Yes, we did…


…notice this yesterday while running the Windows 7 Beta:

Picture of whitehouse.gov site with broken dropdown menus.  All dropdown menus are shown at once instead of closing after use.

If you open the newly redesigned whitehouse.gov in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7 Beta, you’ll notice that the dropdown menus don’t hide correctly when you hover over other menu items.

This is because the version of IE8 in Windows 7 Beta is somewhat older than the Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate (IE8 RC1) that we’re about to release for Windows Vista and Windows XP. Internet Explorer 8 RC1 displays whitehouse.gov correctly – without this menu issue, as does most recent internal Win7 build.

Over the past months, our compatibility team has been hard at work, finding and fixing bugs that cause site rendering issues. Due to the different release schedules for Windows 7 Beta and IE8 RC1, some of these bug fixes didn’t make it into Windows 7 Beta (aka Build 7000). So, if you want to use the latest version of IE8 – you’ll want to install IE8 RC1 for Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Just like we did for IE8 Beta 2, we would love to get your feedback on IE8 RC1 rendering. Soon after we release IE8 RC1, we will blog again about using the Report a Webpage Problem Add-On to report site rendering issues. The data that you have uploaded with this tool in the past has been very useful in our efforts to find and fix rendering issues – thank you very much for helping us out.

Frank Olivier
UX and Compatibility PM

Edit 1/22: Updating Report a webpage add-on hyperlink.

Comments (44)

  1. Yeah, I was pretty disappointed to see how buggy the build in Windows 7 is. I discovered this bug the day it came out since it breaks pretty much any CSS-based hover menu on the Web. CSS application on floated elements is pretty wonky, too.

    At least it’s fixed! Keep on truckin’.

  2. Chas says:

    If IE had better web standards support this would be less of an issue

    Why Open the Web?

    Despite the connecting purpose of the Web, it is not entirely open to all of its users. When used correctly, HTML documents can be displayed across platforms and devices. However, many devices are excluded access to Web content.

    http://my.opera.com/community/openweb/info/

  3. Steven says:

    Cool! Any chance to release the update for Windows 7 as well as Vista/XP? It should not be very hard…

  4. Gyrobo says:

    Speaking of bugs and compatibility, has document.createElement been changed to prevent custom elements from being styled via CSS?

    John Resig’s HTML5 shiv (http://ejohn.org/blog/html5-shiv/) doesn’t seem to work in the second beta:

    http://databathing.com/tests/html5_shiv.html

    Has this been fixed in the RC?

  5. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Gyrobo: In the RC build, the text appears in green as the message suggests it should.

  6. Arieta says:

    >If IE had better web standards support this would be less of an issue

    Standards support is not just magically included in one browser. You have to code it in, step by step, and bugs like this are inevitable. The point was that IT GOT FIXED.

  7. hAl says:

    I guess that means the RC build is done.

    So let us have it please …

  8. hAl says:

    I guess that means the RC build is done.

    So let us have it please …

  9. fearphage says:

    You should also not that the site is valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2F). Do you see the benefit of standards now? Sadly this page is invalid XHTML 1.0 Frameset. Did this page used to have frames?

  10. Just a short question: Will the RC be available for the Windows 7 Beta as well?

  11. Catto says:

    Hey Now Frank,

    IE8 RC1 will be great. The realease date will be fun.

    Thx 4 the info,

    Catto

  12. Is anyone in the compatibility team looking into the WYSIWYG editor compatibility? Cause there is still a major bug (showstopper) with MSIE8.

    http://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=387549

    Testcase is included in comment. Get back to us if you got any questions.

  13. Scott Howell says:

    Did you also notice the whitehouse.gov website is written in asp.net?

  14. Paul S says:

    @fearphage, transitional doctypes are pure evil and you shouldn’t use them unless you actually have a website that’s in the process of moving from one doctype to another. New websites should use Strict doctypes.

  15. Roman says:

    fearphage raises a valid point. Why does this blog declare the frameset doctype?

  16. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Johannes Rössel: As noted elsewhere, the release candidate build will install on platforms other than Windows 7.  As Windows 7 includes IE8, updated IE8 pre-release bits for Win7 will be released as a part of future pre-release updates to Win7 itself.

    You may recall this pattern from the IE7 development timeframe; Windows Vista got new IE7 versions as each Vista beta was released.

  17. Arieta says:

    Paul S: Transitional sites are good for supporting things you already got working in a simple matter, yet they are not supported in another doctype. HTML 4.01 Strict does not allow for target=_blank for example. It is much simpler to just use Transitional in cases like this, unless you work on websites that consist of 4 .html files in total.

  18. Me says:

    Firefox & Safari didn’t fail at all.

    Maybe you should get rid of Trident and go with Gecko or Webkit, at least they got things right the first time.

  19. rob^_^ says:

    It appears that inetcpl.cpl is out of sync in the build.

    It appears that "Automatically correct rendering errors" is on by default, but there is no options under the Internet Options to switch it off.

    Users should be aware that on Win7 IE8 some web sites will be rendered to a fallback doctype.

    Look for the brief Ballon message when you navigate to sites that informs you that IE8 has automatically chosen the rendering mode.

  20. In a post to the IE Blog yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that it is about to release the curious long

  21. AnMyop says:

    Is this different from the "Partner Build" of RC1 leaked last month? Have you included a way to disable all the tab colors without forcing all tabs to open at the end yet?

  22. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @AnMyop: The Partner build released to Connect last month was an earlier build, which was between the prior Beta-2 build and the upcoming RC-1 build.

  23. Mark says:

    It’s a real pity that we don’t get an updated IE8 if running Win7. IE8 is the WORST part of Windows 7. It is extremely slow (several seconds to open a new tab), 20% of pages don’t render properly, frequent crashes, RSS feeds suddenly stop updating. It’s just nasty.

    If the next version of IE8 isn’t dramatically better then it has absolutely no chance of ever competing with any other modern browser.

    Part of the problem is that Win7 is just very good, which emphasises the fact that at the moment IE8 is very poor.

    Final question – does IE8 get a spell checker ever? That is an important missing feature.

  24. berhfbe says:

    @Mark Win7 is in beta.. so why wining so much about the browser..??

    @Mark Spell checker can be downloaded as an add on..

  25. Mark says:

    Why ‘wining’ about the browser?

    I’m giving feedback about the browser, and the fact that it is terrible. I’m hoping the RC will be better, because it needs to be. And it is just a pity that the millions of win7 beta testers won’t get a chance to find out so soon.

    As for the spell check (it’s spelt ‘whining’, btw), I know it can be downloaded as an add on, but so can Chrome and Firefox – which is what will happen more and more unless the final release of IE8 is significantly better.

  26. loxx says:

    I look forward to downloading IE 8 RC1 for Windows 7 beta from Microsoft downloads.

  27. steve says:

    @Mark – I’m with you. Spellchecker should be a default part of the browser.

    Keep giving feedback regardless if others thing your ideas might not be legit or too involved for the IE team to pull off.

    I’ve found that the IE Team works on the "Squeaky Wheel Principal" – they only fix the things that rise to the top of the list of end-user (and sometimes developer) complaints.

    steve

  28. Will Peavy says:

    @Arieta – the target attribute was disallowed in anchor elements in HTML4 because users should be in charge of deciding which links open new tabs/windows in their own browser.

  29. Martin says:

    quote:

    [[ @Arieta – the target attribute was disallowed in anchor elements in HTML4 because users should be in charge of deciding which links open new tabs/windows in their own browser. ]]

    But the user is in charge, because all modern browsers can be configured to ignore target if the user want that. (It’s the same with fonts, colors, width and all that. The site gives a value that it think is the best, and the user can then configure the browser to ignore that if he want that).

    I have configured my browser to ignore target if it would open a new window, but most users I have talked to want to let websites open links in a new window. There is a reason that this is sometimes wanted. (Mostly if it’s a link to an external site, and you don’t want to close the main site. And letting the website handle this automatic, is better then having the user guess if this link is taking them to an other website, and thus should open in a new window).

    And a bit off-topic: Using javascript, to open new windows are a pure evil.

  30. mcepat says:

    I saw some comments in the Microsoft Connect site about this and the tech actually said it cannot be reproduced, this is a joke right? NETSUITE does not work with IE8 period, please have someone get an account log onto the website and try the javascript drop down boxes anywhere on the site, they stay open and never close? Please fix this, NETSUITE is used by alot of people (including me) its the reason why I had to go back to Vista

    again NETSUITE compatability still not fixed in IE8 Beta 2 (do you guys get it?)

  31. Lawrence Loeb says:

    When opening a pdf file from a website using the Adobe plugin (both the Reader 9.0 or Professional 9.0), the Print menu (box?) does not fit within the box and hitting "OK" doesn’t generate a printed document.

    Disabling the plug-in and opening the file in the Reader or Professional fixes the problem, but I would think you’d want to fix the issue for the plug-in before IE8 goes live.

    The system I use is Vista Professional SP1.

  32. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Lawrence: Thanks for the report.  I believe that the PDF printing issue is resolved in the upcoming Release Candidate build.

  33. Arieta says:

    Martin: I understand the reason why target _blank is not valid under html 4.01 strict. But, tell me how should I go about explaining that to digital illiterates who pay me to build websites for them, with a specific wish that "that link should open in a new window".

    Mark: You are using a beta OS – you’ll have to remove or update it anyway. It’s pointless for Microsoft to make Win7 betas be upgradeable with IE8 RC1, since the whole OS is still being worked on and not finalized. It’s like expecting Win7 to get a beta-to-final upgrade pack from Windows Update.

    And chances are that whatever will be the next public beta/rc build of Win7, it will have a version of IE8 that is more up to date than the IE8 RC1 we will have at that time.

    Also, whining does not equal feedback.

    As for a spellchecker, IEPro includes this I think (though I find that it is mostly unnecessary for anybody who learned how to spell in elementary school).

  34. Matt says:

    Are you aware of a bug in the IE8 beta that causes an auto-hide favorites tab to disappear if you click outside of it even when a right-click dialog is open?  What I mean is that when I right-click on a favorite with the intention to delete it, if I click on the delete option with the pointer outside the extents of the favorites tab it will not delete and will simply close the favorites tab.  It does delete the favorite if I make sure to point at the delete option with the pointer within the extents of the tab.  This seems like a simple fix to just have the auto-hide condition check if you are clicking in a right-click menu.  It currently seems to be only checking if you are within the extents of the favorites tab.

  35. hAl says:

    @Arieta

    As I did not get any english at elementary school a spellchecker is very usefull when writing in english.

  36. Daniel says:

    @Arieta:

    —But, tell me how should I go about explaining that to digital illiterates who pay me to build websites for them, with a specific wish that "that link should open in a new window".—

    You’re the expert. Discuss problems in such cases with your customer. He surely expects some good advise from the expert he hires.

    Here’s some text that may help you: http://www.webaccessstrategies.com/blog/id/the-scourge-of-new-windows/

  37. Mark says:

    "As for a spellchecker, IEPro includes this I think (though I find that it is mostly unnecessary for anybody who learned how to spell in elementary school)."

    – yep that is a great attitude to making new products through considering the needs of your customers.

    "Also, whining does not equal feedback."

    Who said it does? If you want to classify my feedback as whining, then that’s your problem. Most people that make successful products chose to listen to their customers.

    I understand it is a Beta OS. I understand I have to remove it. What I don’t understand is the reason for excluding potential feedback from millions of Win7 beta testers.

  38. While I understand the situation with not releasing the RC for Win7 Beta in a general sense, I suspect that preparing and releasing an out-of-band update to Win7 to update IE8 would fix issues that might lead to bad press in the short-term. Maybe this isn’t a concern since the rest of the Win7 beta is running great and it would appear that a RC of it could easily be available in a few months which presumably could include the RTW version of IE. I guess maybe it won’t matter in the end 😉

    On a side note, I was unable to post to Connect about an issue we had with XmlHttpRequest/WinInet with B2. I did post on the forum about the issue back in Dec. We are holding out for the RC to see if it was fixed, but if not, we are likely going to have to change our application server to handle the broken custom http headers that are being added on the first request (only when over SSL for some reason).

    Basically, if you were to use xmlHttpRequest to do a GET to an https url with a custom header, you can see with fiddler that the headers are getting duplicate values such as: "customHeader: value, value" on the first request to the server. Subsequent requests are fine.

  39. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Allen: I’d love to learn more about this bug.  Can you email me (ericlaw @ microsoft) with your test case?

    (I’m pretty sure all similar issues were fixed post beta-2).

  40. gabe says:

    id like to know when microsoft plans to release a browser after ie8

    when will we see ie9 or whatever it is will it be relased

    i suspect personaly based on timeframe of ie8 and 7 it wont be out til 2012 atleast

  41. Mitch 74 says:

    I don’t think we’ll ever have a major IE revision without an OS release; however, I’d personally enjoy a .5 (or .whatever) release which would give, say…

    DOM2 events and SVG Tiny support?

    After all, IE 5.5 brought (on top of CSS bug fixes) some Jscript methods and transparent PNG support (in a fashion, through CSS filters). So, I don’t think IE 8.5 is a far fetched idea. It could bring, I don’t know,

    DOM2 events and SVG Tiny support?

    It sounds like I’m repeating myself and others’ arguments here. But, even though I’m amazed at how small the delta between IE 8 and other browsers has gotten on a CSS level (there still are unfixed bugs, but relatively few and arcane ones) and how good the developers tools have gotten (if only to identify what IE doesn’t support, which is already a very nice time saver, but it goes much further than that), I must admit that there are many things I can’t implement in my public websites because of IE lacking

    DOM2 events and SVG Tiny support?

    Which I don’t mind implementing in internal websites where I know I have

    DOM2 events and SVG Tiny support?

    on our browsers (we use GNU/Linux, see – so no IE).

    And since I respect my clients and don’t ever want to re-enact the Browser War with "Best viewed in <insert target browser here>", I am, now and forever, stuck into the "common denominator": whatever browsers that have more than 2% market share must have full (or nearly so) functionality and design enabled.

    It does mean that I support Gecko 1.8 and up, IE 6 and up, and Safari 3 and up. Interestingly, I didn’t have to try and support Opera, Konqueror or Chrome – they work anyway.

    Lucky for me IE 5.0 is pretty much gone, as it would mean that some nice transparency effects I achieve with alpha-transparent PNG files would have to be removed.

  42. Dezireh Azarian says:

    IE8 is more user friendly than ever! There are several new personalization features within IE8, such as Web Slices, that allow users to go beyond the page for the latest content. In order to demonstrate these features, MSFT has selected OneRiot as a feature search provider for today’s RC1 of IE8.

    With the OneRiot Hot Topics Web Slice, users stay apprised of the hottest breaking news from around the web within the browser. Additional IE8 add-ons include the OneRiot Hot Topic Sidebar and the OneRiot Social Search Suggestions.

    Our innovative social search services are a perfect fit for IE8’s new Web Slices and other search features, allowing users to easily find the pulse the web directly from their browser. Check them out and get a feel for IE8’s new features! You feedback is always much appreciated.

    A library of these extensions and services for IE8 can be found online at OneRiot: http://www.oneriot.com or within the Internet Explorer Gallery: http://tinyurl.com/oneriot-ie8-gallery

  43. xfinx says:

    Hi guys, I noticed an error on a website:

    http://en.leadingcourses.com/europe+netherlands+limburg/maastricht-international-golf/

    In ff2, ff3, IE 6, IE 7, safari & opera the page works just fine. But not in the latest IE8

    I downloaded IE8 today.

    What happens at the page is: googlemaps are put in a div, that div is cut off with overflow: hidden;

    a layer is positioned above also to make sure if you click on it, yuo will get to another page.

  44. @EricLaw: After installing RC, the issue I mentioned is fixed. Thanks again to the IE team for working so hard to get this release done. BTW, the performance improvement from B2 to RC is very noticable.

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