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.

#13 Missing the point

by Anon

Friday December 3rd, 1999 6:19 PM

You are replying to this message

"I just can't understand why you even bother to read MozillaZine".

I bothered to read MozillaZine because I have an interest as a web developer in supporting what I feel would be the major platforms for my business. I can't "code a browser". My assumption is that MozillaZine was something that was aimed at this audience, not just a private e-zine for developers of the actual browser.

Judging by the following story:


...I'm now considering removing support for Mozilla, and recommending that we use IE.

It's hypocritical to accuse CNet, ZDNet, and even Slashdot of bias and FUD when they are making serious concerns. If Microsoft took this long to build a browser, people would be calling it "bait and switch vaporware".

Jeremy Allaire once made a comment about Netscape "not supporting DHTML" enough so they couldn't use it for certain technologies in their Spectra system, and then everybody here accused Cold Fusion of being a poor product.

So, if this is a sign of maturity, some people are in the loony bin. It's the immature people who can't stand any criticism.