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.

#50 strongly disagree

by RvR <>

Saturday December 4th, 1999 1:47 AM

You are replying to this message

I disagree with the idea that "If one browser supports a feature that users like then inevitably web developers will include that feature in their pages."

normal end-users really don't care about what features their browsers support. I know a few *normal web surfers*, friends, family... What they only want is that the page they fetch shows up, is readable and doesn't start complaining because plugin "blah" is absent or component "X-scronch" insults them with technical terms !

Normal end-users like simple pages, they don't demand complex features, complex pages and all that stuff that *webmasters* try to force them to use...

In my opinion, too many webmasters are dictators ! (and i am one webmaster too, so i'm allowed to say that). Too many web sites try to force the visitors to tweak something in their configuration whereas it's completely useless, given the content they have.

Look at this web site,, don't you think that we love it because it's *clean* and *simple* ?