Just read some encouraging news over at Sitepoint; as it turns out, Microsoft recently announced that they are releasing a beta of Internet Explorer 8 sometime next year, and that it apparently passes the Acid2 test for web standards support.
I was actually pretty impressed with Microsoft’s announcement; they took the time to explain what Acid2 means and to discuss the importance (and variety) of standards on the web. They also had a lot to say about backwards-compatibility…that Microsoft has a responsibility to keep old, hacked-for-IE applications from breaking when accessed via new, standards-compliant browsers.
Sometimes I agree, and sometimes I don’t…usually when I disagree it’s because I’m fighting tooth and nail with IE6 to get it to do something that Firefox or Opera can do with very little effort. But at the same time, I kind of understand where they’re coming from. I’ve been making websites for around five years now, and I can’t say I’m exactly proud of the quality of the code in some of my earlier projects. I’ve always done as well as I knew how to do at the time, and I was always happy with the result; however, if I were to work on one of those projects today, I’d probably want to rewrite the whole thing for standards compliance, maintainability, performance, etc.
The IE team is sort of in the same boat, only they’ve got a heck of a lot larger audience than I do, and a much more complicated piece of software to maintain. So, I offer my sympathies, while at the same time expressing very high hopes and gratitude as a result of this week’s beautiful little announcement. Congratulations to the IE team; here’s looking forward to the future of the web.