Focusing community discussions for IE development on StackOverflow


In an effort to focus Web development discussions for Internet Explorer in one place, we have starting migrating IE development discussions from MSDN forums to Stack Overflow. This has started with announcing to our MSDN community the goal of redirecting all Web development questions to the Internet Explorer tag(s) on Stack Overflow to better answer your questions.

This decision reflects the belief on the IE team that Stack Overflow is not only a rapidly-growing community of broadly-disciplined engineers, but a great place to get timely and reliable support on Web standards, and cross-browser development. We are proud to sponsor the Internet Explorer tag on Stack Overflow and are joining other teams around Microsoft such as OneDrive and Azure in helping to direct our developers to the Stack Overflow community.

Since its conception over six years ago, Stack Overflow has racked up over 40,000 questions, and nearly 70,000 answers in the IE family of tags. The effectiveness of the community is something individual members of the IE team have personally witnessed over the years. Whatever problem you face, there is a good chance Stack Overflow already has the answer.

With our increased focus and adoption of standards, involvement in standards bodies, and continued cooperation with other browser vendors, it makes sense to consolidate Web development discussions on the Web around a common community.

So far this month, 52 questions have been asked on MSDN. In the same span of time over 600 questions have been asked on Stack Overflow, and have received over 600 answers. Stack Overflow has a healthy and mature process, a powerful search engine, excellent community-oriented features, and more. We are very excited to watch as it continues to shape and mold the Web-development industry.

In recent months the Internet Explorer team has sought out opportunities to create dialogues with the community. We have hosted a Reddit AMA and regular sessions on Twitter where you can #AskIE anything you would like to know about our team, process, and/or product. To further these efforts, we will be organizing our efforts to contribute as well to the Internet Explorer tags on Stack Overflow to maintain a high level of quality for the sake of the Web, and the community.

As is the case on Stack Overflow, we will at times identify features we would like to see in the browser and bugs we would like to resolve. Feature requests should still ultimately be routed to uservoice.modern.ie, and bugs and issues should still be filed at connect.microsoft.com/IE.

We look forward to your feedback in the comments or via @IEDevChat. If you are not already using Stack Overflow, get started today. We will see you there!

— Jonathan Sampson (@jonathansampson), Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (30)

  1. Nemesis says:

    Bravo!

  2. Richard (Richicoder) says:

    Awesome! Stack overflow is a great community.

  3. That- says:

    Non-English writings (translation) does not slow lately?

    Please tell her early writing, properly translated. There are some articles that are seen in Japan English Edition and Chinese Edition.

    Thank you in advance.

  4. Noseratio says:

    Can you please also foster the "webbrowser-control"  tag? It's exclusively related to MSHTML/WebOC hosting, which is of course IE-specific:

    stackoverflow.com/…/webbrowser-control

  5. Ron says:

    Is MS paying StackOveflow to host the questions?

    Will the MSDN forum for IE be continued or abandoned?

    What is the roadmap for closing down other MSDN forums, e.g., VB/C#, and sending them to StackOverflow?

  6. Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] says:

    Ron,

    We are not paying Stack Overflow to host questions – it's just what Stack Overflow does (and does very well). We do have a partnership with Stack Overflow with tag sponsorship, but it predates and is largely unrelated to this decision.

    I cannot speak to what direction other teams may or may not take on MSDN. The Internet Explorer team is not the first team to recognize and decide to leverage Stack Overflow, and may not be the last. Ultimately our goals are to deliver as much value to the community as we can – in some cases that is accomplished on the MSDN network, and in other cases it may not be.

    Jonathan Sampson

    @jonathansampson

  7. D says:

    What about the MSDN Subscribers' benefit "Priority Subscriber Support in MSDN Forums" for forums "moved" to Stack Overflow?

  8. __hAl__ says:

    So is your team dropping support for people visiting

    answers.microsoft.com/…/ie

  9. Fernando A. Gómez says:

    The stack-overflow moderators tend to be *** when it comes to subjective discussions. I wonder how do you plan to discuss features and such, if moderators will close the questions as "non-constructive"…

  10. MgSm88 says:

    StackOverflow is fantastic for answering questions, but shuts down discussions of any kind. It is *not* equivalent to forums. I don't see how it could be the only avenue for people to give feedback on your product.

  11. Gus Gustafson says:

    I have found StackOverflow not to be the best place to post questions. There are responders who have subjective opinions that result in questions being closed.

    As MgSm88 points out, StackOverflow is not equivalent to a forum discussion. But probably more important to me is the failure to support that I expect from Microsoft. Currently IE is crippled. I have no idea what happened but the broken back button is frustrating. Do you really think that StackOverflow will support the types of discussions that would aid Microsoft in making repairs?

    Lastly, I believe that the StackOverflow community is made up of a large number of individuals who are largely anti-Microsoft. Derision of Microsoft products occurs without censure.

    I don't think your move is very Wintel developer-friendly. And, as a Wintel developer, I voice my objection.

  12. David Reynolds says:

    I agree with the commenters above. There is a lot of great information on StackOverflow, but it's an awful "community," and that hobbles its usefulness.

  13. Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] says:

    __hAl__,

    Our focus is exclusively on the Web Development forum. Other forums that exist to offer support for Internet Explorer (the Application) are not part of this change. We're primarily looking to redirect questions regarding challenges developers face when working with the Web Development technologies supported in Internet Explorer (and every major browser).

  14. Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] says:

    D,

    I'm currently looking into the degree at which Priority Support has been helpful in the Web Development forum specifically. With our increased Engineer presence on Stack Overflow, I feel this degree of attention will likely happen organically. We do not want to remove any value people are getting from Priority Support, so I will continue to investigate.

    @jonathansampson

  15. Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] says:

    Fernando A. Gómez,

    The forum in question is the Web Development forum, which largely consists of specific programming issues people are facing, and objective solutions. We feel the parity with Stack Overflow's model was sufficient enough that we could safely move that process onto their platform. We aren't encouraging feature requests, bug reports, or questions regarding Internet Explorer (the Application) to be asked on Stack Overflow.

    @jonathansampson

  16. Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] says:

    MgSm88,

    Questions can be discussed in comments on Stack Overflow, as well as in chat rooms. We understand that it is not a forum. Thousands of questions have been asked, discussed, and answered on Stack Overflow in a meaningful way, without providing major disruptions to their model. We are confident that it will work equally well for MSDN users seeking assistance with specific Web Development challenges. We will continue to watch key tags closely though to ensure things are operating smoothly.

    @jonathansampson

  17. The Thinker says:

    I think stack overflow is bloated. They have a lot of down vote trolls that purposely down vote you if they do not like you. Their is no tolerance on stack overflow for their idea of "imperfection". It used to very productive but now is somewhat in question. I very much like MSDN forums for my questions because stack overflow is a dog eat dog question asking site with very little forgiveness for simple mistakes such as moving content to a new site instead of down voting it (This is why I like MSDN better because everyone specializes in that application or technology instead of random answers or a down vote troll closes the thread). Jonathan Sampson, I think you might actually increase question asking in other forums. In addition, I find stack overflow answers to come slowly because of this dog eat dog type environment. Just notice how some questions take a week to be answered or go unanswered for much longer.

  18. ietpl says:

    Hey Jonathan, please work with the creators of easylist so you people can work out something with regards to tpl limitations. Easylist standard tpl when enabled breaks the msn site slideshow. Easylist maintainers say the whitelist doesnt work with the tpl. There are also some ads not blocked by the tpl but blocked by easylist in firefox. 🙁

  19. Reza says:

    Hi,

    Since you are moving to Stack Overflow, I believe it would be fair enough to ask Stack Overflow add Microsoft credential to their login system. Just imagine many people are using Microsoft Account to login in MSDN but Microsoft Account is not supported on Stack Overflow for login which is not a good thing.

    Another issue is under MSDN answering questions would give point , medal and so on and when you move these won't be counted for Microsoft Account. It is good idea to have Stack Overflow as one support portal but you shouldn't retire MSDN forum for IE.

    Thank you

  20. drd says:

    One unanswered question remains, atleast since IE8. I recently installed IE11 and the problem is now 2x worse. On some web pages the memory consumption grows and grows if the web page is open in background but not even visible. Perhaps IE could detect that if a site memory consumption is slowly growing and it's in the background, then suspend that until user comes open it again.

    Or just fix the bug causing that issue. In IE11 I regularly see 400-700 MB consumption per iexplore.exe – with IE8 it usually topped out at 300-400 MB.

  21. drd says:

    I'll add that I'm talking about private working set when there's 6+ iexplore.exe's in task manager, each with few to dozen tabs open.

    Another bug is that sometimes, even closing every single IE, the iexplore.exe's remain and have to be killed from task manager. This typically occurs when they have gone beyond 400 MB+ working sets. There's atleast one site that causes this growth very reliably. I think it may have to do with some js scripts either loaded or not loading.

  22. drd says:

    I'll add that I'm talking about private working set when there's 6+ iexplore.exe's in task manager, each with few to dozen tabs open.

    Another bug is that sometimes, even closing every single IE, the iexplore.exe's remain and have to be killed from task manager. This typically occurs when they have gone beyond 400 MB+ working sets. There's atleast one site that causes this growth very reliably. I think it may have to do with some js scripts either loaded or not loading.

  23. Ted says:

    Open Wsj.com Wall Street Journal in the latest IE version on Windows 7 64 bit.  Right click on an article and open in a new tab.  This freezes the entire machine for 30 seconds on an 8gb quad core 64 bit machine running the OS + IE and no other programs.

  24. Ted says:

    Hard to make a business case here for anything outside of core MS technologies given they are either being put out to Open Source pasture, decommissioned, or shut down.

  25. Lord Kelvin says:

    I find the stamp collecting community at stack-overflow very informative….

    I am a computer scientist.

  26. Bob Dolewhip says:

    Since we are going to start hosting IE related questions On StackExchange, with a community of people noted for down-voting every question they dislike, let me get this out in the open here:

    How is it that after 11 versions and 19 years, Microsoft has still not managed to put out a web browser that is as performant as almost everyone else's?

    Yes, I know all about the much vaunted benchmarks of IE11, but out here in web development land, IE still puts the hurt on where it counts most: DOM insertion.  How is it that IE can still suck so abysmally badly at something as simple as inserting tabular data?  How can it take something like 1200 times longer to do something like parse a chunk of JSON and draw some freaking SVG text?  It is outrageous.

    Practically every day I have to debug and create torturous workarounds for performance issues that only arise in IE.  I have an application where I have to keep inserts of tabular data to just 30 or 40 rows at a time because IE will simply halt for 4 or 5 seconds to do what every other browser in the market does instantly.  I have Raphael driven SVG maps where it takes IE11 20 seconds to do what every other browser does in less that 2 or 1.

    It is appalling that after this many years, IE is still this bad at something so basic as manipulating the DOM via script.

    Are you guys going to fix this preposterous DOM insert issue someday?

  27. Phil C says:

    Dear IE team:

    Before the discussion moves to stack overflow (and it may be more difficult to communicate with you), I would like to convince the developers of all the main browsers of the idea that after 18 months, the web browser should _require_ that it is updated in order to continue working. If the end user wants to continue using that (older) version of the browser, then they must find out online how to go into the registry and add a key to override the behavior. This will save the web development community from users that are glued to browsers that don't support modern features. I will be leaving a similar message for the other browser developers.

  28. ietpl says:

    hey jonathan. i can now view a slideshow on msn with the easylist standard tpl in ie11. thanks. 🙂

  29. john says:

    // Output: CallLevel was called from the top level.