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.

#79 Re: Bah, better IE than NOTHING from Mozilla

by nutpecker <>

Sunday December 5th, 1999 6:29 AM

You are replying to this message

Well YES, I'm no hacker or codesnob, but I do answer webmaster@ mail at a F500 company -- I live in the trenches just grinding out web pages, templates, and little applications for a living, and I have to agree with the post "better than NOTHING". Seems to me this whole mozilla snobbery is pretty childish. Meanwhile, your average, garden-variety web developers like myself have to laugh it off and spend literally half our time making cross-browser patches.

That has always been the case, yes, but we now (apparently more so soon) watch IE5.5 come out and prepare to ratchet up to that while we watch 4.5/4.6/4.7 (hehe) just sit there. mozilla has begun to really irk me -- they're now a nuisance and a detriment to my work flow. Get competitive or GO AWAY...ah, well, the market will take care of THAT, I guess. You guys are getting slaughterd by M$ -- get off your asses and BUILD!