IE8 to look forward: the Evil Empire listened

I've said some time ago that I personally would have preferred if IE8 was in standard mode by default, that it made more sense in the long run at the price of moderate suffering in the short term.

Well, it seems like announcing the "meta-tag" user agent switch well before the first public release of the new browser wasn't a random decision. The idea really was to stir up the debate well in advance and make it possible to revert their decision if the community reached a consensus that it was a bad one.

And they just did. A few months later, the community almost unanimously rejected the idea more or less strongly and the IE team decided to follow that consensus and make the browser use the potentially breaking standard mode the default. It could be argued that the community really is the most vocal part of the developer audience and that they may and do have different opinions and preoccupations from the silent, real-world developers out there.

Still, I think the IE team showed vision in announcing this enough in advance that they could act on the feedback, and great courage on potentially alienating some of their customers, just so they could do The Right Thing.

Kudos, I'm impressed and glad that you guys are in command of the fate of IE.


  • I have to say ASP is lacking in sophistication, Why would I ever want to create an array with 1001 elements when assigning a size of 1000, asp should either start with a base index of 1 or make Dim arraySize(1000) return an array of size 1000, stupid Microsoft Vogons

  • @John: let's not talk about how off-topic you are and how classic ASP is a ten year old product that has long ago been replaced by ASP.NET. Instead, let me point you to some poetry:

  • We're sorry for flaming your blog -- we're a couple of C++/Java programmers (both of which have indices that start at 0) so we weren't complaining about the indexing system, just that dim/redim(x) produced an array x+1 long, since dim/redim takes x to be the highest index of the new array rather than the new size. Working through a site translation to ASP, unexpected quarks (every langauge has 'em) were frustrating. Either way, it wasn't right to take it out on you. Please forgive us.

  • That's ok, thanks for taking the time for an explanation. Sure, language quirks can be tricky. In VB.NET you can do Dim A(0 To 19) which can be more explicit and avoid that kind of headache.

  • Ha, Ive just been moved to a new job in my company... working on classic ASP pages !  Classic ASP lives.  (Its coming back as MVC).

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