Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 beta 2

This beta version is installed on my Vista Business laptop - the one I don't use for mainstream work because it's Vista, and XP Pro is my company standard. Like IE7, it offers multi-tabbed browsing and RSS feeds - powerful reasons to move from IE6 if you haven't already done so. Some of the changes in IE8 are quite good

1) separate safety tools

2) Reopen last browsing session - so if you closed a multi-tabbed page, it will bring them back

3) developer tools let you look at the structure of the page in HTML, CSS and script, and offer a good bunch of tools

4) colour-coded tabs - if you Open in New Tab then the parent and child are coloured the same

and so far the following funnies showed up:

5) the Stockchart widget on iGoogle doesn't display properly. This seems to be a positioning issue because if you drag the widget slightly, the whole graph will reappear while you keep hold of the widget. When you let go, it's all a bit random

6) an Amazon a-store widget in a Blogger page isn't positioned properly in its frame - it's a few pixels to the right and down from where it should be. Very obvious as the design has a black background and so there's a white top and left border where there shouldn't be

Both of these were fixed using IE8's Compatibility mode setting which can be reached either through the Tools or the Page drop-downs(!)

7) Suggested Sites is a bit of a pest (keeps asking)

8) if you have multiple home page tabs under IE7, these don't open individually under IE8 from the side drop-down on the Home button (nothing happens). The whole group opens if you click the main part of the Home button.

9) the Personalise link seems to be broken

But all in all, it's a very good browser and I'll probably install it on my main laptop as soon as the Release version arrives.

Work to do:
List of popular sites that need the Compatibility mode setting. So far these include
Guido Fawkes, political blogger