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.

#56 constructive discussion

by KaiRo <>

Saturday December 4th, 1999 8:05 AM

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Asa, Ben_Goodger: I only can agree with you. I also DO believe in Mozilla. I like testing it, using it, reporting bugs and seeing how thea are resolved and fixed. And I hope once the skin definitions will have stopped changing, I will be able to make my own skin(s).

And I do not want to make a devil out of MS. But there simply some points I don't like. The main point was enough to start a trial against MS - forcing people to install some product they perhaps don't want and almst removing a competitor this way... (I still like using Windows and Office, though.)

And there's a point I simply do NOT understand: Version numbering. MSIE 5.0 could have been 4.1, judging by the changes - then 5.5 would be 4.2 and nobody would complain if it wasn't that much better than 4.1 ("5.0") or 4.0 - do you know what I mean? Of course, from this point of view, Netscape 4.5 should have been 4.1 or 4.2 - then the step to 5.0 would be what it is - "a big leap for mankind". From 4.7 to 5.0 it's not a big step... But that's a different discussion.

And hey, all you out there complaining about Mozilla - did you notice most of those people "bashing" MS, which you think are "immature" do show their names here but those Mozilla-complaining MS-fans (are they?) don't want to show up their names here? Is that less "immature"???

Please do a constructive discussion. We are able to deal with critics (positive AND negative) but let it be constructive. In opposite to a lot of others, here you have the chance to tell developers what you think of their product and even to help them making it better.

That's what this site is all about. And I think that's (one point) what Open Source is about.