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.

#47 IE5.5: First Look

by alik

Saturday December 4th, 1999 12:48 AM

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Hi All.. this is the first time i write to MozillaZine. Man.. i must say i am disappointed.. i am disappointed that my favourite browser has lost the war.. and i see little hope of it ever bouncing back. This is not to say that you guys are not working hard.. you are! and i am very happy with all these people coming together to do something they love.. and the standards thing is very as well.. we should have more standards and make web developer's lives easy.

What annoys me most is the lack of industry support behind mozilla. It seems that the delays have put them off as well. Almost all software could do with a lean browser instead of using the bulky engine of IE.

So are we gonna lose the war? Well yes.. but there may be some hope. but things have to change fast. 1-10. Mozilla needs to come up with the browser PDQ (pretty damn quick).. 11. The mozilla marketing effort has to be strengthened.. Software companies are need to be told that mozilla can do wonders for them. The likes of IBM/Lotus, Corel and many others can use mozilla to strengthen their products. 12. ISPs should be targeted and asked to develop GUIs for mozilla that would give them a browser that is made by them and not just customised with their logo. 13. Expand.. our lives on the net are not limited to browsers.. we use, FTP software, Download managers, Organizers, E-mail clients, Search Software. Mozilla/NS/AOL need to ask companies to develop these products that INTEGRATES with mozilla. I use Lotus Organizer and it does not work well with Communicator.. In fact there is not even a single PIM that integrates with Communicator. Here we should take a leaf out of MS Outlook's book.

Now to Microsoft Bashing.. i think it is a waste of time.. sure we all enjoy it, but it should divert us from our main goal. Finally, in any war, the best strategy is to know the weaknesses of your enemy and attack them. But what is more important is to know his strengths and doing something about them. NS has been stubborn in the case of communicator. They had added some new features.. but not those in available in IE or Outlook (Multiple POP servers support in one profile, Automatic Bookmark import, Offline browsing etc.) WHY? I don't know.. but i know one thing.. only market leader can afford to be stubborn. And if it is stubborn for too long, it can't stay on the top (and communicator is the textbook example of this).

Last but not least.. I love my Netscape, even after all its flaws.. and unless it is completely destroyed... i will always continue to use it.