Microsoft Feels Your Pain

Well, at least we know we’re not alone. Extracted from CSS files living on microsoft.com web servers:

/* fix for the IE 1px-off margin error */
* html .StupidIEMarginHack 
{
  margin-right: 1px; 
}

* html .StupidIEWidthHack
{
  width: 100%;
}

But as we heard from several sources at SXSW, IE7 (due out soon) will improve CSS compatibility by leaps and bounds. Question then is, what happens to all of the legions of IE-specific CSS hacks in place out there? Will the fix break existing sites badly, or will MS provide some kind of mechanism to detect and ignore the mine-field of a million workarounds?

Thanks mneptok

Music: Billy Bragg & Wilco :: The Unwelcome Guest

6 Replies to “Microsoft Feels Your Pain”

  1. IE7 does provide significant improvements in CSS support, but nothing seems to have been done about the event model and related javascript/DOM deficiencies needed by modern HTML applications. SVG or Canvas support MIA (although it has been hacked on top of VML). Data URIs also seem to be MIA.

    Sigh. Still 4-5 years behind Mozilla, KHTML and Opera. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  2. At SXSW, a member of the IE team acknowledged that they still had a long way to go in DOM support, and that they had weighed their options for this development cycle and decided that CSS compliance was more badly needed / more urgent, so they would focus on that first. I’m glad they did – first things first.

    Still, you have to wonder how it is that a company of that size, controlling the dominant browser on the internet, can’t muster the resources to do both. How is it possible that they can’t keep up with standards and technologies that the open source world seems to have no trouble staying on top of? And the OSS world doesn’t even have the advantage of having all their programmers under one roof, behind a single unified vision. Weird.

  3. Agreed that tackling the CSS problems first made the most sense.

    Why can’t they do both? I’m only guessing, but take your pick from these possibilities:

    1. Management is either incompetent or still fighting the XAML + Office lobby inside the company.

    2. They don’t know how serious the DOM problem is. The unbelievable contempt for HTML exhibited by ASP.NET is evidence for this.

    3. They don’t know that the battle between HTML apps and XAML apps has already been lost by the latter.

    4. The IE team is actually getting assistance from the Shorthorn team.

    5. All of the above.

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