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.

#58 Don't worry...

by stephan <>

Saturday December 4th, 1999 10:08 AM

You are replying to this message

"Netscape 5 will have to be much better than Internet Explorer to win". I've heard people say things like this a million times. It's true, yes, but everyone knows that. And that's what the Mozilla team is trying to do. Make a much better browser.

Commenting on Netscape 4 market share and MS innovations is, however tempting it may be, completely useless. Netscape 4 does not support standards very well, and MS has been able to take advantage of this to win the hearts of a few Web developers.

Now, that doesn't matter. Netscape 5 shouldn't have to rely on Netscape 4's userbase to get popular. It should be able to become popular by itself, as I'm sure it will. Rushing things wont help, let it take as long as it has to.