Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Comments for Big Questions On IE8's Big Progress

I agree, I'd like to see a little more detail on how this is actually going to work too. I'll be starting to use the new tag immediately - I don't see any reason not to.

I hope that in addition to the meta tag they require a valid page before triggering IE8 mode. More on my thoughts on why that'd be good for everyone on my blog post, as I don't think you'd appreciate such a large tangent of a comment:

I don't think its sane. We would have IE7 bugs gone after IE7 is gone. Now we're stuck with them forever (because you can't seriously count on everyone knowing about this tag, caring to insert it or using tools/CMS that adds it).
by kL at
Personally I'm very split about this. I'm very concerned that with IE9 they would realize that people that use IE=edge will scream and shout that the pages that they have written working around and making use of IE8 bugs will no longer work as they expected and Microsoft would then add a IE=edge-this-time-I-mean it... where will this mess end?

Matt: Re validation... see below... :-)

@ Erik

Indeed I saw below. It makes a nice point about whether standards matter right now or not (did make me grin). But it's not pro-active in getting the web sorted out, and as the entire debate is about making things better for the future...

Hi, I totally agree with your post, MS needs to clarify. I think, that the HTTP-Header will overrule the Meta-Statement, as well as X-Robot Tags overrule other Metas. So your first question can be answered with "HTTP-Header overrules Meta" - quite sure about that
Ugg. I moderated a comment wrong.

Alex Mogilevsky wrote:

Great questions, and I really hope more people and products get serious about adding information to web content that tells the browser what is the proper way to render it. Now IE8 vs. FF3 may look like an enormous difference, but think of what software will have to do 10 year, or why not 100 years from now… Considering the range of content sources that will exist then, just being pointed at a date range of a couple of years is a blessing!

In fact, the more we know about a page the better. The whole idea of a version tag comes not from a page being “tied to” a browser but rather being “tested with”. It is fine to specify any number of platforms and versions, the browser should choose the best it can render.

That of course means meta doesn’t “overrule” http header. Both apply.

Will it be a standard? I think it should. If it does become a standard it may very well look different from “X-UA-Compatible” – we arrived to that one having constraints of maintaining valid HTML under current standards and being friendly to legacy tools… But of course for being a standard it needs a broad acceptance from multiple companies. Let’s see how fast it gets there...