Since there is beginning to be a fair amount of buzz surrounding some of the upcoming browser releases, I thought I would take a moment to share some of the recent news that has begun spilling out on the Internet Explorer front since PDC.
IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch reports Microsoft is “…focusing on three very specific areas: performance, interoperability standards, and hardware acceleration.”
What does this mean?
Regarding interoperability, there will reportedly be increased support for CSS3 selectors (yay!) as well as pledged support for the evolving technologies outlined in the HTML5 preliminary spec (audio/video/canvas support?).
More detailed information can be found at the following links:
Update: And now a word straight from the horse’s mouth – IE Blog: An Early Look At IE9 for Developers
This post grows out of a brief email conversation between Andy and myself regarding the CMS service models on campus. During our conversation, Andy asked me to share some of our experiences in Arts & Sciences as they relate to CMS selection support, policies and so on – so I am delighted to extend our dialog online to share with the WebTide community.
When it comes to web application support (CMS, etc.), we are currently developing policies in Arts and Sciences for a 3 tier support system:
Primary Supported (WordPress, phpbb, 1 or 2 other high-level web applications)
- Installation support
- Maintenance support
- Automated security updates
- Office training
- Documentation, etc.
- *Only tier available to Content Managers
Secondary Support (around 20-30 commonly used web applications that can be distributed via the automated account mechanisms in most current-generation web management environments such as Plesk and Cpanel)
- Installation support
- Automated security updates
- Users are responsible for internal maintenance
- Users may have custom, 3rd party applications not covered by Primary and Secondary tiers, but are bound by the College’s web services policies to keep them up to date with security releases, etc.
- Yearly security audits are performed.
Our goal was to create a system of policies that reflected the heterogeneous nature of needs and realities within the College while providing a uniform mechanism for support that doesn’t raise the need for lone-wolf scenarios (that are almost impossible to support en masse). I would imagine any significant campus-wide discussion would have similar hurdles to negotiate.
It is also worth noting that the heart of what makes this service model work is the availability of instantly-installable applications via a server-based framework such as Cpanel or Plesk. All that is necessary, however, is to have an automated mechanism to generate accounts, applications, maintain them, and keep all resources up to date. Otherwise scalability becomes an issue very quickly.
*We distinguish between ‘Webmasters’ and ‘Content Managers’ – many departments (most?) may never have experienced personnel capable of being webmasters. Departments who only have content managers are automatically ‘primary supported’ – only in instances where we have identified qualified webmasters do we enter into the options of the secondary and tertiary support levels.
For any of those who may have missed it from the more traditional channels, IE 8 Beta2 was released for public consumption this week. With many new features, it looks to be a sizable release. More info is available through the following resources:
IE 8 Public Beta Page: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/
IE 8 Features Overview: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/features/
IE Blog (more information than you can shake a keyboard at): http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/
Several bits of news today on the web-standards front. Firstly, the IE team has released some commentary regarding the status of their IE8 compatibility with Acid2:
Although we said that IE8 Beta 1 passes the ACID2 test, some of you may be seeing results like the image above; we thought we should explain what’s going on. IE8 passes the official ACID2 test hosted on http://www.webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html. (Note, this seems to be a popular destination at the moment. You may have trouble reaching the site.) There are also a number of copies of this test around the net. One popular copy that I’ve seen of late is http://acid2.acidtests.org/ IE8 fails the copies of ACID2 due to the cross domain security checks IE performs for ActiveX controls. Since IE does not natively handle HTML content in the OBJECT tag, but rather uses IE’s rendering engine as an ActiveX to display this HTML content, the same cross domain security checks also apply…
In other news, the Web Standards Project has just released Acid3:
The Web Standards Project (WaSP) today announced the release of Acid3, the latest in a line of tests designed to expose flaws in the implementation of mature Web standards in Web browsers. By making sure their software adheres to the test, the creators of these products can be more confident that their software will display and function with Web pages correctly both now and with Web pages of the future…
Read entire press release from WaSP.
And now for Acid3’s effects on the peanut gallery, as produced by DrunkenFist.com
And now the Fail parade:
Camino 1.51 Mac OS 10.5
Firefox 2 Mac OS 10.5
Firefox 3 Mac OS 10.5
Internet Explorer 6 Windows XP
Internet Explorer 7 Windows Vista
Internet Explorer 7 Windows XP
Firefox 2 Windows XP
Firefox 3 Windows XP
Safari 3 Mac OS 10.5
Opera 9.24 Windows Vista
Edit: Since it’s not included in the screenshots above I tested the WinXP IE8 beta, and it appears it gets a score of (16/100).
Edit2: Charlie Reinehr points out that the new development build of Opera (build 9770) scores an admirable (64/100). Thanks to Charlie for pointing this out, and nice job Opera team!
As an additional aside, WebKit (the engine behind Safari) has a development build that is reported to score (90/100).
CNet reports today that Microsoft will soon be making a beta of IE8 available. From CNet:
Microsoft will shortly make available the test version of Internet Explorer 8, which is set for final release in the first half of this year.
The Web site ActiveWin on Monday published the contents of a beta invitation, which said Microsoft is nearing a launch date for Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1, which will be available for download and testing.
View Entire CNet Article…