Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Released to Developers
Last week on March 5th, Microsoft released beta 1 of Internet Explorer 8. This beta currently supports Windows XP/Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
This version of Internet Explorer is now standards compliant and can operate in three distinct rendering modes: Quirks mode, IE7 mode, and IE8 mode which is the W3C standards compliant mode. Quirks mode is aptly named and refers to IE5 legacy compatibility.
New features include:
- Developer Toolbar for FireBug-like debugging
- Favorites Bar
- Automatic Crash Recovery
- An improved Phishing Filter
- Improved Script Performance
Rick Strahl lauded the addition of the Developer Toolbar for IE8:
This is a very worthwhile improvement IMHO because the debugging experience in IE has always been one of pain having to go through dialog pop ups and really to get anything useful having to run the Visual Studio script debugger.
And then pointed out areas for improvement:
I would like to see one additional step taken though and that is to get rid of the modal dialog if script debugging is enabled and rather have a more FireBug like model where you can see that an error occurred with a way to click the error icon and then be transported into the this developer toolbar debugger window - preferably to the appropriate line of code as FireBug does. This is easily one of the nicest and most productive features in FireBug.
On a similar note Jeff King, a Microsoft Program Manager, pointed out a useful tip the Visual Studio Web Tools team added to Visual Studio 2008 in anticipation of IE8.
IE8 now enables debugging on-demand. Thanks to a feature we tucked into VS2008 about 1/2 year ago in anticipation, when you F5, VS gives a hint to IE to flip on debugging... just for that tab you are on. This means you no longer need to leave script debugging enabled in IE. VS will do it for you. Simple.
Special thanks to the debugger folks and the IE team for lining this one up!
Links to Developer resources for IE8 provided by John Hrvatin, Microsoft IE Program Manager:
- Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Release Notes
- Developer Tools whitepaper
- Developer Tools SDK page
- Demo video: debugging
- IE Development Center on MSDN