Contents tagged with Internet Explorer
The time has come to make a summary of the past year and have a look into the future – the year of 2009. About a year ago I made a similar post with a summary and some predictions.
This year has been a fast year and I have made so much, both personally and at work. For a few months in the spring I was at home taking care of my daughters and tried not to work (which I find really hard). It was a great time and I really need that. At work I think I’ve never felt this pressure from the market, no financial crisis in sight here. It’s mainly been about SharePoint, SharePoint and SharePoint. Our team at Pdb has had some really interesting projects and we have some even more interesting in the pipe.
This year has allowed me to focus more and more on Microsoft SharePoint. I took the two development certifications on WSS and MOSS (both with maximum scores) and I plan to take the configuration tests in 2009. I have quite some time blogging about it and answering questions on the SharePoint MSDN Forums which as always is a great way to get even more experienced.
The highlight of the year was of course the PDC conference in LA. I learned a ton of stuff, met a lot of nice people at the conference and at the parties, such as the SharePoint by day, SharePint by night party.
As usual I have a ton of personal projects that I have been working on. I released two of them out in the wild:
- ChartPart 1.0 – hosted on CodePlex – a simple charting web part that allows you to create graphs from existing lists in SharePoint
- Windows Search Index Tool – a tool that helps you look deeper into the index of Windows Search.
Blogging here has been fun as usual, and I’m glad to see so much new people dropping by. I’ve had to increase my bandwidth cap three times this year. This years most popular posts are:
- Using the new ListView control in SharePoint
- Internet Explorer 8 will render using web standards mode by default (remember this was during the early beta)
- Unboxing of Belking N1 Vision wireless router
- Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 vs Firefox 3 beta 4 Memory Usage
Most of these are popular due to internet searches. If I look at what people actually reads and links to, these are the most popular ones:
- Install Script for the SharePoint Application Templates
- The simplest form of a SharePoint application, part 2
- The simplest form of a SharePoint application
- About SharePoint 14
As you can see all of them are about SharePoint – one of this years hottest software products!
If I count in posts from previous years the most read one is:
- How to get Remote Debugging to work properly – seems like I was not the only one who had this problem!
Last years predictions
In the last years post I did some predictions about 2008:
- A working version of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 Check – Vista behaves really nice nowadays. Just waiting for Vista R2, ahem, Windows 7
- That OOXML gets approval from the national bodies So they did and OOXML is now an ISO standard, IS29500, but the debate still continues. Microsoft has really grown during this time and I think they are now more open than ever and I really like the new Microsoft. Just take a look at the latest interoperability initiative at http://www.documentinteropinitiative.org/
- That XPS is submitted to ISO Nope. I guess they have to ride the OOXML storm out first.
- Getting at least a few of our customers to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Yes – we have had fun
- Having a nice parental leave You bet
- Getting some time over so I can finish msfeedicon version 3 Nope. Did some other interesting stuff instead, such as the ChartPart.
- Testing out the new Media Center for Vista, codename Fiji Nope. But instead I got my hands on Windows 7 during the PDC.
- Internet Explorer 8 Yes and no, I did initially think that IE8 would be ready by now – but it’s not far away…
So what about 2009?
Guessing that Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7, Office 14 and SharePoint 14 will hit the streets is not that hard. But what else? I don’t expect any major new releases from Microsoft – but I do expect some more “open source” projects dropping out of Redmond and I do expect some major updates to the Windows Live services so they become even more “social”.
This will once again be a year of constant betas, like 2006.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all of you readers out there, and thanks for subscribing to my little blog. I really appreciate all feedback that I get.
So everyone by now knows that Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is available for download, and you all have read positive and/or negative reactions (why do people bother to repeat complaints such as; Firefox already has that feature, Safari is still better, yadda yadda…).
Anyhow I have tried it out during the day and have had a really nice experience. Aside from the improved performance (will be back with more on that later on, but Firefox is still way ahead) I have found some really nice improvements.
Reload and Stop button locations
Finally you can move the Reload and Stop buttons to the left of the Address bar and have them together with the forward/back buttons. I have since IE7 always been annoyed at this. To move the buttons just right click on the menu/toolbar and select Customize->Show Stop and Refresh Buttons before Address bar.
In page search
Oh man, this one is by far the most longed for update. Instead of the dreadful Find dialog you have a Find bar which is opened with Ctrl-F and closed with Esc. Incremental search, Highlighting, easy navigation between hits, Yes!
Improved View Source
The View Source in beta 2 is no longer plain-old notepad, but instead a better color-coded source viewer with a nice search. I only wish it would close when I hit the Esc button (IE-Team - do you listen?).
With Caret Browsing enabled, enable/disable with F7, you can use the keyboard arrow keys to walk around in the web page, which allows for easier text selection.
What’s you favorite IE8 pieces?
It’s summer and time for some vacation, finally. This year has been hard work so far – and I don’t expect it to get lighter this upcoming autumn and winter. I’ve had fun though!
Microsoft SharePoint has really been one thing occupying my work – it feels like everyone is not just looking at SharePoint, they want to use it now! We have a couple of cases that is really interesting and I hope that I have convinced them and proposed a nice solution.
About half a year ago, I predicted about 2008, half of them has come true; Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Internet Explorer 8 (only beta so far), nice parental leave (you bet) and OOXML ISO approval (not quite there yet, but anyway's).
Some things are yet to come, I hope; XPS submittal to ISO, time over for msfeedicon (sorry about all you out there waiting for it – but I have some plans…), testing new Media Center (this one could come true any day, Fiji is in private beta) and upgrading customers to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.
I would like to add some new things to the list; Townsquare (this could really turn the heat up), PDC 2008 (I really hope I can go there) and Windows 7 beta (or as it might turn out to be Windows Vista R2).
That’s all for me for now, don’t expect to much blogging over the next few weeks…
Due to the large amount of users still using Internet Explorer 6 a campaign has started to save developers from having to making specific adaptations to IE6 - SaveTheDevelopers.org.
The Save The Developers site contains a script that anyone can place on their web site and it will show a warning to IE6 users and urge them to upgrade to any of the four major browsers; Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera.
Internet Explorer 6 still represents 31%, almost one third, of all browsers according to TechCrunch, while this site has about 15% (which I find quite high...).
Join the cause, add the script to your site, recommend people, friends, parents, customers and colleagues to upgrade.
Apple have now released the final version of the Safari browser to Windows, which has not gone unnoticed since they are pushing it as a pre-selected optional update to QuickTime or iTunes. I still refuse to install iTunes on my machines so this approach from Apple is not new to me. As soon as there are any updates to QuickTime Apple recommends me to install iTunes, via Apple Software Update.
But anyway's, this time I wanted to install the Safari browser.
As usual I did not read the EULA (who do read all these agreements). If I would have then I would have found out that I was not allowed to install it on my Dell Windows Vista machine!
Take a look at this piece in the License Agreement (Help->License in the Safari browser).
Safari will not be my preferred browser for a long time, I just don't like the interface, the hijack of the controls (look at the image below) or the rendering of text.
But it is installed now - and I'm happy with that. Now I can test drive sites on different browsers without having multiple virtual machines or computers.
Stuart Parmenter, aka Pavlov, has written an article on the improvements of Firefox 3 memory management. Firefox 3 uses a number of nice techniques to reduce the memory usage over time and it looks very promising. My experience with earlier versions of Firefox is that they over time consumes more memory and releases less than Internet Explorer. Pavlov shows with a number of graphs that Firefox 3 beta 4 outruns Internet Explorer 7 and previous versions of Firefox in good memory management.
I did a small test on my own to compare beta 1 of Internet Explorer 8 and beta 4 of Firefox and the results was not that surprising. Take this comparison with a pinch of salt since it not that scientific...
As you can see Firefox (3 beta 4 and 2) outperformed Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 and uses about 50 Mb of memory, in the end, on my machine while IE8 uses twice the amount. What you can't see in this diagram is that FF3b4 did use momentarily more memory, but I did not write these number down instead I wrote them down after the memory usage had stabilized after a few seconds.
Firefox 3 is really looking good and is now contending for the number one browser for me (the lack of creating ActiveX objects, which are used in SharePoint to open/edit documents, are now the only show stopper).
But the article did not test Internet Explorer 8 beta, which I think should have been there (at least for reference). Since the IE8 team claims the performance is so much better, and my feeling after a few days of IE8 usage says so I had to do some testing on my own.
The results was not as I expected - yes, I did expect IE8 to perform better!
The results show that Firefox 3 beta 4 performs 2-3 (or more) times better than Internet Explorer 8. It's an improvement since IE7, but not as good as I was expecting.
Now we have to consider that this is the first beta of IE8 and its beta 4 of Firefox 3, which means that we will see some changes in this test in the near future. Just look at the graph in the article and see the improvement from FF3 beta 3 to beta 4, about 200%.
Worth to notice is also that the script running times with IE8 was steadily increasing!
Another interesting thing is that Internet Explorer 8 had a test deviation of about 60-70% while Firefox 3 had about 20%.
I did the test on my Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 machine and run the tests on clean browsers one test at a time and then switched browsers.
The installation went smooth and just a reboot on a Windows Vista Ultimate machine.
This is by far the best experience so far. It starts really fast, it opens a new tab/windows faster and it renders the pages even faster. What will happen when they start optimizing it! After some testing I find it even faster than the Firefox version I'm using. Thank you!
As expected, not everything looks that nice or work when using Internet Explorer 8 in it's super standards mode. If you need to access some site that does not work with IE8 just hit the IE7 emulation mode button and restart the browser and you are all set! This site, has some layout problems which I will fix soon.
The user interface is almost similar to Internet Explorer 7, but have some minor changes.
The toolbars is surrounded with more space, which I personally think is annoying. I would like to have it as small as possible. The Favorites center lost the icons, why? to save space? I would have preferred to use icons only instead!?
The address field highlights the domain with a more black font color. Look at the image to the right, where you can see that wictorwilen.se is highlighted.
The auto-complete feature when writing URL's are smarter, it now puts the most used file first if there are several matches (at least this is what it feels like, anyone who knows exactly how it behaves). When working with application such as SharePoint that uses underscore in a lot of pages or folders they previously was sorted first.
Internet Explorer 8 Internet Explorer 7
The RSS feeds renders so much faster and Microsoft has finally gotten rid of the annoying memory leaks when browsing multiple feeds that I previously have blogged about (here and here). It is submitted to the Microsoft Support but they have closed the bug as a Won't fix, but now I don't care anymore :-)
Yes! IE8 now includes great developer tools; HTML, DOM and CSS anlayzer and a built-in script debugger.
SharePoint and IE8
I had some fears that SharePoint sites would not look nice or work with IE8, but it's the total opposite situation. SharePoint sites are rendering faster, looks just like before and I have not yet experienced anything unusual. The script engine is so much better, than it's predecessors, in IE8.
And what about the bugs?
Yes, I have found some already. For example selecting text is not easy. Scrolling with the mouse wheel does not work properly. I had it crash once, but the new crash recovery mechanism worked smoothly.
This is just a handful of the brand new Internet Explorer 8. I guess that Firefox, Safari and the rest will have some major competition in the future!
Microsoft has published the Internet Explorer 8 Readiness Toolkit site, since IE8 Beta will be available for download very soon. The site contains information on some of the various new and interesting stuff that IE8 will deliver for consumers and developers. Most of the links are currently not working as this post is written...
Here are some of the highlights if you ignore all the improvements such as CSS compliance etc.
Activities is a completely new feature in Internet Explorer 8 that allows users to install small look-up applications. For example if you install a Virtual Earth Activity and then select and address on another web page and use the context menu on the selection, you can easily look up the address on the map. I see several interesting scenarios for this and the whole mash-up world can boost from this. Can't wait to try it out!
There are currently a bunch of Activities ready to be installed, you can find them at http://ie.microsoft.com/activities/.
Data URI support
The support for inline images is something I waited some time for. Finally we can get rid of all the empty.gif or e.gif, images. IE8 allows developers to insert base64 encoded images directly in the A tag:
<a href="data:image/png;base64,XXXXX..."/>Wonder how this will affect security?
Printing using browsers has been really lousy, hopefully IE8 changes this! I primarily work with Intranet scenarios, where this is a common scenario, so hopefully we can upgrade our clients soon to IE8 and deliver them great printing web applications.
You can find even more improvements and new stuff on the developer page of the IE8 Readiness Toolkit site.
And you can soon find the links on the download page working - and download IE8!
Breaking news! Good news! Finally! Microsoft and the Internet Explorer team has finally decided to change their previous decision and decided that Internet Explorer 8 will render pages using web standards by default, instead of having some backwards-compatible mode.
To catch up and read more head on over to these posts/links. I guess the blogosphere will be flooded with this today...
- Microsoft Press Release on the subject
- IEBlog - Microsoft's Interoperability Principles and IE8
- Mary Jo Foley - Microsoft caves: ‘Super-standards’ mode to become IE 8 default
This is by far the best news in ages from Microsoft (the new open Microsoft?), even better than the news to open up the Windows Server Protocols, since it will affect the end-users more immediate.