With each successive day as a Product Manager for IE, I know I've done the right thing.  I know IE has done the right thing.  Or at least, we're working on the right thing. 

Monday I got to attend An Event Apart here in Seattle.  And I have to say, it was fantastic!  If you're a web designer, and it's coming to a city near you, then go.  For about $450, you get to spend a day learning from some fantastic experts.  I got to meet with Eric Meyer, the CSS Guru himself.  Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, Kelly Goto and plenty of web designers!

The day started off with Eric doing a hard core CSS session, some of which I had seen before by reading his book, but some of it was new to me, or I hadn't really digested it yet.  As Eric was showing off some CSS hacks that would help get things to display correctly in IE6, Eric joked "yah, that'll get fixed when the IE team finishes fluffing their dog."  It was said in a completely joking way, and the entire audience erupted in laughter.  Heck, I even giggled a bit.  Eric hasn't played with IE7 yet, and mentioned that, and that he couldn't comment on how things would render in IE7, but could suggest how to make things work properly in IE6. 

I think my favorite part of Eric's demos during the morning was the fact that he managed to create a bar graph using tables and CSS.  I would have never thought of doing it that way, and it looked REALLY cool to see a bar graph, completely done in HTML and CSS! 

Markus, one of the IE PM's was able to get up on stage after lunch and announce to the audience that all the things Eric had called out in the morning will be fixed with IE7.  The audience actually responded really warm, and he got a nice round of applause.  I haven't had a chance to play with many of them yet, but this weekend is going to be a little fun with doing some fun CSS investigations! 

This really was the first time I've been able to get out and meet web designers and web gurus in my new role.  It was interesting to hear how people are doing CSS, HTML and JavaScript using notepad like editors, or how you're using the resources that you have to make some fantastic websites.  I gave out plenty of business cards, and tried to make it clear to people: we're listening.  Sure, there is still a way to go, IE7 hasn't shipped yet, but RC1 is very close to what you'll see when IE7 does ship, and we are committed to shipping Internet Explorer in the future.  We're not going to divert our attention to some shiny ball once IE7 is out the door.