Microsoft says a release candidate version of its Internet Explorer 8 Web browser is imminent and developers ought to get ready for it.
In an interview with eWEEK, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer for Microsoft, said, "If I had a bumper sticker in mind for this it would say: 'Developers, start your engines.'"
Hachamovitch said Microsoft has been doing a lot of work since IE 8 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 IE 8 RC comes out."
Even as the release candidate of IE 8 arrives, 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.
Hachamovitch also said one of the unsung elements of IE 8 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 IE 8 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."
A Microsoft blogger identified as "Shaan" wrote in March: "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.