Designing Websites with Web Standards Using Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

For the past 12 years, I've been building websites and working with different Web technologies. I'd have to say that one of the most frustrating experiences (and the most time consuming) has been to get content to render correctly in all browsers. As a result, I'm a really strong advocate of Web standards. For example, during the RealDevelopment tour, we demonstrated how to validate your code using the W3C validator and how to make your websites more accessible (you can find a lot of the free tools and resources from the tour here and the PowerPoint slides).


Internet Explorer 8.0 is another great tool to add in your arsenal to create standards compliant websites. It includes a CSS Tool to understand the hierarchy of your elements (as opposed to deciphering it through code), a built-in script debugger and profiler (essential to performance tune your JavaScript) and Version Mode Switching, which allows you to switch into different browser modes and test your content for standards compliance.


Earlier this week, I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Pete LePage, a Senior Product Manager on the Internet Explorer team about IE 8 Beta 2 (his Twitter feed can be found here). The 15 minute video interview gives a lowdown on how IE 8 is important to you as a Web developer:

Let us know what you think of the video. If you have any questions for Pete, post them in the comments and we'll do a follow up!

Here are the questions asked in the interview:


(00:14) - "Could you tell us a little about your background and what it's like to work as a Canadian at Microsoft in Redmond?"

(01:07) - "What is the culture like on the IE team?"

(02:22) - "Many Canadians watching this are both developers and IT professionals. What features are there to make IE 8 easier to deploy?"

(03:00) - "What’s in it for the person off the street? What would be your elevator pitch?"

(03:27) - "Could you provide some information about other new features in IE8 such as the privacy mode that has been recently talked about?"

(05:40) - "What does the future hold for dynamic languages in the browser? Will JavaScript continue to be number one?"

(06:40) - "What sort of improvements in the IE team making in v8 and beyond to make it easier for developers to build add-ons?"

(08:14) - "And what about ActiveX? Will this continue to be supported in the future? What’s the IE team’s thinking around ActiveX?"

(08:50) - "What is the code required on a web page to render appropriately in IE8 (i.e. META tags)"

(10:47) - "Which Web standards are the highest priority ones for your team to implement and why?"

(11:40) - "What’s the IE team’s take on the Semantic Web? Do you think there’s value in this idea?"

(12:05) - "In terms of IE7 emulation, what are you trying to solve in terms of Web standards?"

(12:50) - "What are the timelines you can share for IE8?

(13:20) - "One of the core activities a Web developer does is debugging. What's new in debugging within IE 8.0?

So now the key question, where to download Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta 2? Simply visit this link. You should also read more about guidelines for upgrading to IE8 Beta 2 today. Also, If you are currently using IE8 Beta 1 on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 with Automatic Updates turned on, you will receive IE8 Beta 2 through Windows Update. Finally, for the central area to learn how to develop websites and Web applications using Internet Explorer 8, visit the Internet Explorer Developer Centre!

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