Patrick\’s Bytes

7, March 2008

IE8 Beta 1 First Impression

Filed under: IE8,Internet Explorer 8 — patrickyong @ 2:24 am

The installation experience of IE8 Beta 1 is about the same as IE7. The interface also, as I expected looks the same (pic below)

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I installed IE8 on a Windows Server 2003 VPC image so I guess the menu bar shows up just as in IE7

Examined carefully, I notice the shortcut bar is back. It was one of my favorite feature on Internet Explorer prior to IE7. You can still have it in IE7 but the feel is just not there.

Observe carefully on the address bar, you will notice the domain URL is in bold while the rest of the URL is grayed out. is this for novelty or what I am not sure yet.

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Right to the tabs area, there is a few buttons such as Home, RSS and Print button which is the same as IE7. Below is 2 of the extra buttons which I suspect its meant for developers only and they might go away in RTM.

Emulate IE7 – Accordingly IE8 has been defaulted to standards mode which as some cases web site optimized for IE7 might not look exactly the same, click on this Emulate IE7 and you will have IE8 behave just like IE7. For example in standard IE8 mode, the Silverlight website does not render properly.

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After I click on the Emulate IE7 mode and restart IE according to instruction, it renders nicely.

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Good thought, but too much hassle for end users, maybe make it more transparent in next beta release.

Developer Tool (Far right button with a arrow inside angle bracket) – This opens up a new window which shows you (with highlighting) the underlying HTML, CSS and JavaScript of the current webpage.

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For Javascript, the developer tool also offers a debugger which is really great for web developers

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For users two most obvious features are WebSlices and Activities, the details you might find it clearly and interestingly explained by Jane Kim, one of the program manager in IE team, there is a video interview on Mix website (click on pic)

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For me my 2 lines explanations (with pic) without too much details. 🙂

WebSlice

WebSlices is like a bookmark with preview. INstead of previewing the whole page, developer can determined only a certain portion to be display on IE8’s WebSlices button, see below for an example (pic 1 is the site, pic 2 is the WebSlice). This is how it works, I go to Stumble Upon website (one of the sample sites featured in IE8 home page)

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If a portioned of the page is marked as WebSlice, I will see the purple WebSlice button when I hover my mouse across.

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Clicking the purple button, that a window pops up, asking your permission to add it into your favorites.

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It will then appear on my favorites toolbar, click on it will show me the update ‘sliced’ portion of the page I added just now. There is a annoyance at the moment, the WebSlice preview always appear on top portion and not adjust accordingly to the space on the desktop, so I got to move my IE windows down a bit to see everything.

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Activities (Smart Tag for IE)

Activities to me is really like charged up feature of Office’s smart tag. It a programmable feature where you can use it to call certain web service and pass in the highlight item on the web page as parameter.

For Example, below here I highlighted some text, then upon right click, there will be a range of built in activities list appear.

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Should I want to find out more about the highlighted ‘developer’ word via Live Search, I just click on it.

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Then a new windows pops up with search results on developer. What a good way to improve user experience by having less cut and paste!

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Trust me, I think last night someone is working on a Google search activity.

The one last thing I want to see on IE is the download manager. For years I hope for a download manager like the one found in FireFox but IE8 beta 1 still have the same older download manager. Hope the team will improve  it.

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1 Comment »

  1. There is a lot of bugs in IE8 at this stage. The obvious one is it cannot works with my Hotmail 😦

    Anyway you can find the bugs list in Microsoft Connect website

    Comment by Walter — 7, March 2008 @ 8:11 am | Reply


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