More Improvements to Internet Explorer 8

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-03-19 Print this article Print


In addition, Internet Explorer 8 improves performance in many Internet Explorer subsystems, such as the HTML parser, CSS rule processing, markup tree manipulation, the JScript parser, garbage collector run-time and memory management to help Web developers build compelling sites more easily, Microsoft said. Additional developer investments include these:

CSS 2.1. Web developers and designers can write their pages once and have them more easily render properly across different browsers because Internet Explorer 8 fully supports the CSS 2.1 specification.

DOM (Document Object Model) and HTML 4.01 improvements. Internet Explorer 8 fixes many cross-browser inconsistencies; for example, get/set/remove Attribute implementation is now interoperable with other browsers, and developers will experience significant performance gains in AJAX design patterns.

Emerging standards. Internet Explorer 8 incorporates advancements for what will become the standards of tomorrow, such as W3C's HTML 5 Draft DOM Storage standard, the Web Applications Working Group's Selectors API and ECMAScript 3.1 endorsed syntax.

New navigation features for AJAX applications. Developers can now update the browser back and forward navigation stack and address bar from their AJAX application so those browser features work correctly in an AJAX application.

Acid2. Internet Explorer 8 renders the Acid2 browser test correctly.

Compatibility. Internet Explorer 8 ships with a more standards-compatible layout engine that allows developers to build a single standards-based site for multiple browsers. To provide developers with the choice for when they migrate their sites to the new standards-compliant layout engine, Internet Explorer 8 enables Web developers to ask for the Windows Internet Explorer 7 layout engine by inserting a simple meta tag into their code or by adding a single HTTP header on their servers.

Developer tools. Developer tools enable developers to quickly debug HTML, CSS and JScript in a visual environment. These tools have been built directly into Internet Explorer 8 with expanded functionality, including a helpful menu option for choosing which application to use when viewing a Web page's source. Developers can quickly identify and resolve issues because of the deep insight the tool provides into the DOM.

Several security and privacy investments found in Internet Explorer 8 include:

InPrivate. InPrivate helps to protect people's data and privacy from being retained locally on the PC they are using. This protects against third parties who might be in a position to track a consumer's online activities. Consumers have the ability to use either of the features (InPrivate Blocking or InPrivate Filtering) independently.

InPrivate Browsing. When activated, InPrivate Browsing helps ensure that history, temporary Internet files and cookies are not recorded on a PC after browsing. When in InPrivate Browsing, tool bars and extensions are automatically disabled, and browsing history is automatically deleted when the browser is closed.

InPrivate Filtering. InPrivate Filtering helps protect privacy by enabling the consumer to filter content coming from third parties that are in a position to track and aggregate their online behavior. Users are provided with notice, choice and control of which third parties to allow and which ones to filter.

Other features include a compatibility view, a compatibility view list, crash recovery, delete browsing history, SmartScreen filter, clickjacking prevention. cross-site scripting filter, data execution prevention, cross document messaging, cross domain request, cross document messaging, domain highlighting, per-site ActiveX and per-user ActiveX. 


Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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