Feedback on the IE9 Platform Preview


Since the release of the IE9 Preview, we’ve gotten feedback on issues ranging from the tests we’ve submitted to the standards body to problems running particular sites. First – THANK YOU for the feedback. We updated the feedback system specifically for this purpose: to get and act on your feedback. This post offers a high level overview of the feedback overall, and a deeper look at a couple of specific issues that many people have reported.

As of April 16th, people have logged 533 issues in Connect. We review each issue, and confirm we can reproduce the problem. If necessary, we ask the person who logged it for more information. We also consolidate duplicate items.

In looking through the confirmed issues, two are particularly interesting: displaying small fonts, and using GMail.  I’ll use these as examples of how we use your feedback. 

Displaying Small Fonts

Several people reported that while fonts in general are smoother and clearer, in some scenarios small fonts look less clear. This type of issue has certain characteristics that make your feedback crucial:

  • Fonts render differently on different graphics hardware.
  • People browse different sites, each with a different selection of font styles, colors, sizes, and background colors, and each impacted differently by Direct2D.

This is a good example of how your feedback directs changes to IE, and helps us scale to the many different combinations of hardware and sites used across the web.  For example, there’s a pattern around some scenarios, like light color fonts on dark backgrounds.

We’re working on improvements in DirectWrite’s ClearType font rasterization. Specifically, in the first Platform Preview, GDI logic was used to select fonts though DirectWrite was used to render them. That creates some text spacing differences. Future updates to the Platform Preview will use DirectWrite throughout and will address this spacing issue. In addition, we are making specific changes to the rendering algorithm when light text is displayed against a dark background.

Using GMail in the Platform Preview

Some users have run into an issue with button layout in Gmail. For some people GMail in the Platform Preview looks like this:

Gmail account looking normal

However, others reported that GMail looked like this for them:

Gmail account with some of the buttons in the wrong place

The content GMail sends to IE is different in these two cases, and apparently the difference results in GMail not working correctly for some people.  This is an example of when we may come back to you for more information on an issue reported in Connect, and ask about details like the Browser Mode and Document Mode. 

Another GMail issue involves some links on pages not working in the IE9 Preview’s Standards Mode.  Standards Mode is where we build new features like SVG, DOM Events, and border-radius (Marc wrote about this and other modes previously) and thus it currently has incomplete features.  This issue is an example of trying to understand if the site isn’t working properly because of a problem with a new feature or because we haven’t finished implementing the features.  We use different debugging tools to make that determination.  For example, IE9 logs instances of unsupported events so we can quickly see if the issue might simply be a missing event.  Here’s the output when loading GMail:

error console with many unsupported event errors.

That tells us not to expect the site to function perfectly since it’s trying to use features that are not yet implemented.

We also have internal debugging tools to turn off the new eventing model entirely.  With the new eventing model disabled, GMail works correctly.  We further debugged and found the events register properly using addEventListener (good), they fire correctly (good), but fail to initiate any action (bad).  We’re still working through this issue.  In the meantime, you can use GMail in the Platform Preview by clicking ‘Debug’ and choosing ‘Force IE8 Document Mode’. 

That’s it for now.  Thanks again for taking the time to use the Platform Preview and sending us your feedback!

John Hrvatin
Program Manager

Comments (42)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

    FTFY.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Please, before add new features solve the bugs…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

    FTFY.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

    FTFY.

  5. Anonymous says:

    minhas pombas giras façam sua gira e afastem (lcp) de qualQUER mulher com quem ele esteja nesse momento; e se esTIVER , que chame meu nome. QUERo amarrar o espírito e o corpo de (lcp); pois o QUERo amarrado e apaixonado por mim, QUERo que (lcp) fique dependente do meu amor, QUERo vê-lo louco por mim, me desejando como se eu fosse a última pessoa da face da terra. QUERo seu cORAÇÃO preso ao meu eternamente, que em nome da grande rainha maria padilha floresça este sentimento dentro de (lcp), deixando-o preso a mim 24 horas por dia. a pomba gira rainha maria padilha há de trazer (lcp), para mim, pois eu o desejo, e o QUERo depressa. pelos poderes ocultos, que ele comece a me amar a partir deste exato instante e que ele pense só em mim, como se eu fosse a única pessoa do mundo. que (lcp) venha correndo para me encontrar cheio de desejos e tesão, que ele não tenha sossego enquanto não me procurar. rainha maria padilha eu te imploro para que me traga (lcp) que ele me ame muito, venha manso e como eu desejo. eu agradeço a grande rainha maria padilha. e prometo sempre levar seu nome comigo. oh!poderosa pomba gira sete exus, QUERo de volta meu amado que me entristece com seu desprezo, que ele esqueça e deixe de uma vez por todas outros amores e os que queiram nos afastar. que (lcp) desanime, e esfrie para as outras pessoas. que (lcp) se sinta sozinho, humilhado, envergonhado de tudo e por todos. que ele venha a mim, peça meu amor, meu perdão. oh! linda poderosa pomba gira sete exus, que nesse momento (lcp) não queira mais estar com ninguém nem com seus amigos. que fique só pensando em mim e pensando como vai fazer para me fazer feliz. preciso rainha, de um sinal, um telefonema, qualQUER contato para eu saber se (lcp) pensa em mim e que me QUER, me tire dessa escuridão. que (lcp) fale comigo, que sinta saudades. você é FORTE e poderosa, traga (lcp) aos meus pés, para não mais sair, e que venha correndo, que largue tudo e a todos..e que só pense em mim. sr exu caveira que com seu grande e FORTE poder tire todas as barreiras que estão impedindo que (lcp) me ame loucamente e deseje se unir a mim. QUERo meu amado, me amando e me admirando sempre. que ele não sinta mais desejos sexuais por nenhuma outra pessoa. que seus desejos sejam só para mim,que seus pensamentos, gentilezas e bondades sejam só para mim. que ele (lcp) queira muito de verdade que eu, ,fique com ele. mas, QUERo que você, exu caveira, afaste de nós tudo e todos que nos separam. que possamos ser felizes juntinhos. que ele só sinta atração e desejo sexual por mim. que ele me telefone, fale comigo de algum jeito, desde já e a todo instante. que sinta saudades minhas, e que sofra longe de mim e não agüente mais sofrer. QUERo que ele me ligue hoje e agora. QUERo ouvir a voz dele, me pedindo para ficar comigo e voltando para mim para sempre, dizendo que me ama e que me QUER. . obrigado. copie e cole um pedido igual a este aqui em 7 altares diferentes e dentro de 7 dias seu pedido será realizado. ORAÇÃO FORTE para amarrar alguém. simpatia infalível porem não se pode voltar atrás… confiante eu a aguardo minha amiga maria padilha, poderosa rainha das sete encruzilhadas, pois já me faltam portas onde bater!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

    FTFY.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Internet Explorer shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

    FTFY.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You miss the point. If I can’t use the preview to surf webpages on the internet trough the address bar I won’t use it at all. It is vastly more usefull for MS if people use the IE9 preview on more webpages and see more possible issues with either the preview or with the webpages.

  9. carlos says:

    Thanks. I would suggest you to ask people that have a strong background in web rendering engines, i mean: KHTML people, the mozilla guys, for example.

    Anyway, it’s wonderful to hear "SVG" in this blog. This is a huge advance.

  10. infinte says:

    Looking for your improvements. And please enable COM/ActiveX ONLY in the compacity view.

    And please note the Chinese font problem: Some CSS font combinition will cause Chinese characters displayed into boxes. Here is the page : http://coro.in/ie9/cntest.htm

    Here are some article about my design for IE9’s ui. Written in Chinese — It means maybe you need a translator 😉

    http://corodidea.net/blog/index.php/archives/185

    http://corodidea.net/blog/index.php/archives/192

  11. steve_web says:

    In the next platform preview, I urge you to add a bare-bones address bar that developers can type into.

    Its a very minor thing but after some brief initial testing I gave up using the preview release as it was frustrating to use.

    I do want to use it and test everything under the sun but being able to easily copy/paste/type/edit url’s is essential… especially if you want to use bookmarklets to test pages further.

  12. Typhoon87 says:

    My question is with your resolutions to issues. Currently a quick search does not seem to show a single resolved as fixed issue, and only a

    handful of fixed non repro or by design.

    Have you not actually checked in fixes for any of the bugs yet?  

    Dont take this the wrong way but please mark things as they get done, in the IE 8 beta you seem to seemed to mass mark as fixed or postponed just before a new build was released. It is more effective for testing if we can see things as they get resolved. Please consider adjusting your policy to help your testers know where to focus.

  13. SvenC says:

    The strange google mail button layout is caused by enabling the offline sync feature. I am not sure anymore if it happens immediately or after the first sync has completed. But disabling the offline feature got me back to a correct button layout.

  14. Wurst says:

    We can expect the next IE9 platform preview in 2 weeks at the latest?

  15. Quppa says:

    I know that in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but would it be possible to have nicer screenshots included in blog postings? Lash out and buy a copy of Kenny Kerr’s Window Clippings (he might even give it to you for free). None of this Aero Basic awfulness :)

  16. marek says:

    I personally hate antialiasing, it makes my eyes sore. Would it be possible to still have accelerated font rendering with disabled ClearType? I’m not able to turn it off in current technology preview version…

  17. Wurst says:

    @marek: With this you would also disable subpixel positioning.

  18. Wurst says:

    @Quppa: Well, at least the images are free of visible JPEG artifacts this time.

  19. Esben says:

    I think the font problem is the same as the new Visual Studio 2010 had. They fix that in .NET 4.0 have you talk with the VS team about it?

    Beside the font problem I think IE9 is really great! :-)

  20. nica says:

    I used to get that Gmail stacked menu in IE8, but a Refresh would fix it.

  21. hAl says:

    I agree with Steve_web that without a address bar the preview is to much hassle to use for real surfing experience.

  22. Tom says:

    Yes, you are great, but why can’t you answer my simple question?

    If a bug appears in both IE8 and the new developer preview, should I file a new bug report or should I reopen the old one.

    I noticed the old reports got prefixed with "IE8:". So if your answer is the latter, how am I able to rename my old reports?

    Thanks.

  23. EricLaw says:

    @hAl: You shouldn’t be trying to have a "real surfing experience" in the platform preview– it lacks the vast majority of the security features found in Internet Explorer and shouldn’t be used to browse untrusted content.

  24. @Tom Stack

    > please mark things as they get done,

    > in the IE 8 beta you seem to seemed to

    > mass mark as fixed or postponed just

    > before a new build was released. It is

    > more effective for testing if we can

    > see things as they get resolved.

    Tom, I have been intensely involved in the IE8 beta development cycle and I think that marking a bug report as resolved and fixed just before a new beta build is released is ideal for bug reporters and bug report voters/confirmers. Usually, the marking as resolved and fixed is also accompanied with an invitation to test and verify with the newest beta build. It makes sense.

    What IE beta feedback should do that other public accessible bug tracking systems (bugzilla.mozilla.org, bugs.webkit.org, bugs.kde.org, bugzilla.w3c.org, etc) have done already is to use keywords (like testcase, hasReduction, needsInfo, crash, hang, accessibility, reproducible, clean-report, etc.) and to use the verifyme keyword so that each and all bug reports which need to be verified for the fixing the problem can be verified. I have already explained all this before in this blog.

    Marking bug reports as resolved (with whatever resolution field it is: fixed, by design, wontfix, etc) as they get resolved and immediately when they get resolved is not going to help complete the bug cycle between reporter and developers or to alert the interested people (reporter, voter, confirmers). It may in fact just make reporter, voters and confirmers pressure IE team to release another beta build soon, immediately.

    regards, Gérard

  25. @John Hrvatin [MSFT]

    Regarding displaying of small fonts (and legibility issues), the nr 1 first responsible for such situation – and there is a consensus on this among accessibility groups – is the web author: it’s not the hardware, the graphic card, it’s not the cpu, etc. A font size of 10px, 11px or 12px for unstyled body text is often not big enough for a wide majority of people over 40 years old and anyone with a lower vision. And a font size of 10px, 11px or 12px is unfortunately very frequent on the web: eg just glance at Tony Ross latest TonyRoss_WritingCrossBrowserCode.html or any post in this blog. If the default font-size of browser stylesheet is 16px, then some kind of education on accessibility should be done by Microsoft, MSDN and IE team. The very first way to achieve such education is by practicing in posts, blogs, in webpages and microsoft-controlled websites what you preach.

    Forcing IE8 to ignore font-size as set by web authors in webpages is not assured of making content accessible on top of all this: remember bug 399794 ..

    > we are making specific changes to the rendering algorithm when light text is displayed against a dark background.

    Again, the nr 1 responsible for making a webpage text difficult to read is the web author. Visitors should not be expected to be living in a cave or be/live like night owls.

    regards, Gérard

  26. less clearText says:

    I agree with others above – I absolutely loath ClearType and find the anti-aliasing hurts my eyes. (yes I’ve used the tuner to no avail)

    I can clearly see the rainbow effect on all black/dark text on a white background (90%) and thus it is unreadable without strain.

    If IE9 **requires** the use of ClearType in order to render pages I will **NOT** be upgrading IE past version 8.

  27. Radek says:

    Internet Explorer 9 seem to be epic, I can’t wait to the middle of May to the second dev release, hoping it will be with UI 😀

  28. thenonhacker says:

    There is new HTML5 Test Suite/Demo that you may want to test IE9 with:

    http://apirocks.com/html5/html5.html#slide1

  29. person says:

    @thenonhacker

    As of this moment in time, that "test suite/demo" cannot be used to test IE 9 as it uses Mozilla and WebKit specific extensions to do things instead of the standardized tags.

  30. Wurst says:

    @clearText: Try getting a high DPI display with good luminosity, then you shouldn’t see the colour shade any more.

  31. hAl says:

    [quote]You shouldn’t be trying to have a "real surfing experience" in the platform preview–[/quote]

    You miss the point. If I can’t use the preview to surf webpages on the internet trough the address bar I won’t use it at all. It is vastly more usefull for MS if people use the IE9 preview on more webpages and see more possible issues with either the preview or with the webpages.

    I used IE8 previews in the past to inform many website owners their site was not correctly written/configured for use with IE8. This I won’t do with IE9 as it I do not use it for the internet. Only for testing some specific pages.

  32. DanielHendrycks says:

    I request support for the Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis codec. I also request canvas support and more SVG implemented.

  33. Wurst says:

    @hAl: I am sure IE9 will have an usable interface  once the rendering engine is feature complete. This is not a beta but just a ‘platform preview’ (whatever this means).

  34. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @hAl: I don’t misunderstand you at all, I’m merely telling you that the Platform Preview is explicitly not designed for the purpose you describe. The future IE9 Beta is designed for that sort of use. The Platform Previews are designed for examining your own pages, and benchmarking progress against standards support and new capabilities.

  35. JustinSC [MSFT] says:

    @Tom

    >If a bug appears in both IE8 and the new developer preview, should I file a new bug report or should I reopen the old one.<

    Thanks for the question!  We ask that you please open a new bug … in the bug form you can indicate that this issue reproduces in IE8, and it would also help if you provide a link or reference to the bug you previously opened.

    Thanks again!

  36. MM says:

    maybe you try to use webkit?:)

  37. Andrey says:

    I have the similar problem "Unsupported event type…" with drag-and-drop events. It seems the error occurs only if I add event handler with new addEventListener interface. And it work fine if I add event handler with old syntax like element.ondragenter = function() {…}

  38. Mush Man says:

    hAl, are you using the Ctrl.+O shortcut? It brings up the preview’s address window for you to enter an address. It works exactly the same as Ctrl.+L in IE8 (a shortcut other browsers use to jump to the address bar). I find it a lot quicker than fiddling around with the mouse and clicking there.

  39. Re "A font size of 10px, 11px or 12px for unstyled body text is often not big enough for a wide majority of people over 40 years old "

    Please see my blog post on this: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/04/09/Benefits-of-GPU-powered-HTML5.aspx

    IE8+ and Windows will automatically enable highdpi and zoom web content – to improve readability.

  40. Radek says:

    I have a question for those who work on IE 9,Can we expect newer release in the middle of May? Tt will be another dev version or beta maybe?

  41. Avo says:

    Going to http://fetchak.com/ie-css3/ crashes the IE9 platform preview for me.

  42. ieblog says:

    Thanks for the note, Avo. This issue appears to be fixed in the upcoming update.