Web Standards and IE 8 Part 2

The IE team has just announced on their blog that IE8 will default to their lat­est and great­est stan­dards mode, in an about-face from their pre­vi­ous stance that IE8 would default to IE7’s ren­der­ing mode, which I cov­ered when it was first announced. Their pre­vi­ous pro­pos­al would have required devel­op­ers to insert an opt-in meta tag (or http head­er) in order to obtain IE8’s ren­der­ing mode, leav­ing the thou­sands of sites that tar­get IE7’s var­i­ous mis-han­dled stan­dards imple­men­ta­tions none the wiser.

I applaud the IE team for lis­ten­ing to devel­op­er feed­back. Although I defend­ed their pre­vi­ous pro­pos­al and tried to make the best of it, I’m much hap­pi­er about this. Web stan­dards and good devel­op­ment prac­tices will receive anoth­er boost, as peo­ple will be scream­ing bloody mur­der at their bro­ken sites. Devel­op­ers will be point­ed to the meta tag and essen­tial­ly told, “we’re mov­ing ahead on the web, but we had pity on your 5‑year old prac­tices and decid­ed to let you play too.” Design­ers who don’t know a table from a div will either be forced to learn about (X)HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, or be forced fur­ther into irrel­e­vance and obscurity.

IE team, I salute you. You will, undoubt­ed­ly, have a lot of igno­rant and incom­pe­tent devel­op­ers and design­ers froth­ing at the mouth when IE8 releas­es, but you made the right move.