IE5.5: First Look

Friday December 3rd, 1999

I've done some preliminary CSS testing of IE5.5 (available through Specifically I ran IE 5.5 through the battery of David Baron's CSS tests, and found some interesting results. IE 5.5's CSS support has undergone very little change from 5.0, and some regressions were noticable. IE 5.5 seems to pass test 5.3 (CSS2 Universal Selector) that IE 5.0 did not, but it fails two tests in section 6.4.4 (Parsing Test 4 and Test 5) that IE 5.0 apparently passed. There was one other that *may* have passed (9.1.2) where 5.0 failed, and one test in 10.7 *may* have failed where 5.0 passed, but I can't determine these for a certainty. Finally, IE 5.5 still does not pass the Box Acid Test.

According to MS's "What's New in Internet Explorer 5.5" page, IE 5.5 handles more "CSS styles" such as first-letter and first-line, but they don't go into any more detail.

From these results, I'm wondering if MS is giving up completely on significant advances in the CSS support in their current rendering engine. IE on the Mac is supposedly being developed to utilize a new rendering engine, codename "Tasman". Maybe Microsoft is planning something similar for their 6.0 Windows version.

In any event it does not look like the next version of IE will have significant CSS improvements as many hoped and expected.

#12 what the market will stand

by Anon

Friday December 3rd, 1999 6:14 PM

You are replying to this message

It's funny that you mention 'what the market will stand'. It seems like I'm the only one I know who takes the position - 'who cares - when we launch, if we have a better product, the market will follow'.

IE could be at 80% on windows by the time we launch. Then, we drive it down to 50% when people realize how easy it is to build your own applications on top of mozilla.

Don't take a short-sighted view of mozilla. quite whining about being a month or a few months late. We're setting the technologies (DOM, CSS< XML) up for the next 5-10 years of the internet revolution. It's more important to get this right now, than to rush it because of theoretical market shares.