Internet Explorer Team Blog

August, 2010

  • IEBlog

    HTML5, Modernized: Fourth IE9 Platform Preview Available for Developers

    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. With IE9, we have worked much more closely with the developer community. Developers have had an earlier (and more frequently updated...
  • IEBlog

    More on SVG

    The first IE9 Platform Preview unveiled IE9’s initial support of SVG . As explained previously, SVG is a vector image format managed by the W3C. The release of the third and fourth Platform Previews come with feature-complete SVG. Major additions include support for SVG gradients, patterns, clipping, and masking. These features are often used to create images with depth and texture and are typically found in more complex SVG files. Just like the rest of SVG in IE9, the newly added features...
  • IEBlog

    Making Sites Look Their Best in Standards Mode

    IE has traditionally drawn a 2-pixel border around the content area of a site. This border, drawn as part of the page rather than IE’s frame, affects calculations of distance from the top and left of the page. It also creates a not-so-modern beveled look. In the fourth Platform Preview, you’ll notice pages running in IE9’s Standards Mode no longer have the border. Here’s a before and after: Before After Pages that run in legacy document modes will still have a...
  • IEBlog

    IE9, Opacity, and Alpha


    IE9 introduces support for the CSS3 Color Module, including its popular opacity property. As we have done with other standards-based features, opacity is implemented so that the same markup used in other browsers just works in IE9’s ­standard mode.

    Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions implemented an alternative mechanism to apply opacity using the alpha filter of the IE-specific filter property. This creates a compatibility challenge because IE9’s standard mode supports only opacity and not the alpha filter. (IE9’s compatibility modes Quirks, 7, and 8 still support the alpha filter but do not implement opacity.)

    For sites that use best practice feature detection, this is not a problem. They will detect that opacity is supported in IE9 and use it instead of filter. The problem is with sites that use browser detection and mistakenly assume that IE always uses filter alpha instead of opacity and then change only the filter property in script. The opacity effect will appear broken in those Web pages when run in IE9’s default 9 document mode. The fix is to detect the standards-based opacity feature first and browser-specific filter feature second as we’ve described in previous posts.

  • IEBlog

    Add-on Performance Part 1: Measuring Add-on Performance

    In previous posts, we’ve written about the ways we’re making IE9 much faster, like the new script engine that uses multiple cores, and the new rendering subsystem that uses the dedicated graphics chip found on modern PCs. Another aspect of browser performance involves the external code that IE runs on behalf of users, or add-ons. Add-ons introduce unique features that can enhance the browsing experience. However, they also decrease the browser’s performance in crucial activities...
  • IEBlog

    Chakra: Interoperability Means More Than Just Standards


    How do we decide whether to implement a feature that isn’t included in a standards specification? Like all browser providers, we often have to make this decision. In this post, I’ll use some real-world JavaScript examples to illustrate some of the principles we use to deliver an interoperable browser when the standards specification isn’t enough.

    In an ideal world, a standards specification is the complete story. A JavaScript implementation would just include everything in the ECMAScript specification and nothing more. We believe that specifications published by standards organizations such as Ecma International or the W3C are essential for interoperability among web browsers. Ideally, such specifications tell the browser implementers what features they need to provide and tell web developers what features they should be able to use.

    In the real world of the web, things are not so clear-cut. Specifications are seldom perfect and sometimes they are intentionally incomplete or ambiguous. Having served as editor for the ES5 specification, I know that there are always issues that don’t get fully resolved. The result is that there are widely implemented and used features that are not defined by any standard specification. If you are trying to build a browser that runs the existing web you have to implement many features that are not defined by a standards specification.

    What’s the Real Regular Expression Grammar?

    We built Chakra by carefully following the ECMAScript 5 (ES5) specification including the grammar for regular expressions. But when we started testing on actual web sites we started seeing pages not work because of syntax errors on some regular expression literals. For example, we failed on regular expressions containing a right square bracket such as:

    next = /]/.exec(buffer);
  • IEBlog

    Add-ons, and Opting out of Google Analytics Without Them

    Recently, Google made available the “ Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on .” This add-on enables consumers to “indicate that information about the website visit should not be sent to Google Analytics.” We agree that making it easy for consumers to protect their privacy is good, and Internet Explorer offers a variety of features to help keep you in control of your information when visiting websites. In this post, we describe how to use some of these built in features to...
  • IEBlog

    Online privacy, Tracking, and IE8’s InPrivate Filtering

    Online privacy and tracking have been in several news articles and public hearings lately. The recent attention has been on how visiting one site shares information with many sites, and how those sites can then share the information and effectively ‘track’ your activity on the web. The articles certainly show the complexity of the topic. This blog post offers some context on online safety and privacy and specific information about InPrivate Filtering, a feature in IE8 designed to help...
  • IEBlog

    Microsoft to Co-Chair New W3C Web Performance Working Group

    Earlier this morning the W3C announced the formation of a new Web Performance Working Group chartered with making it easier to accurately measure web application performance. Enabling web developers to understand the real world performance characteristics of their applications is critical to the success of HTML5, and we’re excited to have been selected as co-chairs of the new working group alongside Google. We look forward to partnering with the W3C and the broader web community to enable these...
  • IEBlog

    IE August Cumulative Security Update Now Available

    The IE Cumulative Security Update for August 2010 is now available via Windows Update . This security update resolves six privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights. This security update is rated Critical...
  • IEBlog

    Add-on Performance part 2: Helping consumers make informed decisions

    The platform previews show the focus in IE9 on performance, interoperable HTML5 through same markup, and hardware acceleration. We’ve also posted here about the work we’ve done with add-on developers , and we shared some data about add-on performance and how we measure it. In this post, we cover more of our thinking about measuring add-on performance and how to help consumers to stay in control of their browsing experience. Add-on Performance and Site Performance We’ve...
  • IEBlog

    Add-on Guidelines and Requirements in Action – Upgrade Advisor

    We’ve blogged in the past about guidelines and requirements that we’ve published to help add-on developers create quality add-ons.  We wrote these guidelines based on years of providing support to users and developers in response to questions from the developer community. We’ve shared several great examples of these guidelines and requirements in action in the past few months. As part of IE’s cumulative security updates, we’ve released an update to the Internet Explorer Upgrade Advisor list...
  • IEBlog

    Getting Ready for SVG Open

    I recently demonstrated Test Driving Modern SVG using the SVG Dice sample currently on the Internet Explorer 9 Test Drive site . While building this sample, I learned that both performance and interoperability for SVG are a subtle continuum and are not binary. This point resonated with me so much that I modified my presentation for this week’s SVG Open Conference entitled “ The Future of SVG and HTML5 ” to include methods by which the SVG developer community can rally around to...
  • IEBlog

    Performance: Profiling how different web sites use browser subsystems

    When we first showed IE9 at the Professional Developers Conference last fall , we discussed how real world browser performance involves many different subsystems. Different websites use these subsystems in different ways, and to build a fast real world browser you have to start by understanding these overall patterns. This post provides an inside look at how these subsystems impact the performance of five real world websites. We use Internet Explorer 8 for this analysis, and as IE9 approaches we...
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