And All That (IE7) Malarkey

To Chris Wilson and the IE7 team, I acknowlege the work that you have done thus far and I'm confident that IE7 will be everything that I expect it to be. Please don't let me down.

So, according to those slipping the new IE7 Beta Preview out of it's sleeve and slapping it down on the music-center, Internet Explorer 7 breaks my site. I can't say that this was much of a surprise. Actually it was no surprise at all as a mysterious benefactor has been emailing me screenshots from IE7 for several months. ;)

I'll leave it to others to fill you in.

The most badly broken of the sites I visited, Andy's cutting edge CSS, designed to deliver a totally different site to IE and Firefox users, fails horribly in IE7.
Matthew Pennell

And if the sites of masters like Andy Clarke (Ed says Aww, shucks) get mangled, then what hope for the rest of us?
David Horn

I know Andy's a stand-up guy and his CSS is top notch, easily some of the best I've seen, this problem's gotta lie with IE7. I guess you can only expect so much from a beta (even a beta 2), but that's a doosie of an error.
Aaron Gustafson

His site is full of special rules for IE6 and its a great testing ground to see what IE7 chokes on and what it does as good as Firefox, Opera, and Safari. If your site is fairly hack free, you probably won't notice a difference going from Firefox to IE7 Beta 2. Start hunting around and finding the errors.
Ted Drake

To those who support standards

As expected, there has already been much discussion over this Beta Preview and some negativity towards the new browser in its current form. However I believe that it is important for all of us who stand behind the banner of support for standards to recognise the significant achievements of Chris Wilson and his IE team for getting IE7 to this point and to remember that this is still only a Beta release.

I am no lover of Microsoft as a business, but I think that it is vital for us to make the distinction between Microsoft the company and the Microsoft developers, particularly those who are working hard from within to further the support for standards in Microsoft products. An IE7 which fully supports CSS2.1 is not only desirable, but vital for the best interests of our industry.

To those who support standards, I ask that we remember that this support is about furthering the interests of a wider web for all. With this in mind, I hope that we will rally behind the developers of IE7 and give them our full cooperation in making IE7 the browser that we all want it to be: safe, secure and with the standards support its users deserve.

To Chris Wilson and the IE7 team, I acknowlege the work that you have done thus far and I'm confident that IE7 will be everything that I expect it to be. Please don't let me down.


  1. #1 On February 4, 2006 02:51 PM Jaakko Knuutila said:

    Hello Andy, there seems to be missing an h from the link to the picture about your site being broken on IE 7.

    (Ed says: "Oooops, fixed.")

  2. #2 On February 4, 2006 03:25 PM Matthew Pennell said:

    I think the root of much of the discontent (and I'm not alone, as noted many times on the IE blog comments about IE7) is that there are some really strange/annoying/stupid (delete as appropriate) combinations of fixed/not-fixed bugs.

    Tan Hack is fixed. Holly hack is broken. Float overflow is fixed. But min-height isn't implemented - with the net result that it is currently impossible to specify a minimum height in IE7.

    It's not clear from the IEBlog whether there are still any CSS fixes to be rolled out in IE7 or if this Beta is pretty much what will be released to the public; if the latter, I for one would rather have the simple stuff like height and width fixed correctly than the ability to use :first-child or whatever.

  3. #3 On February 4, 2006 03:53 PM Krijn Hoetmer said:

    @Matthew: They're working on min-height et cetera, so let's all hope that's going to make it in the final.

  4. #4 On February 4, 2006 04:31 PM Matthew Pennell said:

    Kind of begs the question - why release something and implore developers to "test your sites" on it, when it's only half-finished? We can't make any plans without knowing what the final product is going to support.

  5. #5 On February 4, 2006 04:33 PM Ted Drake said:

    It's important for people to remember your site isn't broken in IE7 because you were lazy or sloppy with your filters. It's broken because you made a decision to point out the differences between the sites and delivered two completely different experiences for those browsing with IE and other browsers.

    Your site is breaking becuause IE is skipping some of these hacks, recognizing some of the non-standard Microsoft rules, and trying to render the pages as if it were some schizo version of Firefox.

    I'd like to see what your site looks like with your IE filters hidden by an IE6 conditional comment. Keep up the keeping up!

  6. #6 On February 4, 2006 06:24 PM Nick Rigby said:

    A lot of sites are failing due to the fact that some bugs have been carried over from IE6 and others are only partially fixed. Also, still no support for min-height. However, I echo Andy's comments about the cracking job that the IE team have done so far, and I only want to help them produce the best possible product.

    I am compiling a bug report for the beta 2 release. If anyone wants to contribute, drop me a line.

  7. #7 On February 4, 2006 06:38 PM Justin said:

    From what I can tell, Microsoft is trying damn hard to get their CSS support up to snuff. The logistics of going from the mess of IE6 to an actually decent browser is just too much for the IE team to handle, the realese a Preview IE 7 Beta 2 (note the preview) makes perfect sense to me.

    Eric Meyer had a pretty good post about it yesterday.

    Conditional comments Andy, conditional comments.

  8. #8 On February 4, 2006 10:46 PM Matt Robin said:

    Andy: I flickr'd your site just after Matthew's....was mine covered in too many notes for you to link to it?!! :(

    Well Matthew - Justin told you didn't he?! :D

    I think IE7 has made vast strides on IE6 with it's general workings, and it already serves stuff up faster and better...which is great!
    I suspect the other problems to be sorted out pre-launch...

    ....but wait - we are talking about Microsoft! That might not happen at all!!

    (Matthew - do I imagine seeing you laughing hard at that one?!)

    Andy: I'm glad you've had inside knowledge on IE7's development along the way...I think that's important...not just because you are a damn good web designer person that everyone* bows to....but also because if there are major problems - you can flag them earlier than the rest of us!

    *Excluding John Oxton! :D

  9. #9 On February 5, 2006 03:31 AM Justin said:

    > Well Matthew - Justin told you didn't he?! :D

    Geez, I wasn't trying to *tell* anybody anything...I'm just happy that we're able to submit bug reports for the development of this browser (as if they'll actually be fixed).

  10. #10 On February 5, 2006 05:41 PM Nick Fitzsimons said:

    I agree that we should be grateful to the IE Team for the work they're doing and particularly for their willingness to listen to the web development community. It's all a refreshing change from the bad old days of having a new release rolled out with a "This is the new landscape, learn to deal with it" attitude.

    I have to admit to having been highly amused by a number of comments on the MSDN feedback newsgroup and on CSS Discuss. The plethora of people whining "IE7 broke my site! OMFG, how do I fix it?", together with the bizarre spectacle of people actually posting fixes for some of the breakages, when they could be devoting their energies to creating clear test cases and bug reports, makes me think that the perpetual betas on the web have made people forget that a beta of a desktop application will indeed break things - that's what it's for. Hopefully Eric Meyer's calm and well-reasoned assessment of the situation (linked to above by Justin) will get the heads back on a few chickens.

    I think it's reasonable to assume that the major remaining issues will be addressed sufficiently for most people's gruntlement. And I stand by my comment from last year: once IE7 is in RTM form, this will be my first port of call.

    (Have you thought of submitting the entire site as a test case? That would keep them busy...)

  11. #11 On February 5, 2006 10:35 PM Matt Robin said:

    Justin: the use of a ' :D ' (smiley) is for sarcasm.....

  12. #12 On February 5, 2006 10:57 PM Christian Montoya said:

    Nick: Yes, it was exactly in reply to all those OMFG replies that Eric wrote that post on his blog. I mean, IE7 beta 2 preview isn't even a beta 2, it's a PREVIEW of beta 2, which means it is so far from the final version that it's impossible to even imagine making a site work for it. I think Microsoft made a smart move by opening it up to the development community and allowing us to help with their bugs... because there sure are a lot of them.

  13. #13 On February 9, 2006 10:39 PM Malarkey said:

    Time for a follow up