Missed MIX, Catch The Content Online

For those of you who didn’t make it to MIX, I wanted to take a quick minute to point out that the MIX team has made all of the sessions available for viewing and downloading.  If you’re building any type of web site or web application, I’d highly recommend checking out Eric’s Security session and John’s performance session.  Both will give you some great tips for writing better code, not just in Internet Explorer, but for browsers in general.

A Brief History Of The Web

So much has happened in such a small time that it would be impossible to cover it all.  We left plenty out, but the parts we left in are really funny, so we hope you can forgive us.

Dean Hachamovitch’s Day 2 Keynote


Sessions Presented By The Internet Explorer Team

A Lap Around Internet Explorer 8 – MIX09-T52F
IE is back! In this session, you’ll hear the inside story behind the development of Internet Explorer 8. We’ll show you how to develop innovative user experiences with Web Slices, Accelerators and Visual Search. You’ll discover nearly twenty new security enhancements that make browsing safer than ever, and you’ll find out about performance improvements that will help you build faster AJAX applications. Finally, we’ll show you why we think Internet Explorer 8 is one of the most standards-compliant web browsers on the market.

Securing Web Applications – MIX09-T54F
After a quick summary of some of the web attacks in the wild today, you’ll learn how to take advantage of browser security improvements to help protect your web applications and visitors.

Creating A Great Experience On Digg With Windows Internet Explorer 8 – MIX09-C22F
Come hear how Terralever was able to use the powerful new features of Internet Explorer 8 to change how users interact with the Digg website.  Learn how using Accelerators and Web Slices changed the way users are able to discover, as well as simplify submitting stories.  We’ll look at how taking advantage of these exciting features can improve a users experience, while increasing the number of users visiting your site. 

Internet Explorer 8 In The Real World: How Is IE8 Used – MIX09-C23F
Come see behind the scenes and learn about the customer data that motivated the IE8 user experience design team. We’ll discuss what people are doing in the browser and how that influenced the detailed design of new features. We’ll also talk about the methodology for choosing the subtle refinements to existing features that have a big impact on ease of use and discoverability.

Building High Performance Web Applications and Sites – MIX09-T53F
Learn how to improve your web application’s performance in the browser by avoiding common pitfalls in JavaScript, CSS, and HTTP caching techniques.

And if you haven’t already, you can download Internet Explorer 8 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer

PEte LePage

Comments (25)

  1. TheDude21 says:

    Thank you Pete for taking the time to find all the links and post them 🙂

  2. Matt says:

    I’m sure it must be somewhat difficult to talk about IE8 now. On the one hand, IE8 is supposed to be the same as other browsers in that it’s standards compliant. On the other hand you want to differentiate yourself from other browsers and maybe you’re just stuck in the past life of being the "only" browser.

    Mix is just kind of an odd thing. It’s like you’re spending time promoting "the web", but not any of the other players. And they just go on building better browsers and not having conferences.

    I’m honestly confused about the relevance of Mix to standards compliant developers. I think it has no relevance.

  3. Mitch 74 says:

    While IE 8 improved compatibility with HTML, ECMAscript and CSS standards (the latter being probably the best, with almost complete and almost bug-free CSS 2.1 support), I must cite 2 standards supports that have barely (if at all) been improved in IE 8: DOM 2 (let’s not mention 3), both core and events (to cite only 2 components of DOM 2) and SVG (or vector graphics in general, VML having been rejected by ISO, and declared deprecated in both the MSOXML ECMA draft and final ISO standard).

    Unfortunately, since HTML DOM 2 constitutes the link between CSS, HTML and ECMAscript (commonly referred a Javascript, the Netscape/Mozilla implementation of the language), all those other points are very hard (if not impossible) to use in a standards-compliant manner for user-oriented applications: something as DUMB as reading a key stroke has to be programmed differently in IE and in most other browsers (please don’t mention the legacy Netscape event model).

    I’d like an IE-native addEventListener implementation, please – with proper ‘this’ support, and, pretty please, the event propagation model that goes with it.

    Now, it’s true that stuff like DOM storage, native JSON support, Edge mode for CSS/HTML parsing and rendering are a huge load off a developer’s shoulders.

    If only we could design rich, interactive content in both IE and other browsers with a single code path, then IE 8 would be REALLY standards-compliant.

    Oh, wait: that’s what Silverlight is about. Never mind that Silverlight isn’t supported on platforms other than Windows, and isn’t exactly made to run on lightweight appliances…

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to spend some time playing with that nifty Firefox 3.5 extension that allows hardware-accelerated OpenGL ES apps to be written and run inside a web page…

  4. Olivier says:

    @Mitch 74 : on my side, I’m going to use that little IE8 extension which let me play GTA IV on my 486.

  5. Greg Houston says:

    A Brief History Of The Web was a little disturbing. You get the sense that Internet Explorer is being marketed for eight year olds by people who don’t really get eight year olds.

    I think you will find less and less success in the coming years with trying to be cool, trying to be funny, trying to relate to your users and developers based on market analysis rather than being sincere, simple, intelligent, open, and honest.

    People are increasingly choosing simple elegance and sincerity over hype and false corporate marketing facades. Microsoft is out of touch with the times.

    The other videos I can’t speak on since sadly they require a plugin I don’t intend to download. The age of the browser plugin has come and gone.

  6. hAl says:


    Silverlight looks fairly cross platform to me.

    A lot more crossplatform than IE8 itself.

  7. harry richter says:

    @Mitch 74

    "Never mind that Silverlight isn’t supported on platforms other than Windows, and isn’t exactly made to run on lightweight appliances…"

    It is correct, that Silverlight is not supported on other plattforms than windows, because on other platforms it is called Moonlight.

    Writing this sentence, I can already hear you calling out, that Moonlight is not as far as Silverlight is, but wait, isn’t that something we see all over the place? Full feature support for Adobe Photoshop in MacOS, just to give an example. And never mind the "behind-the-scenes" support, that Microsoft has given to the Moonlight project…

    Now what about the "lightweight" stuff…

    It is as <5MB download. In times of Terabyte HDs that is lightweight enough for me. And you might want to take a look at Tim Sneaths Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2009/01/29/what-can-you-do-with-10k-of-silverlight-or-wpf-code.aspx

    …lightweight enough?

    While I sometimes agree with you, in this case your comment comes over as some kind of rant, but not supported by facts.



  8. bill says:

    I keep getting this error… what is it all about?


    The site will change, but the error is the same.

  9. colorblind says:

    Is it possible to change the IE8 find yellow highlight color to some other user set color?

  10. Phil says:

    Bill: If you read the error page, it’s pretty clear– you have a malfunctioning browser addon.  Figure out which one it is (older versions of Flash are a key culprit) and upgrade it or disable it.

    ColorBlind: I don’t see any option like that, but you’re not motion blind, are you?  You should see the characters as they highlight.  Besides that, people with the rare blue/yellow colorblindness are very rare, and it’s not as if there’s a lot of text on the web that has a square blue background in the exact shape of the word.

    Greg: Judging from the reaction of MiX, most web developers found this video very funny.  If you’re saying that web developers and designers are eight year olds, well, you’re entitled to insult whomever you want.  You ARE THE Greg, after all!

    Matt: You should probably attend MiX and see what it’s all about.  There’s a lot more than just IE there.

  11. Programmerman says:

    I want to download the Brief History of the Web video. Do you have it posted somewhere?

  12. Mitch 74 says:

    @harry richter:

    About Moonlight: it’s not a _port_, it’s a _rewrite_ : as in, programmers from the Mono project took Silverlight’s specifications and programmed a compatible implementation (something they did very well, to their credit). The same way Microsoft once took the Java specifications and wrote the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine. Guess what? One program written for Sun’s Java hardly ran under MS Java. Why? language extensions and custom libraries didn’t match.

    To be fair, MS engineers dedicated a lot of time to clean up and clarify several aspects of the specs, so we’re more in a case of Sun versus GCJ compatibility now. But I digress.

    A very simple example: take Moonlight’s code, and compile/install it. Then, go to any website that uses Silverlight for video. Ta-daaa! Instant no video. Why? Because one of the most interesting features in Silverlight is video, and said video codecs are patent protected… Which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if Silverlight actually supported free (as in, not protected by software patents) video codecs (like, say, Theora).

    What does that leave behind for Silverlight+Moonlight to be interoperable on, over HTML + CSS? Animated vector graphics. But SVG tiny 1.2 + ECMAscript 3.1 do that, too, in a cross-browser fashion, so it’s duplicate functionality. On some, it’s even hardware-accelerated.

    Thus, exit Silverlight+Moonlight.

    Next: Firefox’s complete installer is barely bigger than Silverlight’s. It is a full-fledged browser, which is currently decried by many as being bloated. Opera, too. Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari (for iPhone) render SVG, too. Guess what? These browsers (or a port of them, I tested Fennec at least) can run on ARM 400 MHz devices, on Symbian Windows Mobile, or on Android. So, when I mean cross-platform I don’t mean limited to Windows, Mac OS X or desktop Linux, I mean phones, mobiles, appliances and set-top boxes.

    Thus, exit Silverlight being cross-platform.

    In short, I’ll shut up about Silverlight not being cross-platform and not standard the day Microsoft adds Theora and Vorbis (or whatever other free, unencumbered by patents modern video codecs they prefer) to their own implementation, and Moonlight is shown to run on these devices too (to sum up even more, the day the same video can be watched indiscriminately with a ‘vanilla’ build of Moonlight and under Silverlight).

    @Olivier: that little applet showcasing an OpenGL animation in a canvas under Firefox 3.5 (pre-beta 4) looks very nice: it’s called Canvas 3D, here’s the author’s blog address: http://blog.vlad1.com. Enjoy.

    Done ranting.

  13. IE8 crashes at http://www.direct2drive.com/

    Also, dropdown listboxes are having trouble.

    I’ve started using IE regularly for the first time since IE6; IE8 seems much better and less "clunky" than IE7, at least IE7 seemed so to me, I could be wrong. IE8 is much faster for me it seems but it’s still not as consistent like Firefox. I wish IE8 didn’t use the round buttons on the address toolbar. Can it be changed? Firefox has a seemingly more consistent and sleek (not cluttered) look.

    Good job!

  14. Harry Richter says:

    @Mitch 74

    About port or rewrite: I never claimed, Moonlight was a port. So what? The technology is available. It was rewritten with aid by Microsoft. And that is also a fundamental difference to the quoted example of the Java-mess. It is in the best interest of Microsoft to have Silverlight/Moonlight to succeed. And succeed it will only if it works on different systems.

    Video Codecs:

    You may have heard, that president Obamas inauguration was streamed to the web using Silverlight/Moonlight, and e.g. Linux users could watch the video, just like the Windows users could. The question of codecs to support is also one of the download size. But then I hear "bloadware" again…

    There will be new codecs supported (see http://silverlight.net/getstarted/silverlight3/default.aspx#whatsnew), but for now the number of Theora and Vorbis encoded videos on the web is negligible, so the priorities quite obviously lie somewhere else. As can be seen from president Obamas inauguration, there is also a way around the question of patents.

    WRONG: "But SVG tiny 1.2 + ECMAscript 3.1 do that, too, in a cross-browser fashion, so it’s duplicate functionality."

    For 60-70% (probably even more) of the users out there, it is not duplicate functionality. SVG was and is a stillbirth, and that is, why Flash is now installed on nearly all Computers out there. The standard of SVG is so cumbersome, that it never gained momentum, and that was the reason Flash, and later Silverlight came into being.

    Let me digress with a piece of my personal opinion (and as such not sufficiently substantiated by facts, but enough indications for me to believe so):

    The only reason, SVG now sees the support by FF and the likes is to put themselves apart from IE, and at the same time give its makers the opportunity to cry out against the "lack of standards support by MS". I also believe that the ACID3 test was solely created to make IE and Microsoft look bad, and I laude Microsoft for not caving in to the pressure, even in light of the complaint of an unsuccessful competitor with the EU Commission and Chief Microsoft Hater Neelie Kroes.

    "On some, it’s even hardware-accelerated." So is Silverlight 3.

    "Thus, exit Silverlight+Moonlight"

    Maybe for you, but for many out there it is "Welcome and enter Silverlight and Moonlight"

    If you take into account, that Silverlight is on the market only for a short period of time (as compared to SVG, or FF), it is now running on a number of plattforms, and I assume it will be on mobile devices sooner, rather than later. It is a bit unfair to compare such a young technology to others, that are much older, at least if it comes to availability on different platforms.

    Last time I checked (5 minutes ago) I found this:

    A cross-platform application may run on as many as all existing platforms, or on as few as two platforms. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-platform)

    I suggest, you get your definition of cross-platform right, or get that wikipedia entry corrected.

    "Thus, exit Silverlight being cross-platform." – you could not be more wrong.

    In short, I’ll shut up … the day the same video can be watched indiscriminately with a ‘vanilla’ build of Moonlight and under Silverlight. I’ll say just one word: "Obama"!

    Sorry for the word "rant" in my previous post. Although you should now be "shut up" ;-))), I would enjoy to continue this discussion!



    PS: if you find any spelling or grammar mistakes: you can keep them!

    English is not my mother tongue!

  15. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Chrislasun: I have no problems with the Direct2Drive site.  It uses Flash, however, so you should ensure you’re using the latest version.  

    In terms of the dropdown listboxes "having trouble"– can you be more specific?


  16. I saw the video on the Mix site but thanks for posting it again. I usually don’t watch something twice unless I really like it.

    …with a layer of melted developers on top. }>:-D

  17. Sharon [MSFT] says:


    you can download the Net History video from here: http://windows.com/ie8nethistory

  18. Jace says:

    @Mitch 74

    You said:

    "Never mind that Silverlight isn’t supported on platforms other than Windows…"

    Somehow I think the Mitch 74 definition of cross-platform isn’t worth mutch:

    "About Silverlight

    A cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the web."


    You also said:

    "Firefox’s complete installer is barely bigger than Silverlight’s"

    Have you actually checked the sizes? The Silverlight 2.0 plug-in for Windows is 4.68MB.

    The Firefox 3.08 installer for Windows is 7.1MB.

    4.68 to 7.1 is not "barely"

    Somehow your rant seems to be just that, a "rant", try getting your facts straight?

  19. jace says:

    I forgot to mention that on the Mac:

    Firefox 3.08 is 17.2MB

    Silverlight plug-in < 2MB

  20. Mitch 74 says:

    @Harry: about codecs, the only one video codec I see added to the list is MPEG-4. It is covered by patents. If you don’t pay for a license from the Motion Picture Expert Group, you have no right to compile, use and distribute an MPEG (video 1, 2 or 4, audio layers 1,2 and 3) decoder. Exit Free software versions (like Debian or Ubuntu) for international releases. About Novell, look up "covenant not to sue" and the reasons behind the last GPLv3 draft (which became final). Very enlightening.

    On the other hand, On2 awarded a limitless patent to Theora (it, after all, provided the original VP3.2 code), and Vorbis has been out (and is now supported on several hardware players) for quite some time.

    SVG is a stillbirth: if you used, say, Google Maps or Live! maps, under any browser other than IE, even only once, you used SVG. I don’t call that a stillbirth. CSS3 styles will, moreover, allow SVG syntax to be used (for rounded courners, tilted/non-rectangular boxes, etc.) in next-generation browsers.

    The rewrite: the "Java mess" was huge at the start, and I did give credit to MS and the Novell developer for having minimized said mess to a bare minimum rapidly in Silver/Moonlight’s case. Still, incompatibilities WILL exist, since the reference implementation of Silverlight is closed source.

    Firefox/Silverlight size: OK, let’s take Opera’s installer size instead. Windows version 9.6x, Int’l English… 4.8 Mb. Silverlight 2.0 installer: 4.6 Mb. So yes, Silverlight alone is as big as an SVG-capable modern browser.

    If we take the Windows API itself as a single platform (most commonly accepted definition), then Silverlight 2.0 is indeed cross-platform: it runs on Windows NT 5.0+ compatible platforms and on Mac OS X/Intel. However, it doesn’t run on OS X/PPC (still supported by Apple), nor on Linux (any CPU), BSD (idem), Solaris (see a trend?), Symbian OS (eh? A non-minority, closed-source OS!)…

    If we take the current mobile market into consideration, since after all Bill Gates himself said that the next PC is a smart phone (see: MS’s OLPC opposition speeches and others), then a phone is a computer platform. And Silverlight (any version) doesn’t run on smartphones.

    About videos: Moonlight is the name of a Novell-sponsored project. By itself, it can’t decode videos (except when linked with ffmpeg – but see patented codecs, above, and Novell-MS "covenant not to sue"), thus it requires a binary-only "codec media pack" from Microsoft. Said codec pack requires an Intel x86 (32- or 64-bit) processor to run, so Moonlight can’t playback video on PPC or on ARM. Moreover, Moonlight is Silverlight 1.0 compatible, not 2.0 (not yet).

    So, tell me guy: if I want to create a video-capable, vector-traced, animated website that runs on a "vanilla" Windows desktop (i.e. has only IE installed), on any supported Mac OS machine, on smart phones (I’ll be nice and cover only recent ones) and on any Linux-based netbook, what can I use?

    Right now, nothing. Had Silverlight (1 and 2) supported Theora, I could have relied upon Moonlight for those platforms that don’t accept closed source binaries. Had IE 8 supported SVG Tiny 1.2, and MS not objected to Theora’s and Vorbis’ mention in HTML 5’s "video" and "audio" objects (because these aren’t patent-proof! As if VC-1, or MPEG-4, were!), I could have used SVG+ECMAscript (SVG Tiny 1.2 defines parts of the video object).

    Right now, I have to create 3 websites: one using Silverlight 2.0, one using Moonlight 1.0+Theora, another using SVG on very recent (if not alpha-quality) browsers. Or, I can use Flash and PRAY the next release of swfdec or Gnash won’t break. Yay.

    The very mess SVG was created to solve, getting rid of Flash, got worse with Silverlight.

  21. hAl says:


    Silverlight 3 has codec / container extensibility. It can run any codec.

    Moonlight developers have already shown Moonlight development version running OGG Vorbis video using the Silverlight 3 technology on linux.

    That is somehting Flash has not been able to do even after a decade.

    In addition Microsoft will provide all Moonlight users with free codec support for Windows media codecs, VC-1 and AVC/h.264 codecs. any licenses are payed for by Microsoft.

    And also get your info straight on HTML5 for which it was Apple and Nokia who objected to the inclusion of OGG vorbis and Theora in HTML5 video tag specifcations.

  22. hAl says:


    Silverlight 3 has codec / container extensibility. It can run any codec.

    Moonlight developers have already shown Moonlight development version running OGG Vorbis video using the Silverlight 3 technology on linux.

    That is somehting Flash has not been able to do even after a decade.

    In addition Microsoft will provide all Moonlight users with free codec support for Windows media codecs, VC-1 and AVC/h.264 codecs. any licenses are payed for by Microsoft.

    And also get your info straight on HTML5 for which it was Apple and Nokia who objected to the inclusion of OGG vorbis and Theora in HTML5 video tag specifcations.

  23. bill says:

    @ Phil – thanks! yeah it does appear to be a misbehaving addon.

    "Windows Data Execution Prevention detected an add-on trying to use system memory incorrectly. This can be caused by a malfunction or a malicious add-on."

    It would be a bit nicer if it explained WHICH addon it was.  Now I have to go one by one to turn them back on.

    I must say I’m a bit scared though – Its throwing this error on "about:blank" tabs!!! Why the @#$%@! is it even running ANY extensions on about:blank tabs? What’s up with that?

  24. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Bill: Certain types of IE Addons (toolbars & BHOs) run regardless of what page you’re visiting.  You can use Manage Addons to disable unwanted addons to resolve this problem.  Just to verify that this is an addon problem, see if the problem exists when running with no add-ons, using the steps here: http://www.enhanceie.com/ie/troubleshoot.asp#crash

    The reason the message doesn’t tell you /which/ addon is the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to do so accurately.  Because the addon is corrupting memory, we cannot reliably examine the callstack and see which addon is the culprit.

  25. Mitch 74 says:

    @hAl: Silverlight 3 isn’t out yet (however, that it will accept external codecs is a good thing and pretty much solves the problem, so that’s really nice).

    About Nokia and Apple being the most vocal anti-Theora and anti-Vorbis (Nokia called Vorbis a ‘proprietary audio codec’, a very first about that one), I’ve read several mail archives on the WHATWG, and it’s true that most vocal ones are from Apple and Nokia; however, citing several members, Microsoft was against the inclusion of Theora and Vorbis too, didn’t take an active part in the discussion, and usually only communicate privately; one representative message being http://www.mail-archive.com/whatwg@lists.whatwg.org/msg08496.html

    Now, Microsoft having had the Eolas/MP3 case is sure to deter them from ever implementing a third party codec except if forced to it kicking and screaming (see MPEG-4), so it’s understandable – if they could keep VC-1 alone across the board, then it would represent a single attack vector for submarine patents.

    Now, about that particular issue, it would indeed be best if all browsers could load external codecs at will; that way, a browser wouldn’t have to become a movie player too, and codec support could be loaded after the fact (which is also good in the sense that it would make no sense to force suport for Theora ten years from now when any patents on h.264, which is better, will have expired, say). However, stop me if I’m wrong, but supporting a certain codec under IE requires adding said codec to the VfW legacy infrastructure, or as a DirectShow filter – something that (as far as I know) can’t take effect without having to reload the browser.

    If Silverlight 3 allows the loading of external codecs AND expose them to the rest of the HTML document (so that IE, or indeed any Sliverlight-enabled browser, can in fact implement the video object through Silverlight), then fine.

    However, Silverlight 3 isn’t out yet, and Moonlight 2.0 isn’t, either – so the video problem is still relevant, and since I saw no more remarks against my SVG ‘rants’, I hope we agree that the latter is, actually, a real issue.

    (let me catch my breath and I’ll come back with another outraged rant; IE 8 actually made common MS-bashing quite difficult this time around, as it actually is quite good. Let’s see… Oh! DOM2 events! Aw man, already done…)

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