Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why IE7 won't support CSS2

Last week, it was generally announced (or assumed) that the next Microsoft version of Internet Explorer will not support the Cascading Style Sheet 2 specification (CSS2). If you're wondering why, take a good look at this article by Dean Edwards:

"Microsoft won’t support CSS2 in IE7 because they can’t. Not with that “summer release date” anyway.
I’ve had a good look at IE’s rendering engine, Trident. I’ll qualify that by saying that I’ve spent a lot of time testing it and playing with it but I’ve never seen the source-code. From what I can tell, to support CSS2 layouts properly, Microsoft would have to re-write Trident. Not a trivial task and certainly not one that you can perform in six months. It occurred to me that they might use some unreleased engine, part of the Longhorn arsenal of weapons. But it would be equally difficult to integrate a new engine with the existing shell and maintain backward-compatibility."

The whole article is a great read, but the gist of the above exerpt makes it clear to me. Microsoft doesn't have time to adopt their rendering engine to support the spec before a mid year release. One on hand, the Microsoft folks are looking to adhere to standards, but on their other hand, they're battling a market share that continues to drop due to the likes of Mozilla's Firefox. What do you think of a quick but possibly flawed approach?

Click the post title for the full article.

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