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.

#20 Missing the point

by gerbilpower <>

Friday December 3rd, 1999 6:56 PM

You are replying to this message

The point is that not all of us are immature and cannot take criticism. What many of us cannot stand for is criticism based on misinformation. The news organizations are starting to get a clearer idea about Mozilla but before they said things like "Mozilla will not support XML" (ZDnet) and "Mozilla beta by summer" (various, how could they reach beta after starting from scratch and release a beta in much less than a year?). Things like that we cannot understand.

For as long as I can recall, the milestone schedule at set an alpha release for around this time, with a beta release in a few months after. I am not sure where some of these news sites are getting their information from but Mozilla did not suddenly decided to delay beta for another two months. This information has been around for at least a few months and CNET finally realizes it but mislabeled it as a sudden delay.

I understand the frustration since I'm a web developer myself and I'm getting gray hairs over the incompliance of standards. But what do you expect when a year ago Netscape decided to rewrite the whole browser from scratch and use a stricter and more challenging coding philosophy (extensive cross-platform coding, etc)? If Netscape decided from the very beginning to be standards compliant and write very portable code then the browser would have been out already. But you can't blame Mozilla for that since they did not make that decision.

I am waiting, just as you, and rather impatiently. But I am not expecting a mircale, but a damn good product when it finally ships.


PS: Removing support for Mozilla will be your decision, not anyone elses.