the IE9 RC Minor Changes list.
@Keith: Please provide a repro URL for the PDF issue. As for the Table:Display, have you tried this in IE9? (I assume you're talking about using CSS to style XHTML?)
DEFER was never properly defined in the first place, this is one of those places where HTML 4.01 failed.
> WinINET/IE will now reject HTTP responses if the response body contains fewer bytes than the Content-Length response header promised.
Aren't there some broken servers who sent a wrong Content-Length when compression is used?
> In IE9, Trident now contains image encoder
Hopefully a good one, not like the one in Paint.
> PNG format is also available for SVG images.
Huh? But the source for the SVG images won't be discarded, so why save it as a PNG.
> Unlike in Firefox 4, if the Content-Type header is omitted, the stylesheet still will not be applied.
Very good! I guess Mozilla will have an reason to follow then ("parity-IE" is the keyword), it will also make life easier for those using security add-ons like NoScript.
> Prior to IE9, the browser's menus used Title Cased text, now they use Sentence cased text
I would have preferred Noun-Casing, but that's just my personal Opinion.
<<Aren't there some broken servers who sent a wrong Content-Length when compression is used?>>
We've thus far only found one broken server in the wild, and it wasn't compression related.
<<the source for the SVG images won't be discarded, so why save it as a PNG.>>
Sometimes, a bitmap format is preferable to a Vector format, particularly when you consider the ratio of applications which support only bitmapped formats.
Any plan to widen then address bar? I find it claustrophobic. I would stick with Chrome if it stays as is in the release version.
Peter: I don't understand the question. You can click and drag the divider between the address bar and tabs to whatever width you'd like.
Just something I noticed in the IE9 RC, the "Are you sure you want to leave this page?" dialog says to Click "Cancel". Ther is no Cancel. The buttons say "Leave this page" and "Stay on this page"
@Wendell: You'll notice that the text that tells you to "click cancel" is in the block labelled "Message from webpage." That text is provided by the webpage, which is why it says that.
This post has a screenshot of the dialog in question: blogs.msdn.com/.../ie9-beta-minor-change-list.aspx