browsers

New Internet Explorer 9 Videos

by Joey deVilla on August 9, 2010

Download IE9 Platform Preview 4 now!

If you haven’t tried the latest Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9, get your hands on it now! This one’s got new goodies like a new SVG engine, the “Chakra” JavaScript engine now integrated into the browser instead of a separate object called via COM, better Acid3 (95/100) and WebKit SunSpider scores.

Channel 9 has posted some videos on this newest version of IE9, and I thought I’d share them here:

A Look at the New IE Test Drive Samples

Get Microsoft Silverlight

This video (2 minutes, 43 seconds in length) shows off some of the new demo apps on the IE Test Drive page that show off the benefits of IE9’s hardware acceleration. Rob Mauceri, Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer, narrates.

Can’t see the video? Download Silverlight or grab the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

A Look at SVG in IE9

Get Microsoft Silverlight

SVG is short for "Scalable Vector Graphics", whose specification is an open standard and supported by all major modern web browsers, including IE9. This video (4 minutes, 36 seconds in length) shows how you can take advantage of SVG and the fact that it’s hardware-accelerated in IE9. Patrick Dengler, Senior Program Manager for Internet Explorer, does the presentation.

Can’t see the video? Download Silverlight or grab the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

IE9 Rocks HTML5 Audio Support

Get Microsoft Silverlight

IE Beatz is a drum machine app written JavaScript, SVG and HTML 5 audio to demonstrate the combined power of HTML 5 and IE9. This video (6 minutes, 4 seconds) features IE Beatz’ creator, Josh Rose of the IE9 team, explaining his creation and showing some of the underlying code.

Can’t see the video? Download Silverlight or grab the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Internet Explorer 9, Platform Preview 4

by Joey deVilla on August 7, 2010

I’ve been busy with all sorts of stuff, so I ‘m a little late with an announcement you might have seen elsewhere online: IE9 Platform Preview 4 has been released!

Download IE9 Platform Preview 4 now!

If you want the full story, check out IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch’s blog entry over at IEBlog, where he goes over the latest platform preview of our browser in detail. I’m just going to give you the major points, such as IE9 PP4’s Acid3 test score:

Screenshot: IE9 PP4's Acid3 test results: 95/100

…plus how IE9 PP4 stacks up against its previous incarnations and browsers built by the Esteemed Competition, according to the WebKit SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark test

Chart: WebKit, SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark Results, showing IE9 PP4 in 4th places, only milliseconds behind Chrome 5. Chrome 6 nightly and Opera 10.6

…and that there are a new batch of demos showing HTML5 compliance, hardware graphics acceleration, JavaScript speed and the really wacky things you can do with IE9 if you use a little imagination, such as a game that melds “Hamster Dance” with Dance Dance Revolution:

Screenshot of "Hamster Dance Revolution" showing a framerate of 41 fps

Go Get IE9 Platform Preview 4, Get Ready for the Beta

Download IE9It’s one thing to talk about the goodies in IE9 PP4, but it’s an entirely different thing to experience them. Take the latest version of IE9 for a test drive – go and download it now!

As you take this version for IE9 for a spin, you might want to start thinking about getting your sites, whether they’re already up or in the works, ready for the next big leap: IE9’s transition from “Platform Preview” to “Beta”. That’s coming soon.

Here are some things to think about, as suggested in IEBlog:

  • Test your site in IE9 Standards Mode.  This mode provides the best performance and interoperability and will offer additional benefits in the IE9 Beta. We suggest using the HTML5 doctype. More details here and here.
  • We recommend sending IE9 the same standards-based markup your site sends other browsers. More details here and here. From the feedback so far, and our experience with sites, the best way to get your site working in IE9 Standards Mode is to start from the same markup other browsers receive rather than IE6, IE7, or IE8 markup.
  • Use feature detection, not browser detection to handle any cross browser differences in behavior or feature support.  This keeps your site working even as browsers change.
  • Please continue to report issues on Connect if your site doesn’t look or work right, and you’re giving it the same code as you’re giving to other modern browsers. With IE9 Platform Preview 4, we’ve fixed over 100 community-reported issues. We will fix even more between now and the IE9 beta and want your feedback.
  • Consider the experience for IE9 Beta users if you find that sending the same markup creates more issues than you can resolve in your production site. It is possible that running your site in Compatibility View is better for your users.
  • Take advantage of HTML5, CSS3, SVG, DOM, ES5, and more… all described here in the developer guide.  We’re excited to run the amazing experiences you bring to the web using these new capabilities, taking advantage of hardware through IE9.

Download IE9 Platform Preview 4 now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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IE’s Big Leap Forward

by Joey deVilla on June 28, 2010

"nine" spelled using the IE logo for the "e"Peter-Paul “ppk” Koch writes in his blog, QuirksBlog (which lives on his site, QuirksMode):

In the past few days I’ve been revising the CSS compatibility table with information about the latest crop of browsers. There’s no doubt about it: this is IE9’s show. It just supports nearly everything. No hassle, no buts.

Microsoft has finally taken the big leap forward we’ve been waiting for ever since they announced their decision to restart IE development back in 2005.

IE9 promises to be an excellent browser. Its CSS support is now at par with that of the other browsers — although each browser still has its specific areas where it performs less. But we cannot in good faith say that IE is behind the others any more.

In the article, he does a run-down of CSS selectors and finds that the upcoming IE9 does an excellent job of supporting them.

Go take IE9 for a spin – download Platform Preview 3 and try it out – and make sure to try your hand at CSS 3 as well!

Download IE9 Platform Preview 3 now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Internet Explorer 9 Videos on Channel 9

by Joey deVilla on June 27, 2010

nine on 9By now, you’ve probably seen my article covering the new, faster, even more standards-compliant Platform Preview 3 of Internet Explorer 9. From hardware acceleration to a speed-boosted JavaScript engine with support for new ECMAScript 5 language features to support for SVG, <audio>, <video> and <canvas> tags, IE9 is shaping up to be a great browser for an open web.

Before there were Microsoft blogs (such as Canadian Developer Connection), there was Channel 9, Microsoft’s community site run by Microsoft employees. Like Microsoft blogs, Channel 9 gives you unfiltered access to the people building stuff at The Empire, all outside the control of the marketing and PR departments. Channel 9 features a lot of videos – there are times when they post several videos in a day – featuring developer news and training, training kits and courses, discussion forums and wikis for various Microsoft tools and technologies. If you’re a .NET developer or just curious about what’s going on the in the .NET world, you should check out Channel 9 and see what’s happening.

Channel 9 posted a number of videos covering the new features in the third Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 9. I’ve gathered them all into this blog article – enjoy!

A Look at the New IE9 Demos

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? You can download and install Silverlight or download the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

This video shows some of the sample apps living on the IE Test Drive site in action. It covers the following demos:

<canvas> and FishIE Tank

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? You can download and install Silverlight or download the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

Here’s a closer look at the FishIE Tank demo and how it makes use of <canvas> to draw up to thousands of animated, moving, scaling fish sprites.

<canvas> and Amazon.com

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? You can download and install Silverlight or download the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

Another <canvas> demo: Amazon Shelf. This one ties into Amazon’s data to create a virtual bookshelf that lets you browse Amazon’s catalogue of books.

<video> and IMDb Video Panorama

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? You can download and install Silverlight or download the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

The IE9 team showed a preview of support for the <video> tag, and with Platform Preview 3, you can try it out for yourself. In this video, you see how it’s used to build the IMDb Video Panorama demo.

ECMAScript 5 and the Tile Game

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Can’t see the video? You can download and install Silverlight or download the video in MP4, MP3, WMA, WMV, WMV (High) or Zune formats.

There are lots of boring ways to show of ECMAScript 5’s new array methods in action, but why not show them off with a fun game? In addition to the new JavaScript goodies, the ECMAScript 5 Game demo also shows off:

  • HTML5 <video> and <audio>
  • CSS3 multiple backgrounds
  • HTML5 local storage (first made available in IE8)
  • DOM Level 3 events
  • <window.getComputedStyle()>

Download IE9 Platofmr Preview 3 now!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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The Life and Times of Internet Explorer 6

by Joey deVilla on February 12, 2010

Over at the design-oriented Smashing Magazine site, you’ll find Brad Colbow’s comic, The Life and Times of Internet Explorer 6. It’s the browser we all love to hate, including we who collect a nice fortnightly deposit from Microsoft into our bank accounts. I got a great laugh at DemoCamp Toronto 21 when I said “If you got a cat when IE6 came out, it’s dead now.”

It wasn’t always this way, as the first section of the comic shows (you can click it to read the whole thing):

Part 1 of "The Life and Times of Internet Explorer 6"

There’s a fair bit of history covered in the middle section of the comic, but I feel that the most important sections are the first (shown above), and the end, shown below:

Final part of "The Life and Times of Internet Explorer 6"

That is the real question: “Can we stop supporting IE6 yet?”, followed by a real answer: You have to look at your audience. If you can drop IE6 support without ruining the experience for the majority your audience (you have to make the call on what constitutes a majority), then by all means, go for it.

Expecting people outside our industry to have as much interest in browser technology is about as fair as my insurance agent expecting me to have as much interest in the ins and outs of insurance as he does. I only care about the amount of coverage, the deductible, the slip of paper that goes into my glove compartment, and how much I have to pay a year. Everything else is just yappity-yap from some suit who’s interrupting my work day, trying to show me pages of boring legalese. That’s how we look to most end users.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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My Statement on IE6

by Joey deVilla on July 30, 2009

Yes, I know that cats live longer, but I think the quip I made at DemoCamp 21 still makes a good point:

Picture of "Bill the Cat" from "Bloom County" captioned with "If you got a cat when IE6 came out, it's dead now."

Let’s upgrade to compliant up-to-date browsers, shall we? IE8, or even that hippie browser, if you must.

Credit where credit is due: The “cat’s dead now” line is my remix of a line from a review of the Guns ‘N’ Roses concert that took place here in Toronto a couple of years back. The original line went something like “If you got a cat when Appetite for Destruction came out, it’s dead now.”

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I’ve always laughed at how the guys on the Internet Explorer 8 team bent over backwards trying to come up with non-porn-surfing uses for “InPrivate Browsing”, which I often refer to as “Porn Mode”. Somehow the examples they use, however practical and legitimate they are, fail to convince:

  • “I want to buy a present for my wife from an online store and want to keep it a surprise.”
  • “I want to check my account balance from an internet cafe while I’m on holiday.”

But this Post Secret postcard shows a believable use case for “Porn Mode” on browsers: 

"Post Secret" postcard made of the Google home page, showing a search for "signs of teen autism": "The least you could have done is erase the history. Now I know what you really think of me, Dad."

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