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Weblog Entry

IE7 CSS Updates

July 28, 2005

The first IE7 Beta is out. Yes, there are CSS improvements. No, they’re not going to change the world.

Yesterday, Microsoft released a beta of the forthcoming Vista operating system, along with the first beta of IE7. Unfortunately, both are only available to MSDN subscribers.

An XP-compatible version is available from a third party if you have a BitTorrent client. This is probably breaking all sorts of terms and conditions though, and likely won’t last. Grab it while you can. (Update: Upon further investigation, the site in question is a BitTorrent tracking site with links to all sorts of other copyrighted material. Since an XP-compatible version of the beta wasn’t announced, I’m guessing it’s probably not a good idea for me to recommend that anyone download it. So, don’t.) My review is based on this version, so if there are significant differences between it and the version that comes with Vista, then this review may be inaccurate.

The first thing you’ll notice upon installing is that it completely replaces IE6, which has been typical IE behaviour since, well, forever. Hence the classic problem of testing multiple versions on one system, until Joe Maddalone came along two years ago and solved the problem for us. Now we need to add a new version to the list of IE archives… for the time being, you can grab the IE6 Eolas Edition which isn’t functionally different from regular IE6 (except for the annoying ‘Click Here to Continue Loading this page’ dialogues) and it will work as expected alongside IE7b1 and your older archives.

Functionally, we should all know by now that things like enhanced security, RSS support, and tabs are included. Here’s a screenshot of how it came together, which through its incompleteness re-enforces the fact that this is just a beta. What’s that blank button next to the tab? Clicking on it opens a new tab. Can anyone spare an icon? (My guess is that this looks a little better in Vista…)

The odd new toolbar layout with dominant back and forward buttons seems to be a new direction for the UI; the only customizable items appear to be the address bar, buttons, and links panels at the bottom, and they cannot be moved higher up within the toolbar. (IE6, in comparison, lets you remix to your heart’s content.)

So what about the rendering? Things have changed, but obviously we were promised only very little for a reason — nothing much has been fixed. Yes, now we have PNG transparency. (compare Panic’s Audion Faces page in IE6 and IE7) Yes, the Peekaboo (IE6, IE7) and Guillotine (IE6, IE7, how the test case is supposed to look) bugs appear to have been addressed. Though without having had a chance to test either very comprehensively, I’ll hold off on saying they’ve actually been fixed just yet.

Other than that? After running through Position Is Everything’s “Explorer Exposed” omnibus, it seems to me that the list of outstanding IE bugs remains long. Line-height bug? Not fixed. Border chaos? Chaotic as ever. Italic overflows? Still buggy. Doubled float margin? Nope. 3px jog? Nuh-uh. Escaping floats? No way.

Acid2

And what about previously unsupported CSS2 properties? Have we got :hover support on any element other than a yet? Sorry. What about selectors? Same as ever. Could we at least ask for a bit of position: fixed? Keep wishing.

Acid2? IE6. IE7. Not a single pixel has changed.

Yeah, after four years of suspense, all we get is an alpha channel. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the IE team kept their mouths shut for a reason; they delivered what was promised, and nothing more. Here’s to IE7.5, I guess…

Update: From the IE7 beta announcement post linked at the beginning of this article:

Our goal is to get feedback from this group, do a bunch more work around quality (performance, security, reliability, etc.) and some features (e.g. additional standards support beyond what’s in beta 1, additional functionality around tabs and RSS, etc.), and release Beta 2 much more broadly.

So, the IE team has committed to the final release of IE7 having improved CSS support over what was released in beta 1. Let’s hope the improvement is substantial. (Thanks, Kevin)

Second Update: More from Molly on WaSP’s role in IE development, what you can do to help, and a plea for patience.

Third Update: Oh good, I was hoping we’d get something like this. The IE team has responded to the IE7 Beta feedback with a roadmap of sorts, which clarifies that yes, contrary to the expectations of many, Beta 2 will see quite a bit more CSS support than the first beta.


Greg says:
July 28, 01h

How much longer before it’s out of beta? Meaning is it too late for them to add these features? Maybe they are in the works? Can I have a paragraph of nothing but questions and it’s stil considered a paragraph?

rich says:
July 28, 01h

One thing thats irked me about IE since forever is the way it gets “dotted” and “dashed” mixed up in 1px borders. Is this still the case?

Dave S. says:
July 28, 01h

I think I’ve read that the final version will be released before Vista, but don’t quote me on that. If so, I’d imagine this is as good as it gets.

And since it’s bound to come up, I’m pretty sure any work being done between the WaSP task force and Microsoft won’t start bearing fruit until the next point release, or maybe not even until IE8. Product cycles being what they are, I doubt IE7 will benefit from that collaboration. Molly wasn’t kidding - http://www.molly.com/2005/07/11/agenda-microsoft-is-it-a-sellout-when-the-prostitutes-paying/

I’m not on that task force though, so anything I say is based only on publicly available information. Perhaps someone on the TF can comment further.

stuart says:
July 28, 01h

After thier openness, and seeming receptiveness to user feedback on thier blog, I have to say I was expecting a bit more than this.

I realise this is only a beta - but it shows a lack of ambition in terms of the interface, and the (thus far) approach toward fixing all of those CSS issues.

Heres hoping its going to to get seriously better from here on in.

July 28, 01h

How freaking hard can it be to get rid of the 3px jog? That’s truly discouraging.

Well hey, look at the brighside… we won’t have to change our workflow. Same bugs, new OS, new year. Where would the fun be in making it work right?

Dave S. says:
July 28, 01h

re: dashed vs. dotted borders

IE7 still doesn’t do dots. Check this screenshot - http://www.mezzoblue.com/i/articles/28july2005-ui.png - and look for the first non-title instance of ‘JPG’ in the body area (“…thanks to our friend JPG”)

July 28, 01h

Ok, sad news but thank you very much for your post. Things I was just wondering about: now we know why on the MSDN you cannot find anything about CSS and IE 7.

kevin says:
July 28, 01h

“Our goal is to get feedback from this group, do a bunch more work around quality (performance, security, reliability, etc.) and some features (e.g. additional standards support beyond what’s in beta 1, additional functionality around tabs and RSS, etc.), and release Beta 2 much more broadly.”

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/27/444004.aspx


“CSS Updates - Internet Explorer 7 includes fixes for issues with the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) feature. Both the peekaboo and guillotine bugs have been addressed, and work on other issues is under way to provide web developers with reliable and robust CSS functionality.”

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/workshop/essentials/whatsnew/whatsnew_70_sdk.asp

Miko says:
July 28, 01h

“Yes, there are CSS improvements. “

Where?
I really hope this Beta means Beta.

Miko says:
July 28, 01h

Ah, too slow. ;)

rich says:
July 28, 01h

Damn. Looks like our jobs got a little harder again.

Thanks Dave, I’ve managed to download a copy. I wonder if IT will let us sneak it onto our test machine…

July 28, 02h

From what I understand, one of the main reasons that there is such a lack of effort on the UI and the CSS is because in order for them to truly integrate things such as Tabs, and a number of the CSS bugs they’re facing, they would have to completely rewrite the browser… essentially they’re just being lazy and going the easy way out.

Andy Hume says:
July 28, 02h

So, as I predicted in a comment on this very blog I believe. Zippo for standards.

Not that surprising really. The developers would probably love to get all this stuff working but the truth is, it;s just not in the product pipeline at the moment.

They’ve been told: We want tabbed browsing, RSS, and security updates. And we want it this summer.

And a nice version number bump to combat the Firefox effect. This release has nothing to do with web standards and everything to do with browser market share.

I feel sorry for the poor dev guys.

July 28, 02h

so now how do we hide our css hacks for ie6 png tranparency from ie7?

Dave S. says:
July 28, 02h

“so now how do we hide our css hacks for ie6 png tranparency from ie7?”

Until we have a way, there doesn’t seem much point in actually using transparent PNGs, does there? Free copy of ‘The Zen of CSS Design’ to the first person who comes up with a reliable hack for this…

July 28, 02h

Does it really matter now that there are other browsers out there? I used to think a better IE would make a difference.

But really, with the slow adoption rate of Vista (whenever it may make it to market) and IE7, we will still have to continue the freakish hacks that we already employ for years to come to accomodate IE 5.x and 6. IE7 may introduce new hacks as well. To me, this is all more work. I’d prefer IE stay stagnant as long as possible.

Sage says:
July 28, 02h

I think I’m going to cry.

What the hell have they been doing for the past four years? If I owned a software company, and it took my developers four years to do THIS, I’d fire them and kick them in the shins for good measure. This has gone beyond ridiculous.

July 28, 02h

Sadly, I can’t say I’m surprised. Compared to full standards support, PNG support is merely a token gesture…

Perhaps the best thing to come out of IE7 will be the fact that millions of people will come to know and love ideas such as tabbed browsing and RSS feeds…and from there it’s a short step to more functional browsers.

It seems that with this release, IE is just trying to play catch up with the features now provided in other browsers. This should give Firefox and the others more time to innovate and gain ground on IE’s market share. Well that’s the theory… :)

kevin says:
July 28, 02h

I think it’s important to remember this is a *beta*. And a beta not made widely available to the general public at that.

If better CSS support doesn’t make it into the final version, I think that would be the appropriate time for the complaining to begin.

Andy Hume says:
July 28, 03h

It’s not the developers’ fault!

These guys don’t want to make a bad product. As I said above, standards is not in the IE product blueprint yet. Why would it be? It won’t get them any more or less browser share, not commensurate with the amount of work they would need to put in to it anyway.

Give them time, and it will come. But it will always be second to their financial and other longterm goals.

July 28, 04h

I strongly agree that patience is important right here and now:
http://kurafire.net/log/archive/2005/07/28/ie7-beta-1-release


There is a reason it’s called BETA 1, it’s a simple reason: the product isn’t finished yet.

Much more interesting will be to see what all changes between beta 1 and 2, then 2 and 3. It’s during those periods that most software tends to undergo the biggest changes and also the most interesting ones. That’s my experience from “some” years of software development, anyway. Biggest steps were always around beta 5.

Rimantas says:
July 28, 04h

It’s pity, but I cannot share the optimism of those claiming “it’s only
beta”. I doubt very much any significant CSS improvements will show up in final product.

Two years ago ppk said in his very insightful article http://www.evolt.org/article/Browser_Wars_II_The_Saga_Continues/25/60181/index.html”>http://www.evolt.org/article/Browser_Wars_II_The_Saga_Continues/25/60181/index.html

—-
Why is Microsoft unwilling to fix the CSS bugs that everyone’s been asking it to fix for ages? I think it’s not unwilling but unable to do so. Explorer’s code engine cannot be updated any more.
—-

I thought he was right then, and I think his is right now.

Kelson says:
July 28, 04h

On hiding PNG transparency hacks – you can use conditional comments so that they’re only loaded by IE <= 6. Yeah, it means putting the style rules in the <head> element (or linking to them in a separate stylesheet), but it should at least work.

24
Paul D says:
July 28, 04h

“There is a reason it’s called BETA 1, it’s a simple reason: the product isn’t finished yet.”

An unfinished product is called an alpha.

A beta, unless I’m mistaken, is supposed to be a code and feature-complete version of the final product. Either Microsoft is calling an alpha a beta because they don’t want it to be obvious how much behind schedule they are, or they’re not planning any significant changes for the final Vista release.

Craig C. says:
July 28, 04h

Re: hiding IE6 hacks from IE7, the other day over at Colly’s ( http://www.collylogic.com/index.php?/weblog/comments/fade_overflow_auto/ ) I suggested the conditional comment “if IE lt 7”, which should serve the contents of the comment (be it a hacked stylesheet or Bob Osola’s script solution) to all versions of IE below 7 while IE7+ passes it by. Assuming, of course, that IE7 continues to support conditional comments and that it indeed identifies itself as version 7. I haven’t actually laid hands on the beta to test it (anybody wanna try it?) but it’s tidy in theory.

Craig C. says:
July 28, 04h

Doh, Kelson beat me to it. Curse my slow typing.

So the choices are “if IE lte 6” or “if IE lt 7”, either condition should have the same result.

July 28, 06h

I’m a Mac user, myself, and I’m currently choosing to be “too cool for IE” in my designs - putting the onus on visitors to use a real browser and refusing to hack my layouts to suit IE. My clients have been super super cool about it.

All I can say is this. Why on Earth should such a huge company with such deep pockets and such intelligence within its workforce (I don’t assume they’re all idiots) have its head so totally up its ass regarding the now thoroughly widespread and well-supported standards movement?

I just don’t get it. Safari isn’t perfect, but at least Apple tries to make it work as cleanly as possible. Why is Microsoft so different?

July 28, 06h

One quick note: it’s possible to install IE7 using a similar technique as getting IE4, 5, and 5.5 to run on the same machine. Check out http://www.snook.ca/archives/000390.html

Charles says:
July 28, 06h

“I’m guessing it’s probably not a good idea for me to recommend that anyone download it. So, don’t.”

Question: isn’t it a little hypocritical to leave the link in and then tell people not to download it? If you really don’t want people to download it, why didn’t you take out the link? And if you do want people to download it, why pretend you care about the legality of it?

July 28, 08h

As a casual web designer, this is disappointing, but I must say: I’m more interested in improved *security* in IE7 than improved CSS support. I would love both, of course, but for the 90% of web users out there on Win/IE, I’d rather have them see the web not-quite-perfect but securely rather than pixel-perfect and vulernable to spyware.

July 28, 10h

Thanks for providing the images, Dave.

I was curious to see where they were at with this, but not quite curious enough to actually download it myself. (I’m not sure how I’d feel about this rogue torrent-version beta replacing my IE6… even if it only ever gets used for testing and WinUpdate.)

bruce says:
July 28, 10h

kevin: “If better CSS support doesn’t make it into the final version, I think that would be the appropriate time for the complaining to begin.”

You cannot be serious! Considering how little work Microsoft do on improving their browser, you want us all to wait until *after* the final product is released and then start complaining? I say raise hell now and they might actually do some work to make IE better.

And what’s with all the concern about hurting the feelings of the ‘developers’?! What rubbish! If they are professionals then they wouldn’t be taking any of this personally. It should be pretty clear that the reaction from the web design community is directed at Microsoft’s decision to totally drop the ball on improving their web browser.

We’re the poor suckers who will be spending the next few years fighting to get our designs to work properly in IE… we have every right to whinge and complain if this is the effort they are putting in.

Peter says:
July 28, 11h

Good to hear they will be adding more CSS support. It’s about time. I don’t even care if they add new features, just let them fix all the bugs and I’m happy!

July 28, 11h

“so now how do we hide our css hacks for ie6 png tranparency from ie7?”

Conditional comments, naturally:

[if lt IE 7]>
Include PNG fix CSS
<![endif]

July 28, 11h

Sorry, didn’t read the the other peoples’ comments about conditional comments before I posted.

But I have also tested it in my IE 7 beta 1, and can confirm that it actually works.

July 29, 01h

How’s text scaling for pixels?

37
Tom says:
July 29, 01h

Thanks Dave. At least I didn’t have to wait until a family member broke down and got Windows ViRUsta to see what they’d do with IE. I guess there’s always time for them to fix it (or screw it up more).

Seth says:
July 29, 03h

Looks like IE is playing catch-up in the browser world now. Where’s the innovation? Where’s the support for items that other browsers, and OSs, are already doing? Stop talking about tabs and more RSS stuff, that’s old news, how about some more standards compliance?

Mats says:
July 29, 03h

#25,#26,#35: Tried it, doesn’t work. IE7 still id:s itself as IE6. And the conditional comments still work … obviusly .. ;)

Personally I think IE7 is but ugly.

And Dave, where’s the article on Deer Park Alpha 2 (note that Moz calls it ALPHA unlike other vendors), it has some enormously cool features like multicolumn support (use -moz-column-count and -moz-column-gap), built-in svg support, content-counter, :only-child … I could go on … full quotes support … call me jelous but IE7 is getting way to much attention. ;-)

Chris K says:
July 29, 04h

Honestly, I’m not surprised by the lack of support or fixed bugs in IE7. Doing things their way and ignoring what customers really want and not working with non-Microsoft technology is their mantra.

July 29, 05h

David Bias:

> I just don’t get it.
> Safari isn’t perfect, but at least Apple tries to make it work as cleanly as possible.
> Why is Microsoft so different?

Have you read this?
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html

July 29, 06h

I wouldn’t be as concerned about the lack of CSS improvements if IE 7 was an *alpha*. The fact that it’s even considered to be a first-round beta is ridiculous, unless of course Microsoft planning on at least 30 or so beta builds (like a lot of people are doing these days).

The rendering engine is the very core of the product, and considering how bolted on the tab implementation is (seriously, you have to *restart* IE to turn tabs on and off?), then there’s little hope left for me.

July 29, 07h

How about the box model? Does IE 7 calculate background positions before or after padding? (IE 6 calculates these before padding, which demonstrates that the box model in IE6 is still fundamentally broken.) How about the other similar bug - where width of a child element is calculated based upon the width of the parent element before the width of the parent element is actually calculated (i.e. before the padding is taken into account)?

44
Anko says:
July 29, 07h

Any support for max-width and min-width? The lack of these two make it next to impossible to do decent page layout.

I think the new UI is a ploy by microsoft to leverage their monopoly position. People who buy new computers will be forced to use this layout, and get used to it. Then adopting another browser will require them to learn a whole new layout.

Yes learning a new layout is easy for us nerds, but hard for most users.

45
Jim says:
July 29, 08h

There are more details on what will be in 7.0 final - including CSS and HTML improvements!

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx

July 29, 10h

Someone has posted a way to run IE7b1 side by side with IE6:

http://www.snook.ca/archives/000390.html

I was waiting for something like this :)

47
Carlos Bernal says:
July 29, 10h

I think Microsoft has the web developer world where it wants them. Delivering piecemeal is creating a lot of talk.

In the end they will deliver the essentials and more to make developers happy and then devs will give IE 7 their blessing thereby deflating the Firefox market.

When it comes to marketing MS is very smart.

If we’re serious about Firefox then we should spend our energy marketing and promoting FF even further, and taking IE’s market.

Defeating your competition will drive them to follow not nagging them.

Bernd says:
July 30, 01h

Nice article! I hope its true that the developer will improve CSS and HTML support until the final version will be released. This would be a great relief for all web developer.

What is going to happen with Mozilla Firefox? Will he disapear as quickly as he conquered the web?

ScW says:
July 30, 04h

Part of the lack of change comes due to the fact that while IE’s lead has slipped, they are still dominant among the browsers. Changing too much would be like admitting defeat.

John says:
July 30, 05h

“What is going to happen with Mozilla Firefox? Will he disapear as quickly as he conquered the web?”
Well, like a friend said the other day after giving Opera a spin.. “I had to go back to Firefox because I missed my extensions so much”
The question is, just because IE has begun to catch up why should I make it my primary browser? Also don’t forget all those people with WIN2K who won’t get this new IE7

July 30, 06h

FYI, the IE7 Beta 1 Technical Overview (different from the IE7 Beta 1 “What’s New” document) is available here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=718e9b3a-64fe-4a4c-9ddf-57af0472ead2&displaylang=en

“Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000; Windows 95; Windows 98; Windows ME; Windows XP” - uh, whoops! Memo to Redmond: Remove all but the last one. (Yep, they’ve been kindly notified.)

Here’s where it gets interesting:

“Web developers have expressed some frustration with certain peculiarities in the behavior of Internet Explorer 6, especially in the areas of standards support. Application developers also want to take advantage of new capabilities of the Web but have been required to develop everything from the ground up to do so. …

“In Internet Explorer 7 beta 1, the browser architecture has been reengineered to address compatibility and will offer additional support for popular standards. …

“CSS is a widely used standard for creating Web pages. Internet Explorer 7 is prioritizing compliance to CSS standards by first implementing the features that developers have said are most important to them. As a result, in Internet Explorer 7 beta 1 Microsoft has addressed some of the major inconsistencies that can cause Web developers problems producing rich, interactive Web pages. The work Microsoft has done includes fixing some positioning and layout issues related to the way Internet Explorer 6 handles div tags. (More information about these bugs can be found online at http://www.positioniseverything.net/explorer/peekaboo.html and http://www.positioniseverything.net/explorer/guillotine.html .) The final release of Internet Explorer 7 will focus on improving the developer experience by reducing the time needed for developing and testing on different browsers.”

I had commented over on my site about how the “What’s New” document seems rather non-committal in the CSS realm, but that last sentence above actually offers something approaching a measurable goal. Agreed, the accent is on “approaching.” (How much less time? how would you measure it? “Discuss.”) I have yet to see anything about specific, measurable commitments regarding CSS1 and CSS2.1 but, even so, it’s good to see in print.

July 30, 06h

Ahh! Just caught the IEBlog post in comment 47 as well. Wow. WOW!

53
Jo says:
July 30, 07h

PNG-24 transparency support in IE7 beta or is it png-8 semi-transparency ?? But again the IE proprietary alpha filter eg will keep on be needed for IE5.x -IE6. With IE comments to specify the first set of rules for IE6.x or lower. So we should wrap them in the IE (specify lower than IE7) comments and thus benefit that W3C CSS validator does not see the IE proprietary filters.

a code example:

<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
*html #someDiv{ filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(enabled=true,
sizingMethod=scale src=’/images/png-24_transp.png’); background-image: none; background-repeat:
repeat; background-color: transparent; }
</style>

<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
/*
in IE7 , leave these rules out of the IE comments
*/
*html #someDiv {
background-image: url(/images/png-24_transp.png);
background-repeat: repeat;}
</style>

54
Jo says:
July 30, 07h

I also did not read the other comments,
I like books too.

Also the CSS import hacks for IE5 IE6 specific hacks could be more valuable except the validation
for the IE proprietary filters would be impossible.

@import “ie6win.css”;
@media tty {
i{content:”";/*” “*/}} @import ‘ie5win.css’; /*”;}
}/* */

55
Jo says:
July 30, 07h

should be:

<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
*html #someDiv{ filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(
enabled=true,
sizingMethod=scale src=’/images/png-24_transp.png’); background-image: none; background-repeat:
repeat; background-color: transparent; }
</style>

56
Jo says:
July 30, 09h

I believe I got it figured out.

Seperating the code for IE5.x and IE6.x, IE7.x and up with IE comments and importing them so they can be deleted if in the future no need for them, import styles for IE5.x Mac supporting too png and PNG-supporting modern browsers and excluding again IE 5.x and IE6.x with html>body …

The entire code could not be posted here. No worry, an e-mail can do wonders.

57
Jo says:
July 30, 10h

My definite proposal to seperate the IE5.x and IE6 hacks for the PNGs with transparency channel and IE7 and up where it got fixed. Asuming our seperate css files are residing in a map ‘css’ and our images in a map named ‘images’. note that the IE comments is like real HTML comments wrapped around but that did not get posted but this to get a general idea. The whole explanation I gladly refer too http://www.quirksmode.org/css/condcom.html

In our HTML:
<head>

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/import_all_advancedstyles.css” type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>

<[if lt IE 7]>
<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>

/* for ie5 and ie6 win , two advantages here: when no longer needed we can remove them and they are in IE comments so it will validate in our beloved CSS validator */

@import “/css/ie5win_ie6win_png_transparency_fix.css”;
</style>
<![endif]>

<[if gte IE 7]>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/fixed_png_24_ie7_and_up.css” type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
<![endif]>
</head>

The code for ie5win_ie6win_png_transparency_fix.css:

/* IE proprietary filter for IE5.x and Ie6.x */
/* this hack is not needed: * html someDiv , since we are using IE comments */
#someDiv { filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(
enabled=true, sizingMethod=scale src=’./images/png-24_transp.png’);
background-image: none;
background-repeat: repeat; /* can also do: background-repeat: no-repeat*/
background-color: transparent; }

The code for fixed_png_24_ie7_and_up.css:

#someDiv {
background: url(../images/png-24_transp.png) repeat;
}


The code for all_advancedstyles.css:

/* NOTE: here we use: html>body#someDiv otherwise IE WIN 5.x and IE 6.x WiN apply the styles */
/* a little extra for Ie5 Mac */

/*\*//*/
@import “ie5_mac_styles.css”;
/**/

html>body#someDiv {
background: transparent url(../images/png-24_transp.png)repeat;

}
/* more styles here */


The code for ie5_mac_styles.css:

*/ ie5 mac supports png-24 transparency/*

#someDiv {
background-image: url(../images/png-24_transp.png)
background-repeat: repeat;
}

Hope this is understandable.

58
Jo says:
July 31, 02h

IE7 favicon works

Tomek says:
July 31, 02h

Post about standards in IE7 on IEblog:
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx

Shortly: improvements in standards support will be in Beta 2

60
Jo says:
July 31, 04h

Also one more note: eg IE4 WIN does support png-8 but for any design reasons we need transparency we can emulate transparency with a transparent checkered pattern gif, there is anayway no way hide the IE proprietary filters in IE comments thus validation errors cannot be hidden from the W3C validator. The main issue is that we want to have transparency.

So for eg IE4 (if need to support it) could do this, in some occasions. Make a transparent gif checker pattern where 1px is transparent, the other pixel next to it a color.

The updated code for all_advancedstyles.css:

/* NOTE: here we use: html>body#someDiv otherwise IE WIN 5.x and IE 6.x WiN apply the styles */
/* a little extra for Ie5 Mac */

/*\*//*/
@import “ie5_mac_styles.css”;
/**/
/* Ie4 simulate transparency and only IE 4 will see it*/
*html #someDiv {
background-image: url(../images/checkerpattern.gif);
background-repeat: repeat;
}

html>body#someDiv {
background: transparent url(../images/png-24_transp.png) repeat;

}


Dave, what is your opinion on the entire code (spread over all the posts).

61
Jo says:
July 31, 04h

Also to avoid that IE5 or up will apply this code. you have to play with specifity. And put the IE conditionals last. So the rules in your normal stylesheet specific for IE4 and also seen by IE5.x and up is overwritten by the rules in the IE conditional comments.


<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/import_all_advancedstyles.css” type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>

<[if lt IE 7]>
<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>

/* for ie5 and ie6 win , two advantages here: when no longer needed we can remove them and they are in IE comments so it will validate in our beloved CSS validator */

@import “/css/ie5win_ie6win_png_transparency_fix.css”;
</style>
<![endif]>

<[if gte IE 7]>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/fixed_png_24_ie7_and_up.css” type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
<![endif]>
</head>

62
Rafi B. says:
July 31, 06h

HOW TO TURN IE7 BETA INTO STANDALONE
——————————————————

First extract the IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe file using something like winrar. Then go to the folder you just extracted and delete the file SHLWAPI.DLL. Then open notepad and just save a blank file in notepad as IEXPLORE.exe.local . Then you will be able to run the iexplore.exe.

63
Jo says:
July 31, 09h

should be for (import_all_advancedstyles.css):

/* IE4 simulate transparency */

*html #someDiv {
background-image: url(../images/checkerpattern.gif);
background-repeat: repeat;
}
/* png-24 browsers */

html>body#someDiv {
background: transparent url(../images/png-24_transp.png) repeat;
}

/* put IE5 Mac styles after, if need to emulate transparent image for IE4, so when IE5 Mac imports his styles, this line: background-image: url(../images/png-24_transp.png) will be used for IE5 Mac because it is overwritten */

/*\*//*/
@import “ie5_mac_styles.css”;
/**/

64
Jo says:
July 31, 10h

fix PNG hacks for IE5.x and IE6.x WIN

To sum it up: the easy scenario with the least of css.

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/css/import_all_advancedstyles.css” type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>

<[if lt IE 7]>
<style type=”text/css” media=”screen, projection”>
@import “/css/ie5win_ie6win_png_transparency_fix.css”;
</style>
<[endif]>


ie5win_ie6win_png_transparency_fix.css

#someDiv { filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(
enabled=true, sizingMethod=scale src=’./images/png-24_transp.png’);
background-image: none; /* extra style needed to make it work, other background styles are grouped in the normal stylesheet */
background-color: transparent;
}

all_advancedstyles.css

/*background: transparent ; extra style for ‘non png transparency’ supporting browsers like IE4 otherwise a blue-grayish background would appear instead */
#someDiv {
background: transparent url(../images/png-24_transp.png) repeat ;
}

65
Matthew says:
August 01, 01h

Glad MS are making the effort and everything, albeit a tad late, but even when they say they’re doing things they’re still not. Take the :hover pseudo-class for example, in the blog they quote it as being fixed for all elements in the Beta 1. But its not. A simple test will reveal that you still can’t use :hover on anything but anchors. Aaargh.

Kelson says:
August 01, 02h

Matthew: Where did they claim :hover was fixed in beta 1? The only list I see it on is labeled “Though you won’t see (most of) these until Beta 2…”

67
Matthew says:
August 01, 02h

On the blog, they list the bug fixes in beta 1 followed by the support fixes. It also claims they added selector support, which also doesn’t work.

The comment “Though you won’t see (most of) these until Beta 2” is referring to the statement “In IE7, we will fix as many of the worst bugs that web developers hit as we can”, not the list below. Everything listed below is what’s supposed to be supported in beta 1.

68
Matthew says:
August 01, 02h

And its statements like:

“I want to be clear that our intent is to build a platform that fully complies with the appropriate web standards, in particular CSS 2 ( 2.1, once it’s been Recommended).”

that worry me. If they’re not even aware that 2.1 IS the recommended specification, how are we even supposed to rely on the developers to produce a browser thats even remotely capable of rendering standards compliant pages correctly?

August 01, 06h

Matthew: If you compare the CSS2 page with the CSS2.1 page, you’ll see that CSS2 is a “Recommendation” while CSS2.1 is a “Working Draft”:

http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/

It is for this reason, I believe, that support for “display:inline-block” was actually *removed* from Firefox— since it was officially “Recommended” yet. (Ludicrous, of course, since it’s been in IE for ages…)

August 01, 10h

Hopefully the list distributed on the IEBlog will actually be completed, so we can stop worrying so much about IE support and more on simply designing. It’s excellent that the IE team have started working with WaSP again to improve their browser.

71
Carlos Bernal says:
August 01, 10h

I guess my prediction was correct about IE7 (see post 43).

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx

72
Jo says:
August 02, 02h

IE conditional comments in standalone IE7 beta wont work thus not be tested:

a) it is a beta so doing eg IE conditional comments dont work because it cannot detect a beta version, even with a fix see Repairing Conditional Comments:
http://positioniseverything.net/articles/multiIE.html

<![if IE 7.0]>
<style type=”text/css”>
#myDivie {background: transparent url(images/bg.png) no-repeat bottom right;}
</style>
<![endif]>

b) its a beta so conditional comments cannot be fixed, because it aint a full version yet

A simple version detect will give the right version namely IE7, using Navigator.appName will give IE7.0B

73
Matthew says:
August 02, 03h

It appears that the W3C have moved 2.1’s status back to “Working Draft”, maybe in part to give the IE team less things to implement and bring out a working browser sooner.

And it appears that most of the things in the list on the blog are things that will be fixed for IE7, or at least beta 2, and not things that were fixed for beta 1. So IE7 really is just IE6 with tabbed browsing. And it looks worse.

Why are people defending this project? It doesn’t make any sense that so many people are having to put so much time and effort into something that should have worked correctly a long time ago.

74
Chris Hayes says:
August 02, 06h

A friend who writes for MSDN sent me this: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/07/29/445242.aspx

Looks like a LOT of the issues are addressed in Beta 2

August 02, 07h

IE7 Beta 1 for Windows XP SP2 is in fact available for MSDN Subscribers.

76
Matt Bennett says:
August 03, 11h

How hard can it be to adhere to standards?

I don’t understand why, when the W3C standards are very clearly laid out, and everyone here knows what they mean, the IE team still can’t make their browser obey the rules.

Initially I thought that the shortcomings of IE were to do with a misinterpretation of the rules - I assumed the box-model mistake was just a cock-up, and transparency in .png files was something new that would be included as soon as possible.

It seems IE7 now does come with alpha-channel support for PNGs, but what about everything else?

Are they deliberately flaunting the rules?

77
Chad Goodrich says:
August 04, 12h

I think you gave credit to the wrong person for discovering how to have more than one version of IE running on the same platform. Here’s where I belive it originated… http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum21/6339.htm

It appears a full year before the first comment on Joe’s website.

Dave S. says:
August 04, 12h

Chad, comment #77 – Webmaster World requires a login, so I can’t verify. Regardless, a lot of people first learned about it from Joe’s article in 2003. If someone else discovered it prior to that point, they sure kept quiet about it.

79
reidmo says:
August 06, 12h

IE is simply the Quark of web browsers…

80
Micro-wave says:
August 11, 11h

Was it Joe or not? That did standalone IEs …

A comment from Dr. Doc, a webmasterworld forum regular that replied to that same past back in 2003.

http://sniptools.com/tipstricks/multiple-internet-explorer-ie-installations-on-the-same-windows-os#comment278

81
Micro-wave says:
August 11, 12h

“IE is simply the Quark of web browsers…”

This is what one could call a enigmatic sentence.

82
Jo says:
August 12, 02h

The whole story about teamwork involved in making these standalone IEs work once and for all times to come.

http://www.insert-title.com/labs/article795.aspx

Look for the fresh and well-documented comment of Joe Maddalone:
8/11/2005 1:16:26 PM
From: Joe Maddalone

83
Jo says:
August 12, 03h

to Chad: it was teamwork: Asians, jobarr, Joe Maddalone etc…. All get the credit for one or other part in getting the IEs standalone work.

according to Joe Maddalone, here it was mentioned first in 2002(asian, found one name on that page: Mayuki Sawatari) …

http://www.misuzilla.org/docs/ie-SxS

84
Jo says:
August 12, 03h

the page is in Japanese, want english translation (acceptable translation), try http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish select japanese to english and copy-paste the link http://www.misuzilla.org/docs/ie-SxS

ExE says:
August 19, 03h

Well let’s hope Team IE get’s the whole standards issue sorted out in IE7.
I was just making a new blog layout and well it went wrong a the first grpahic is used, in FF it just diplayed it perfectly but in IE i apparantly can’t really count pixels so there immediatly is a difference of 1 px in my display :S

Well enough said, let’s see if they understand after all those years

86
Jo says:
August 20, 02h

This is the most complete review (developers’ look) of IE7 beta so far (personal opinion):

http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/ie7.html

87
Mike says:
September 06, 10h

They’ve also said they’re not aiming for Acid2 fixes… which doesn’t really worry me all that much.

If you were Microsoft, what would you rather do? Fix issues that CSS developers have every day, or fix issues from a single test which is often held up by CSS’ proponents as a “holy grail” of compatibility sorts and gain their <3, but ignore more pressing issues like disappearing floats and text jogs and the like?

88
cornel says:
December 01, 09h

The fixed background images in Div’s other then the body, is still not working in IE7. The list of bugs in IE7 Beta is endless, and there are some new ones too (filters not working like they should etc, and forget also future compliance with CSS 3, like multiple columns or 2 background pics, tables etc.)
This is good for web designers, since we will still be able to bill higher prices to our customers that want cross browsers solutions! Thank you MS for helping us make more money!

89
Andrew Colclough says:
December 16, 11h

It just blows my mind that Microsoft, a company that certainly doesn’t have budget problems, can’t keep up with anyone else. It seems like everything they do is based on crap that has been around for years. Everything they make is barely better than whats already outdated. Windows Live? Tabbed Browsing? Alpha support?

It’s like their idea of an innovation is a 57kbps modem…

morfey says:
December 25, 13h

I believe I got it figured out.

Seperating the code for IE5.x and IE6.x, IE7.x and up with IE comments and importing them so they can be deleted if in the future no need for them, import styles for IE5.x Mac supporting too png and PNG-supporting modern browsers and excluding again IE 5.x and IE6.x with html>body …

The entire code could not be posted here. No worry, an e-mail can do wonders.

Apple says:
January 25, 04h

Seems like IE7 beta2 is out now. Any news about further CSS Updates?

EOPTA says:
January 30, 12h

I would be ecstatic to find a decent XHTML/CSS editor that supports some semblance of AJAX development. I am a developer with a goal of producing standards-based XHTML/CSS, but my experience has been that the big webpage editors don’t support that goal very well. If I could have that, along with a little AJAX support, I’d be as happy as a lark. My fear, though, is that DreamWeaver will never support AJAX well because it is effectively completing techology with Flash.

February 01, 06h

There is a css hack that works for all versions of internet explorer, including ie7. You can read about it here:
http://www.ibloomstudios.com/article7/

February 02, 01h

Anybody has a trick to run simultaneasly IE6 + IE7 ?

Thommes says:
February 05, 06h

I’m very interested to see the new IE7, even though I probably wouldn’t use it very much… Firefox is maybe still the better way to use.

Arantius says:
February 07, 12h

“IE7 Beta 2 Preview” (What a name!) Still has peekabo. And none of the standard peekaboo fixes fix it!

http://img262.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ie7peekaboo3iu.png

Clicking the zoom button “fixes” it when it re-paints, so I know it could draw it right, theorietically.

notebook says:
February 18, 03h

On the blog, they list the bug fixes in beta 1 followed by the support fixes. It also claims they added selector support, which also doesn’t work.

The comment “Though you won’t see (most of) these until Beta 2” is referring to the statement “In IE7, we will fix as many of the worst bugs that web developers hit as we can”, not the list below. Everything listed below is what’s supposed to be supported in beta 1.

Anonymous says:
February 23, 08h

No wonder IE7 head Gary Schare uses maxthon browser.


Chelabrek says:
March 21, 14h

I’ve had the same problem that wendy
If someone has the answer please tell it to me
THX from Uruguay
Guillermo

100
w-anacleto@uol.com.br says:
April 01, 17h

oi eu baixei o o arquivo exe 7.0 beta 2


não to conseguindo usar pois não está validando ou seja meu windows xp é falso

se alguem souber como faço pra instalar o iexplorer 7.0 e bular a parte de validação eu fico muito agradecido

hi.
I m tryn the iexplorer 7.0 beta 2

but how validate ?

i don get it

some body know how can I validate?

my windows xp sp2 is “falso” it is khey false.

help me please send e-mail to me

w-anacleto @uol.com.br or
w_anacleto@hotmail.com

sorry my inglesh cause I m from brazilian
thanks

serdar says:
April 05, 23h

On the blog, they list the bug fixes in beta 1 followed by the support fixes. It also claims they added selector support, which also doesn’t work.

The comment “Though you won’t see (most of) these until Beta 2” is referring to the statement “In IE7, we will fix as many of the worst bugs that web developers hit as we can”, not the list below. Everything listed below is what’s supposed to be supported in beta 1