IE8 Version Targetting: ALA, Still Undecided

A List Apart's Issue 253 continues discussing and debating the controversial IE version targeting that ALA announced a month ago. CivicActions blogged about this topic then too.

Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman provide very realistic and down-to-earth points of view and arguments both for and against version targeting. Although they each reach different conclusions, neither tries to persuade the reader one way or the other. Rather they leave you more enlightened so that you can make your own decision.

'They Shoot Browsers' by Jeremy Keith was better written in my opinion and has more convincing arguments, including this gem;

"The proposed default behavior for version targeting in Internet Explorer solves the problem of “breaking the web” in much the same way that decapitation solves the problem of headaches."

I'm still not 100% decided, but I'm pretty heavily swaying to the side against version targeting. Having said that, I can understand how and why Microsoft, even with mostly good intentions, came to this solution. I can see and appreciate the short term benefits, however I don't believe that Microsoft can pull this off in the long term. As web developers, we have no reason to believe that Microsoft is capable or even intends to follow through with it's promises or it's word, nor release a decent web browser ever. I don't believe that Microsoft will be able to effectively implement version targeting to solve the problem X-UA-Compatible was designed to solve. At some point, maybe not till version 9, 10 or even 50, they will undoubtedly screw up, and "break the web" with the very tool that was designed to make it "unbreakable".

I hope that Microsoft reconsiders X-UA-Compatible, decides to bite the bullet and aims for a standardized web that's not broken in the long term.

If they don't, I think I'll be using and recommending IE=edge, to continue promoting web standards, reduce wasted development time on IE6 and 7 quirks, yet still mostly-boycott X-UA-Compatible.


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With the new release of IE 8

With the new release of IE 8 hopefully there would be less bugs and the new application will run smoother without having to do additional updates or quirks to improve the service.