IE5.5: First Look
Friday December 3rd, 1999
I've done some preliminary CSS testing of IE5.5 (available through Betanews.com). 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.
#31 I think IE 5.5 brings important new features
Friday December 3rd, 1999 9:18 PM
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Having browsed documentation, I can say that new features are significant, at least for a product my team is working on. They have added exactly what we needed: popup windows (for popup menus), customization of scrollbars, etc. I haven't studied HTML+TIME, so I can't comment on that, but we already use IE's behaviors (htc's) and like it.
IE 5's XSL support has been very important to us too.