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IE7 and CSS

Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7) Beta 1 was released to MSDN subscribers today. Unfortuantly I am not a subscriber so I wont be able to test it yet. But I did download the technical overview document and I was very disappointed. The document is 19 pages long mostly about security changes. Security improvements are needed and it’s good to see Microsoft doing so.

The dissapointed was when i saw the CSS section. Out of those 19 pages there are 11 lines which tells us about CSS improvements in IE7. This is a disaster for cross-browser development. JavaScript differences i can deal with - it’s not that hard to build up various cross-browser wrappers and functions to cater for the difference. But the CSS bugs! Just try the Acid2 test with various browser and you’ll see what I mean. This is a result of a combination of bugs and poor implementation of W3C CSS standards.

If Microsoft do not make any major improvements to the CSS support in IE7 we will start to see web-applications that require full W3C standard support (thus leaving out IE). So far only two bugs has been fixed (see text below).

This is not the release web-developers hoped for. It is aimed at home users; better security for inexperienced users and tabbed browsing for those who has switched over to Mozilla Firefox.

CSS improvements in IE7

CSS is a widely used standard for creating Web pages. Internet Explorer 7 is prioritizing compliance to CSS standards by first implementing the features that developers have said are most important to them. As a result, in Internet Explorer 7 beta 1 Microsoft has addressed some of the major inconsistencies that can cause Web developers problems producing rich, interactive Web pages. The work Microsoft has done includes fixing some positioning and layout issues related to the way Internet Explorer 6 handles
tags. (More information about these bugs can be found online at and The final release of Internet Explorer 7 will focus on improving the developer experience by reducing the time needed for developing and testing on different browsers.

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Written on 28 July 2005.
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