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Old 17th December 2008, 02:09 AM
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Microsoft ready to debut RC for IE 8

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application...-Your-Engines/

Microsoft said a release candidate (RC) version of its Internet Explorer 8- IE8 browser is imminent and developers ought to get ready for it. Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer at Microsoft, said Microsoft will soon release an RC version of the IE8 browser with enhanced standards support, better tooling and other new features added since the beta 2 release of the technology.


Microsoft said a release candidate version of its Internet Explorer 8- IE8 browser is imminent and developers ought to get ready for it.

In an interview with eWEEK, Dean Hachamovitch, general manger of Internet Explorer, said, "If I had a bumper sticker in mind for this it would say: 'Developers start your engines.'"

Hachmovitch said that Microsoft has been doing a lot of work since IE8 beta 2. "To me a beta is all about listening and we've done that and focused a lot of work on putting the things we learned from developers into RC1 [release candidate 1] and that's just around the corner," he said. "It's all about developers. There's a sense of urgency about getting ready for the next release. It's about helping developers understand how to sign off on their sites -- so they'll be ready when IE8 RC comes out."

Yet, even as the release candidate of IE8 comes out, Microsoft will still be testing the technology and listening to further feedback from developers to figure out what else needs to be done to the browser before it is made generally available as a finished product, Hachamovitch said.

Moreover, Hachamovitch said one of the unsung elements of IE8 is the set of built-in developer tools for the platform.

"IE has got these super powerful built-in developer tools; they come with the browser, they're there," he said. "The developer tools in IE8 were built for rapid iteration -- in the old days that was called trial and error. So it's easy to identify what's in-memory."

In a blog post from March, a Microsoft blogger identified as "Shaan" wrote: "The Internet Explorer 8 Developer Tools also provide the ability to experiment and iterate rapidly by letting you edit a site within IE. For example, once you've found a style rule or property you're interested in, click a checkbox to enable or disable it, or click an attributes in the DOM [Document Object Model] tree to edit it in-place."

Hachamovitch said the IE developer tools also include a script profiler to make it easier for developers to identify and fix performance issues.

"In some ways tools are the best things developers have in the face of browsers that behave differently." Hachamovitch said.

Moreover, "Microsoft contributed 2,500 tests to the W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] so that people can ensure that CSS 2.1 [Cascading Style Sheets] work right, and with RC1 we're going to contribute 1,000 more. It's like playing scales -- if you can't play the scales, you can't play the music right," Hachamovitch said. He said these tests are important "because browsers can behave so differently; so these CSS tests are crucial."

The IE8 tools also provide a visual interface to the platform. As Microsoft blogger "Shaan" wrote:

"In addition to simplifying the debugging process, IE8 Developer Tools offer a new perspective on your site. Instead of just a source view, the tool provides visibility into Internet Explorer's internal representation of the site. For example, the DOM tree in the tool is built from the tree IE builds internally to display the page, not from your source. So if script changes the tree, IE8 shows you the updated tree."

Ben Galbraith, one of the co-directors of the recently formed Mozilla Developer Tools Lab, said IE8 has implemented an integrated set of developer tools inside of IE8 that strongly resemble both the interface and capabilities of Firefox's wildly popular "Firebug" plug-in. He said he and the co-director of the Mozilla tools lab, Dion Almaer, "couldn't be more happy to see this happen. I haven't taken a close enough look at it to compare it to Firebug in any detailed way, but it seems very handy indeed."

Moreover, Galbraith added:

"Interestingly, IE8 includes a new layout engine (whereas IE7 just introduced enhancements to the existing engine). Time will tell how well this works with standards-based content and whether it's a boon or a bane. At first glance, it certainly makes life more complicated. At PDC [the Microsoft professional Developers Conference], one of the engineers in the IE8 technical session teased the audience with a mention that a future version of Office and the IE8 layout engine will share common code -- which would have interesting implications for a non-Silverlight Web version of Office."

In addition, Galbraith said he believes the "big disappointment" with IE8 is JavaScript speed. "Firefox, Safari, and Chrome all sport much faster JavaScript interpreters in their most recent releases -- or preview releases," he said. IE8 will have only minor speed increases. The word on the street is that IE9 will include some kind of faster interpreter, but that's a long time to wait. For those anxious to grab share from IE, this may indeed be the largest opportunity--depending on how successfully mainstream websites will exploit the new capabilities of the faster browsers."
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Old 17th December 2008, 05:37 AM
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Re: Microsoft ready to debut RC for IE 8

But currently flawed with the same fatal bug as all other version of IE for the time being.

Don't touch it with a barge pole!
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Old 17th December 2008, 05:42 AM
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Re: Microsoft ready to debut RC for IE 8

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