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.

#5 Bah, better IE than NOTHING from Mozilla

by Anon

Friday December 3rd, 1999 3:16 PM

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Y'know, this site used to be a little bit informative. However, it's now turning into a bash Microsoft site.

You guys berate the press for any critical points about Microsoft. What does all the negative press in the right news stories have ANYTHING to do with Mozilla? It smacks more of jealousy than anything else.

IE 5.5 is in "Developer Preview" other words--ALPHA. Maybe 5.5 will kick butt by the time it's released for real.

The core truism is this. Mozilla is late. VERY LATE. A bug free browser won't do much good if you can't get it out the door. Something tells me Netscape 5.0 won't be out until this time NEXT year. While nobody likes buggy software, I'll bet getting it bug free may take more time than a market will bear.

Even organizations like the Web Standards Project are frustrated. And real consumers and businesses are being left in the dust while the open source movement of hackers continues to turn into a virtual compound of paranoid users who spend more time hating microsoft that producing the product.

Man, I wish people would be more mature than forming a cult around a particular minority platform. It seems Mozilla is now stuck with the same fanatics who rallied around OS/2, Amiga, and the Mac.