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Microsoft Makes Testing IE6 and 7 Easier 167

davidmcg writes "Finally, Microsoft has made steps to make testing IE6 and IE7 easier for Windows users. Previously, you had to pay for an additional Windows license to legally run both versions of IE for testing purposes. Now Microsoft is making available free Windows XP/IE6 images available for VirtualPC (also free as MS is competing with VMWare). This means that you can run IE6 in a virtual machine while running IE7 on your host machine. The drawback is that the download is set to expire April 2007 ... although we are promised new versions will be released. What Microsoft doesn't mention is that Virtual PC also runs on Windows 2000 (and IE7 doesn't). Therefore it's possible to install this Windows XP VPC image on your Win2k machine. You can then update IE6 on the XP image to IE7, testing IE7 without upgrading from Win2k. This is all-around excellent news for web developers."
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Microsoft Makes Testing IE6 and 7 Easier

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  • :C (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    By making them just crash when you start them up, instead of making you wait for 30 seconds!

    ::ducks::

  • by traindirector ( 1001483 ) * on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:22AM (#17066756)

    What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

    That being said, reaching out a hand to the web development community like this is a great move on Microsoft's part. It will encourage developers to test for both IE6 and IE7 even if they couldn't normally run both (or either). I would imagine this would be enormously useful for Mac developers who don't want to buy a PC (as I imagine it would work for Mac Virtual PC).

    On that subject, I've been wondering why Apple doesn't release a test kit for Safari. I would test against Safari even though it doesn't have a large market share. I test against Opera. I even make sure my pages degrade gracefully in Netscape 4 and IE and Netscape 3. But I'm not going to buy a Mac just to make sure my pages look okay to Mac users. I know 98% of the time Safari will display like Firefox or Opera, but there are noticeable exceptions (especially in styling forms). Wouldn't helping people verify web page compatibility be an opportunity for Apple to ensure the compatibility of their platform?

    I think Microsoft has the right idea here.

    • Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has announced that they have no plans to bring Virtual PC to the Intel-based Mac, so I don't imagine there would be a way to run this image on them.

      Owners of shiny and semi-new G5s might still be in luck though...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      If you want to test for compatibility with Safari, then you may want to try Konquerer. They have the same code base AFAIK. However, I've found a few differences between the two browsers, but it's probably about as close as you're going to get to Safari without buying a Mac. If you have a team of developers, and the all need access to one MAC, you can have multiple users logged into a single computer, each with their own VNC session, which means that multiple developers can use the same computer at the sa
      • by linuxci ( 3530 ) *

        If you have a team of developers, and the all need access to one MAC, you can have multiple users logged into a single computer, each with their own VNC session, which means that multiple developers can use the same computer at the same time. Basically you log in each user with fast user switching, and each user starts a VNC Process on a different port. The only downside is that the users have to be logged in again and the VNC process restarted each time the computer is restarted. But I find that if you're just testing Websites, you don't need to restart your computer very much.

        That's what a Mac Mini is very useful for. It's a nice relatively cheap way to ensure that an office has a mac to test websites on.

      • Konqi and safari are different enough that you can't be sure about it. I've personally seen javascript that ran fine on konqi (and FF, Opera and IE) but failed on safari. And for a smaller shop (or someone just making a personal site in his spare time) its hard to justify the purshase of even a mac mini for just 2% of your site's visitors.
        • Which is basically what I said, that I've found a few differences, but if you really aren't going to buy Mac, then that's as close as you will get.
    • There's always Gtk+ WebCore [sourceforge.net], which renders pages exactly like WebCore, the renderer used in Safari. The rendering engine works great, but the rest of the thing is somehwat unstable.

      Just download a Linux distro, install it in VMWare or QEMU, and there you have it.
    • What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

      And even better if they hadn't broken IE7's CSS in a DIFFERENT WAY from IE6. On our client sites we're now serving out a different set of bugfixes to IE6 and IE7 users because unbelievably IE7 is still broken. I only make cursory tests on Safari, KHTML and Opera because I know those will just work the sa

    • by shmlco ( 594907 )
      Or run on a 17" Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, use Safari, Firefox, and Opera, and then use Parallels to test againt IE when needed... ;)

      Seriously, it would be a bit difficult to release a test kit for Safari w/o having most of the rest of the OS available.

      Although, since we're on that subject, why couldn't MS release an IE6 test application as a single EXE? Requiring yet another XP environment just to test a single application seems like a major case of overkill.

      Or are we back to the "IE is inextricably bound to
    • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

      Each time I read something like this I'm soooo happy that I became bored with the intricacies of web design shortly after HTML+ and never pushed the web design side of the company we started round that time when we toyed with the idea...

      That's why you should always use a CMS. That way if MS break their brows

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Magus424 ( 232405 )
      What would have really been good news for web developers would have been if Microsoft had gone a bit further with the standards support and not broken a number of methods developers used to trick IE6.

      What would be even better is if these so-called "web developers" actually learned how to properly override things for IE instead of relying on silly hacks.

      Conditional comments for one are much more reliable.
      • Define proper? Conditional comments are a proprietary extension created by Microsoft with limited use. You can't even use them inside your css files, which completely makes them worthless for some uses. Namely the project I'm working on now which has multiple layouts offered by simple stylesheet changes. Each stylesheet also needs IE hacks on top of it. With things like the star hack this is as easy as adding a few extra rules. With conditional comments, I have to entirely rework my css include system.

        No
  • web developers? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is all-around excellent news for web developers.


    For WINDOWS web developers, that is. Still no way to run IE7 in wine, AFAIK
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by derubergeek ( 594673 )

      Mod parent up! I have to wonder if some of the mods even have a basic understanding of English. Pointing out that this wonderful IE6 & IE7 testing system that is such a boon to "web developers" is actually only good for web developers who have Windows is stunningly on-topic.

      Personally, I make sure my sites work in Firefox and then field any complaints I might get from the minority of IE6 people I have to deal with by encouraging them to install Firefox. If that's a no go, then I'll actually bother to tr

    • by Daath ( 225404 )
      Borrow a Windows machine, download the image, use VMWare Workstation and download the Virtual Machine Importer tool to convert the image to VMWare - If you're lucky it doesn't invalidate the activation and you can run VMWare under linux...
    • I have not tried this, but VMware Converter supposedly supports converting VPC images into VMware images.
      That would let you run them in VMware on Linux.

      http://blog.adglobe.net/2006/11/01/vmware-converte r-30-easy-way-to-create-virtual-machines-on-your-c omputer/ [adglobe.net]
    • Actually the genius behind IEs4Linux has a working method to get the IE7 rendering running under wine (all be it in the IE6 interface).

      It isn't actually too hard, but I won't try and explain it again here.

      It is stable and matches IE7 in the ACID2 test so defiantly useful for some quick testing before firing up a full VM.
  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:23AM (#17066770) Journal
    I can't seem to come up with a way to apply "It's a trap!", the borg, or a chair reference to this story.

    I know...ITSAHOAX!

    It must be...
    • Perhaps at first glance, but it could still easily be a trap. The IE6 might, say, render webpages purposely incorrectly so that when viewed in IE6 in reality they look quite different, forcing people to still upgrade to IE7 and thereby install WGA-SuperSpywareDeluxeCeilingKitten edition.

      The Borg is tougher to apply, but perhaps the IE6 has linking capabilities to connect with other VirtualPC's running the version and create a control network across...ok, so maybe that one's a bit of a stretch.

      The chair-thr

    • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
      IT'll probably work (downloading now) but it's months late and the best solution they can come up with seems to take about 1.5 GB of hdd space. Damn lot of space for downloading a browser.
  • by moore.dustin ( 942289 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:25AM (#17066822) Homepage
    If you have IE7 and FF2, can you test for IE6 through a Firefox extension. I know it is possible with just FF2 and IE6, but I am not sure if the extension uses whatever version of IE you have installed or if is made to be IE6. Thanks for any input
    • by linuxci ( 3530 ) * on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:29AM (#17066898)
      No the IE tab extension is not specific to IE6 and will therefore run IE7 in a Firefox tab if IE6 is installed. There's various hacks to run IE6 and IE7 side by side and they're not approved by MS so it's possible that you could be running IE6 with some IE7 libraries and then the result would not be a perfect IE6 install and some things may differ.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Oh well that would have been nice would it not? Generally speaking, I still develop for FF and IE6 with compliant code and I have yet to have a problem in IE7 when I do that. It seems like IE7 pretty much renders the same as FF2 on all of the major CSS classes. When you get into some of the crazier things then you need to be looking much more carefully. By the look of all my sites stats though, we will all be developing for IE6 for at least 2 years and even then a safari-esque %age will still be using IE6.
      • There's various hacks to run IE6 and IE7 side by side and they're not approved by MS ...
        And they don't work very well, since IE pulls in all sorts of other libraries that are upgraded. Filters(Alpha+PNG) support, XML parsing are two key ones that will be b0rked in IE6 with IE7 installed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gaspyy ( 514539 )
      You must be confused...

      There is a Firefox extension (maybe more) called IE Tab that will allow Firefox to use IE rendering engine in one tab. Pretty cool for testing.

      However, as far as I know, IE Tab and all other similar extensions, will use whatever IE engine is available on the system (mshtml.dll I think). It's precisely because of the way IE works and it's integrated in the OS that you can't have multiple versions of IE installed at once.

      Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • by unPlugged-2.0 ( 947200 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:33AM (#17066976) Homepage
    I think this is more of a move towards VMWare than it is for helping out Web Developers.

    Let's look at why? The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways. I don't see why Microsoft would really care so much about this niche crowd who always beat up on MS. No - What this does is it gives them an opportunity to gain some favor in the community and also push another product which microsoft is so good at doing.

    Not being paranoid but I am just thinking about what makes sense for Microsoft as a business. They really want to push VirtualPC and you can see this in their partnerships with Xen and the feeling that they are loosing massive market share to VMWare (which they are btw).

    So this is more of a counter with the guise of backward compatibility.

    If they really wanted to help out Web Developers they would have simply included a IE6 mode in IE7 as an update that lets you switch between the rendering engines. I am sure this would be possible and also much easier to a web developer.
    • I have no doubt whatsoever that one of the reasons for this move was to help push Virtual PC, although VirtualPC has been free for a while you've always needed to pay for an OS for it. This time limited XP image is also a good way to give people a chance to try out the potential of Virtual PC. However, whatever Microsoft's motives are, it's still a good news for Windows web devs particularly those on Win2k [browserden.co.uk] as long as MS haven't done anything to stop this image working on that platform.

      Of course if the mai

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Of course if the main purpose was to ensure as many people could test IE7 as possible they'd also make a VMWare compatible image so Mac and Linux users could test. However, ultimately that probably is too much to ask as it'd give Linux and Mac users a free time limited licence for XP, they ultimately want people to develop primarily on Windows so that'd never happen.

        Isn't the Virtual PC hard drive image format open (really open - royalty free, do-anything-you-want)? In which case, all VMWare has to do is re

        • VMware Workstation can import/convert Virtual PC configurations/images to their format. I think v5.0 was the first that could do that. Additionally, if I really wanted to, I could just set up a Ghost (or equiv.) session between an empty VMware VM and this VPC one. Unless they've thrown in any magic in the copy of XP to stop that.
    • The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways.

      Huh? Don't they have to test their stuff to see if it works for the other 96% of the world? And, how do you develop things like .Net on a Mac?
      • by gordyf ( 23004 )
        I develop web apps on a Mac. I use Parallels [parallels.com] to test in IE6 and IE7. I also don't develop in .Net, so that's not really a concern for me.

      • by aaronl ( 43811 )
        The majority aren't using .NET to do web development. I would guess that this means that they simply don't bother with .NET, and so don't have to develop for it, or test with it.
      • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
        Since when does 96% of the world use IE? Firefox (Gecko), Opera, and Safari (WebKit/KHTML) are all available for Mac OS X, so you get to test out your site in all the common HTML renderring engines. IE is the only thing not available, and Mac web developers can use Parallels to run Windows with IE.
    • If this is a move against VMWare, the joke's on Microsoft. You can convert VirtualPC images to VMWare images using the VMWare Virtual Machine Importer [vmware.com], which is a free download.
    • Riiight -- most web developers you know develop on a mac, so therefore all web developers must develop on a mac. Makes perfect sense! But if you are developing on a mac, you are probably designing web sites or maybe doing a Rails or php app, not working on the UI for a large enterprise system where developers run a local instance of the development environment on their own machines. Among those people, no-one I know runs a mac, and when your app fails to work on a browser, its a serious problem for a custom
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways.

      Exactly zero of the dozens of web developers I know use Macs. They all use Windows or Linux. They actually develop programs that generate websites, usually in .NET, Java, PHP, etc.

      Only the web designers I know use Macs. Graphic/web designers are not the same developers, despite what they may think. They generally have the ability to make sites pretty, and tweak the layouts generated by the programs developers create. Most designers cannot bu

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The majority of web developers I know develop on the mac anyways.

      To put it nicely, you could not be more wrong.

      Most web developers (coders), as well as web designers (graphics/layout), use Windows and test in IE6. They'd be crazy not to, considering the large 85%+ of web users that use IE, and all the tweaking necessary to get sites to look right in IE6.

      Additionally, a larger percentage of web developers design sites first in Firefox compared to the rest of the population*. No more than 20-30%, but that's h

  • It's way easier (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:33AM (#17066978)
    I just learnt this from the German IT news site heise.de http://www.heise.de/newsticker/foren/go.shtml?read =1&msg_id=11722667&forum_id=109109 [heise.de]

    On following sites you can test your webpage via an online renderer

    For IE 6 and 7: http://ipinfo.info/netrenderer/ [ipinfo.info]
    For Safari: http://www.danvine.com/icapture/ [danvine.com]
    For Firefox and many others: http://browsershots.org/ [browsershots.org]

    hth
    • That is increadible. I never even thought to ask if something like this exists. I've been so tiered of logging out of OS-X, logging into Bootcamp and trying to see how badly I misinterpreted IE's rendering. Thank you for the links.
      • by tb3 ( 313150 )
        Bootcamp? Good grief! Go download the Crossover Mac [codeweavers.com] beta, and install IE 6 from inside. Crossover does all the work to download and install IE, and even simulates a reboot when finished. Now, just run IE from your desktop.
    • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
      This is not very useful. Not only is it incredibly slow, but also you cannot test anything related to :hover, for example a menu system.

      I know, because I wanted to test the site at work for IE7 compatability and we do not have XP.
    • by Selanit ( 192811 )
      Online renderers (which basically take a screenshot of the page in a particular browser and then show it to you) can be very useful for seeing how your page looks in a particular browser.

      However, they're useless at determining how your page functions in a particular browser. If you're using, say, menus that appear/disappear using CSS, you can't test them in one of those. Ditto for any JavaScript - and with more and more sites developing AJAX-based pages that update only particular portions of the page, th
  • Now you can also get your vista/XP whatever with IE7 , and have a virtual PC (vmware or whatever MS calls their stuff) runinng an linux image, that have ie4linux installed ...
    Then you have IE7 on your main windows machines (god.. did i say windows is your primary OS ?) and test backward compatibility with IE 6, IE5.5 and another i don't remember the number within your neat little Linux image through wine...
    May be easier than having a win2k computer somewhere...

    Check it here :
    http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4li [tatanka.com.br]
  • Their very widely used retail software was just found to have a strong compatibility issue with IE7. Processing credit cards no less. Way to catch that on the way out.
  • Firefox is simpler (Score:4, Informative)

    by davidmcg ( 796487 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:35AM (#17067040) Homepage
    A few people have asked me if Firefox needs to be run in a virtual machine to test different versions. The answer to that is no, so I wrote a quick guide [browserden.co.uk] to how I run multiple versions of Firefox on the same machine.

    Prior to the release by Microsoft of this VM image I got round the legal requirement to buy an extra XP licence by running XP with IE6 and running the free to download (at the time) betas of Vista in a virtual machine for IE7 testing.

    • by 0racle ( 667029 )
      Most development places are going to have valid licenses and media for 2000. The easiest way to get around buying another version of windows would be to use that in a VM to test your page in IE 6 (and 5 if you want to install another instance) and use XP or Vista on your desktop, or throw it in a VM, and use it to test with IE 7. That definitely seems easier then downloading this VPC image every 4-6 months or whatever it seems that MS is doing here.
  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:41AM (#17067156) Homepage

    Maybe MS is somehow is benefiting from the endless cycles of MSIE-based spyware, viruses, and general security problems. If not, then it (and we) would be much better off if MS should drop MSIE completely [pcmag.com]. Where does MS come out ahead financially? MSIE is probably the largest single public relations problem as well as one of largest security and productivity problems that MS produces these days.

    The Netscape/DOJ v MS has been over for years. MSIE wastes our time, it wastes MS time. There's simply no need for anyone, even MS, to be wasting resources with MSIE. The public certainly has no reason to let MS foist on them such low quality security hole masquerading as a useful application. Drop MSIE or let users uninstall it completely.

    Firefox [mozilla.com] and Opera [opera.com] are what people are using anyway [informationweek.com]. Go with the flow and invest the resources that would have gone into trying to keep life in MSIE go somewhere they'll actually have a chance of doing good.

    • The corporate intranet is obviously something you have never heard of.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

        What's your point? Corporations could write intranet browser-based apps just as easily for Firefox -- and even get a better result, since they could make superior GUIs with XUL!

        And before you start talking about preexisting apps, note that IE6 would still be around for legacy compatibility. Furthermore, MS doesn't seem to have a problem with changing toolkits (see: Win32 -> MFC -> WinForms), so why would it have a problem with changing the browser too?

    • Maybe MS is somehow is benefiting from the endless cycles of MSIE-based spyware, viruses, and general security problems. If not, then it (and we) would be much better off if MS should drop MSIE completely.

      MS really wasn't lying when they said IE was now part of the OS (or at least the shell). For example, if you open "My Computer" and type something like "www.microsoft.com" into its address bar, you'll get essentially the same result as if you had started by opening a window that openly stated it was

    • Firefox and Opera are what people are using anyway.

      If by "using" you mean "in a small minority of the traffic that I see on the many sites I track," then, sure, I guess you're right. But you're not, of course. About 90% of the traffic I see, and about 94% of the revenue I see created, comes from people using MSIE - typically v6+. Wishful thinking doesn't make it otherwise.
    • The reason is that Microsoft can direct users to (highly recommended) web resources that they own, such as MSN.
      • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
        They could do that with their own custom version of Firefox. It'd save them a lot of money by just patching Firefox a bit than having to maintain their own web browser.
    • Maybe MS is somehow is benefiting from the endless cycles of MSIE-based spyware, viruses, and general security problems. If not, then it (and we) would be much better off if MS should drop MSIE completely. Where does MS come out ahead financially?

      Microsoft's often-stated goal is not to make money. Their goal is to make everybody run Microsoft software for everything they do (they justify this by thinking "because nobody else can do it right"). Regardless of how bad IE might be, it's Microsoft software, so t

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't this invalidate WPA and all other copy protection crap with XP?
  • ... who keep saying IE doesn't have its hooks buried deep in Windows: this is pretty much proof, is it not? I've got several versions of Photoshop, from 3 to CS, on my W2K box at home. I've also got several versions of Firefox (and Firebird, and Phoenix) as well. Plus Netscape 3.* And a few Acrobat Readers. I've even got MSIE2--back when it was a *gasp* standalone app. And a bunch more apps I could list if I cared to. My XP box at work has Office 2003 and the beta of 2007.

    So: MS has to go out of their way t
    • by 0racle ( 667029 )
      who keep saying IE doesn't have its hooks buried deep in Windows: this is pretty much proof, is it not?
      No it is not. IE will install to one place only. If an older version is there it will upgrade it, if a newer version is there, the installer exits telling you you already have a newer version.
      • by sootman ( 158191 )
        "IE will install to one place only."

        Sounds like a very artificial limitation. (If you say it's for security, I'll die laughing. Same response if your answer is "share components, save disk space.") And it can't be just dragged around? Hmm...

        OK, I fired up Parallels and launched my dual-boot 98/2k image. C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe (win98) shows a 64k file, version 4.72.3110.0; e:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe is about 60k and shows version 5.0.2920.0. Clicking on either l
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
      IE5.00 would look for older versions of IE, and had an option to preserve them in a runnable state. Doubtless useful for web developers, tho it escapes me why anyone would run IE3/IE4 when the far-better IE5.00 was available, and even ran better on the same setups. Unlike earlier/later versions, IE5.00 wasn't crashy, nor a resource or memory hog.

      By preference, I still use old NS3, partly because of flexibility such as you describe. Install and run as many versions and copies of versions as you like, and eve
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogiraoNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Friday December 01, 2006 @11:49AM (#17067332) Homepage
    Test your sites on the W3C's validators [w3.org]. That's the only testing you should EVER do.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gsnedders ( 928327 )
      The validator isn't perfect. Checking it manually against the specifications used is the only way to ensure compliance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shohat ( 959481 )
      Too bad W3C Validators dont work correctly.
      And unlike some imaginary world you wish us to build websites for, in this world most users use IE. Websites are built for users, not webmasters. So a webmaster must make sure that his website is rendered correctly on the user's computer and keep the ideology to himself or find another job.
    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )
      No, it isn't. It's the first thing to do, certainly, but not the only test. No browser is 100% standards compliant, and knowing which bits of the standards you can safely use is a nightmare.

      Now, if people are finding new browsers frequently break their sites, I'd suggest they have some serious robustness issues (I work on a 300 page web application, which had only cosmetic issues on IE7, and required under an hour to correct). People seem concerningly unwilling to compromise between stability, future safety
    • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @12:16PM (#17067932)
      You obviously don't pay your bills with web development.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Test your sites on the W3C's validators . That's the only testing you should EVER do.

      I'm hoping the parent was aiming to be modded Funny. Writing HTML and CSS that complies with web standards is easy. Making sites that render correctly in the browsers that 98% of Internet users is wherein comes one of the major challenges in web design.

      My general strategy is to spend a certain amount of time writing compliant XHTML 1.1, then spending 5 times that amount of time making it work in IE. This is not atypical.

      Unless you're doing a really simple site, browser checks are the mark of success.

    • All the W3C validator can do is point out syntax errors in HTML or CSS. It can't point out semantic errors, or show which JavaScript or DOM code won't work in one browser or another. Validating is a great thing to do, but you really do need to test your site in multiple browsers to ensure it does work in those browsers.

    • Cool. And when web application doesn't work for my client, and they complain that AOL users, IE6 users, and Mac users are unable to purchase products from their website, I'll just tell them that it's not my problem because a W3C validator says so. While we're at it, I'll use the same argument during my exit interview.

      Welcome to the real world. The W3C doesn't pay me, so occasionally I'll need to concede a few idiological points to the folks that do.
    • by pe1chl ( 90186 )
      That is like saying that you should validate your C programs using gcc -Wall and then, when they are syntactically correct, do not need to test them for correct functionality.
  • I am a web developer and I write pages to follow the W3 and other standards. If it follows the standards and looks right in one IE and looks right in the standards-compliant browsers, then I'm done quite frankly.

    Running a virtual Windows is pointless and a load of hassle, for what benefit exactly? Just have one old box with IE6 still on.

    So "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

  • So now I can keep coding for the badly broken IE6 as well as the less broken IE7.. Happy happy joy joy.
    Hey everyone that can not update to IE7 please download Firefox and or Opera NOW.
  • Or you can just download IE3 / IE4 / IE5 /IE6 here, and run it without the need to install anything. [evolt.org]

    I have no idea if this is legal or anything, but i do know that it's a very simple solution that works...
  • Would be for the browser in Windows to be self-contained enough to run as an application. Then you could have multiple versions because they wouldn't all be reliant on things like msie.dll in the OS layer.

    Microsoft could easily achieve that by unbundling the web browser from the OS.

    What, did I just say something stupid?
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      What, did I just say something stupid?

      Yes. In particular, you seem to miss the point of shared code and ignore that every other platform (now) has an equivalent to IE.

  • *Free* XP images? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['oo.' in gap> on Friday December 01, 2006 @12:01PM (#17067574) Homepage Journal
    So wait... if I'm understanding this correctly, the idea here is free images of XP. Sure, they probably won't work in anything except VirtualPC, but they are still free copies of XP! I thought the whole rationale behind making VPC free was to drive adoption of virtualization, resulting in more Windows licenses sold...

    Are they *fully functional* versions? I.E. can you install other software (there's a decent supply of XP-only software that won't even run in W2K)? The summary suggests you can upgrade the browser, which is a big step by itself... but I have a few friends who haven't upgraded to W2K for various reasons, and still run W2K. Does this new download mean they would be able to use XP (within W2K) without needing to buy an XP license?
  • Without having to use a virtual machine, here's how to install multiple versions of IE on a single machine: Multiple IE [tredosoft.com].
  • Help out a poor non-Windows user: why on earth do you need an entirely separate copy of the OS to run a different version of IE? Why can't you run the two side-by-side under one OS?
    • Basic interfaces and integration. There are so many apps that use IE embedded in them, that if they were different (different interfaces), you'd end up with a real mess.
      • by bfields ( 66644 )
        There are so many apps that use IE embedded in them, that if they were different (different interfaces), you'd end up with a real mess.

        Surely this mess should be trivial to sort out--give one of the two installations a different name, make sure it doesn't overwrite any of the other's shared libraries, whatever. It doesn't seem that different from having multiple browsers (IE, firefox, opera...) installed side-by-side.

        • Well, not really. Since they designed it for interoprability, I can embed any IE functions I want to in my own applications and not have to worry about which version of IE the user will be using. The .dll has the same name, the same interface, etc, so if I'm developing an app, it's all seamless to me.

          Not only that, but you'd have a mess at the desktop level because so much of the desktop is rendered using IE (everything is a web browser).
          • Well, not really. Since they designed it for interoprability, I can embed any IE functions I want to in my own applications and not have to worry about which version of IE the user will be using. The .dll has the same name, the same interface, etc, so if I'm developing an app, it's all seamless to me.

            I believe it would be easier actually to have separate libraries. As it is, you have a moving target. You may need to update your app-with-embedded-IE for compatibility with the new IE7 library, whether you wa

  • Seriously.

    Code for standards, tweak for IE6 should be sufficient. Once IE7 hits over the 70% mark, then it's moot anyway.

    Corporate needs are different but they'll code for a specific browser anyway.

    If the site breaks for IE6 - which shouldn't, just display funky, then the user can download Opera or Firefox for free.
    Likewise when there is yet another vulnerability for IE6, the user shouldn't be using IE anyway.
  • by bADlOGIN ( 133391 ) on Friday December 01, 2006 @12:34PM (#17068314) Homepage
    (since it isn't) and make it so you don't have to do stupid crap like this.

    Lessie... memory management, process scheduling, storage, parsing & rendering HTML.

    Which of these doesn't fit again?
  • ...that doesn't impress me much.

    As a web developer, this doesn't really do anything for me because:
    1. Virtual PC was already free
    2. An XP license is a negligable cost (if you don't already have an MSDN subscription)
    3. This does nothing for IE 5 & 5.5

    Maybe IE 5 & 5.5 are so long ago inside the Microsoft campus that they can be forgotten, however in the real world people still use them.

    In addition Virtual PC is a headache because:
    1. You need to boot the machine up which takes a while
    2. You can't hit a
  • In Nov. 2003, ie standalone [evolt.org] appeared on the evolt.org website. I used that to run IE 5.0, 5.x side-by-side. Now, (I haven't tried this), if you already have IE7 installed you can use Multiple IE [tredosoft.com] to have IE3 IE4.01 IE5 IE5.5 and IE6 installed standalone.

    Hope this helps.
  • IE6 runs reasonably well in Wine.

MS-DOS must die!

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