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.

#26 Users dictate the real standards

by damian <>

Friday December 3rd, 1999 8:28 PM

You are replying to this message

The person that posted before me made a good point. If one browser supports a feature that users like then inevitably web developers will include that feature in their pages. Standards are a good way to bring consistancy to the web, but if enough people use something "nonstandard" then the standard evolves.

It is my hope that Mozilla will be the browser that can evolve with the standards by extending it's capability through plugins and extensions to a well writen code-base. You can be as standard-based as you want, but things will change. Mozilla will be the true browser of the future if it can readily adapt to changing standards.

Did that make any sense??