July 12, 2000
9:29 AM   Subscribe

To those who are interested in such things, IE 5.5 is out, with all kinds of new and not that important features, including those great colored scroll bars.
posted by endquote (23 comments total)
Okay, so who's impressed?
I kinda lost all faith in new versions of IE after I had to jump through hoops to become a IE5.0 betatester hoping a full-digit-release would have all sorts of cool new stuff (like IE4 over 3), but I was dissapointed as all hell when I found out they'd been spending the last year working on a built-in FTP client and MediaPlayer5 when they could have actually done something usefull to their browser... but I'm digressing...

What really made me decide not to download 5.5 is the stupid overview they gave on it... They managed to write 13 pages of bullshit without actually saying anything...

I noticed they say "improved CSS capapbilities", but they don't much more than that... Didn't 5.0 for Mac have 100% of CSS1? You'd think it wouldn't be that hard for them to make an intel equivelant...

By the looks of things, they actually don't have anything new, they're just trying to get to 6.0 before netscape does...

BTW: did anyone notice that IE is under "Microsoft Windows Technologies"?
Does that mean opposed to "MS Application Technologies"?
posted by Bane at 10:33 AM on July 12, 2000

I think IE 5.5's one strong point is better XML/XSL support (though actually, they won't finish their XML/XSL rendering engine until sometime this fall, when everyone will be forced to download IE 5.51 or something like that).

Except, using the IE 5.5 betas basically trashed my home system, even after uninstalling it, so I'm wary of this release.
posted by mathowie at 11:03 AM on July 12, 2000

posted by quonsar at 11:10 AM on July 12, 2000

well, so much for pseudo-html. The comment above should have said [YAWN], but I tried to use less-than/greater-than around it.
posted by quonsar at 11:12 AM on July 12, 2000

I don't notice too much of a difference (just downloaded it), it does seem a bit faster. It used to take about 6 seconds to get metafilter to even start rendering before, now it just comes right up, but that could be a server or anything. Probably the placebo effect too.
posted by starduck at 12:13 PM on July 12, 2000

wow, the server WAS just upgraded...

posted by starduck at 12:15 PM on July 12, 2000

The other new feature, besides colored scrollbars? Print preview. *yawn*Considering the differences between Windows and Mac version of IE, M$ is obviously not interested in making the best product possible. That's why this post was made with Mozilla.
posted by billpena at 12:16 PM on July 12, 2000

I gotta say. Print preview is keen. I've been wondering why they left it out for the longest time. Now at least I can see how drappy a web page will look when I print it out *before* I waste the paper and ink.

Other than that, I agree with everyone whose brains need more oxygen. :)
posted by dgallo at 2:35 PM on July 12, 2000

The damn thing ate all but two of the names in my address book! Argghh!
posted by Mick at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2000

xml/xsl, dhtml and better css handling are all reasons i prefer using ie. in my experience, it's much easier to develop sites / applications with useful / high performance interactivity when your user base is guaranteed to be using ie 5+.
posted by syzygy at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2000

Right, but who can "guarantee" that your users are going to be using 5.x or higher? It's in Microsoft's best interests to release a browser that doesn't support the standards. That way, they can retain a lock on the monopoly they have in the browser market. I mean, if web developers simply gave up and went the Microsoft route, think of where we'd be today. Sure, we'd have a kick-ass functional [but proprietary] browser with lots of bells and whistles, but we'd also be paying Microsoft money for it, likely an expensive monthly servive fee (think AOL), and we'd also have to put up with all of Microsoft's whims of fancy. Customer support? Ha, don't make me laugh. Microsoft has a hard enough time supporting the businesses who pay them for support. You expect Microsoft to support millions of Intner net users too?

Read this essay for more points of view regarding this opinion.
posted by camworld at 6:39 PM on July 12, 2000

a user base with no linux users is not much of a user base, imho
posted by sawks at 7:09 PM on July 12, 2000

In the Real World of site building, Linux desktop users don't mean shit. (And this is from someone using a buggy Netscape 4.73 on Linux.) Basically, if it degrades gracefully on Windows and MacOS, then whatever: Linux web users have had to deal with buggy browsers for long enough, and are used to it by now.

But that doesn't matter, either, because unless you're dealing with particularly enlightened management, you're still likely to be designing sites with half an eye on Netscape 3 and IE4.

Right now, though, hope lies with Opera and Konqueror, the KDE browser. Because the pedestrian bloat of IE5.5 and Mozilla ain't gonna work with this user. Small things done well, thank you very much.
posted by holgate at 7:24 PM on July 12, 2000

Personally, I hate IE, and I don't use it...

But if I were developing for a closed intranet, I'd use IE5.5 w/flash... Because even though proprietary(sp?) standards suck, they're still better, (otherwise mozilla and w3c would reign supreme)

Personally, I'm hoping Netscape comes through with six-oh...
A world owned by B*ll is a very dark world.
posted by Bane at 8:23 PM on July 12, 2000

Yeah, I know I screwed that up, but when I don't get my morning coffee, it just fucks up my whole day...
posted by Bane at 8:25 PM on July 12, 2000

Pedestrian bloat of Mozilla?
posted by alan at 8:29 PM on July 12, 2000

Mozilla "runs" at walking pace and consumes all the resources on my machine. It's slow and fat: that's "pedestrian bloat". As for IE5's ability to turn a big HD into a full one, don't get me started...
posted by holgate at 9:17 PM on July 12, 2000

Sunuva... is this place bad about eating posts? I've made two that haven't shown up.

2nd time's a charm...

holgate - Intranet, some extranets, that's about it.

bane - I'm no M$ evangelist. I really wish the other browsers were as quick to add new features as M$ is. XML and DHTML are excellent tools for use in a web application.

Bane - exactly
posted by syzygy at 9:30 PM on July 12, 2000

As far as standards go, here's MS's statement, from the MSDN page highlighting the new features that're relevant to developers:

Before describing the details of these exciting new features, I'd like to address an issue that has attracted some attention: standards support in Internet Explorer 5.5. This release of Internet Explorer improves support for standards such as CSS1, with features such as borders, margin, and padding on inline elements, and first-letter and first-line pseudo-elements. Internet Explorer also continues to support all the standards supported in previous releases, including leading support for technologies such as XML.

In each release of the product, we improve our support for standards while providing the sets of features that customers require for building real-world solutions. As we move forward with future releases of Internet Explorer, we will again evaluate which standards will be supported to offer developers a great platform for development.

(Which is, I think, a copy/paste of what they've said before.)
posted by endquote at 9:32 PM on July 12, 2000

IE has to be some of the most poorly designed software of all time. It makes Netscape (also a very poor browser) look positively elegant. I'll stick with Opera, thanks. The frustration it saves me is well worth the 35 bucks.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 7:22 AM on July 14, 2000

Things seem to get awfully exaggerated when it comes to computer software, in this case with an overwhelming emphasis on Web browsers. People tend to take overly-opinionated stances (such as hating all Microsoft products simply because they're Microsoft).

Microsoft makes some high quality products. No, they aren't perfect. Yes, they can be buggy. But for now it's the best we've got, even if it's only because their software reigns as the de facto standard in nearly all applicable fields.

posted by emoberg at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2000

I don't hate Microsoft software just because it was made by Microsoft. I have found Encarta to be a good piece of software, for example. My problems with IE is that it is buggy, bloated, doesn't even come with Java support in the standard install, has a piss poor user interface and has caused the 'blue screen of death' on my system so many times that I have had to reinstall Windows (which still didn't fix all of the problems). Sorry, crappy software is crappy software. I don't care who made it. If it doesn't work as advertised than it sucks and I'll recommend to everyone I know not to use it!
posted by Mr. skullhead at 3:26 PM on July 14, 2000

Is anyone else having problems with IE 5.5's history and back buttons? It seems to sometimes forget the previous page visited, instead skipping two pages back.
posted by dogwelder at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2000

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