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.

#88 Reality check yourself

by Bakafish

Sunday December 5th, 1999 8:24 PM

You are replying to this message

Ever hear of an analogy? That is what I was using, did it smack of too much truth for you? The fact, is I don't care who "wins" either. I never said I did, I just don't want Microsoft calling the shots, which is all they are interested in doing. Do you think that they are really giving away IE out of the goodness of their hearts? No, they want to get enough market penetration that they can be in the position to bastardize the standards into their own proprietary methods. Before you go off and say NS did that too, I agree, they did, it was wrong. When I said that Microsoft was the enemy of freedom, it should be obvious that I am not implying that they shoot small children who disparage Windows, I am saying that they want to prevent us from having choices, limiting our freedom to choose alternatives. By there anti-competitive behavior with IE they made the concept of browser development unprofitable, would Mozilla be doing better if it had a possible return on investment? I suspect it wouldn't hurt. You say you don't care who makes the product as long as it does the job you want it to. Well, you are being short sighted. If everyone all of a sudden says, "Gee Bill your browser rocks, we will all use it and it's free, you are so great!" Then what? Without competition Microsoft "innovates". That's a code word for make it proprietary. Let's start "innovating" the markup language, let's make it so our "superior media streaming technology" and application object environment are the only ones available, we feel that they are the best choice for our customer. And wow, since we have done so much "innovation" we should make a IE Professional and start charging for this and of course everyone has to buy Windows 2000 to support all of this wonderful "innovation" on the server side.

I am glad that Mozilla is coming, it will keep Microsoft honest. This is a war, there will be no winner from Redmond or Santa Clara. The best result will be a wary peace based on open standards, it is only through vigilance that Microsoft will be held in check. If this seems too overblown for you, fine. You can call me a Microsoft basher, but people who know that Microsoft "abuses their position" yet seem to forgive them out of hand... well you are part of the problem.

You say you don't defend Microsoft's actions, but by using IE you condone them.