When Written: Nov 2007
The big news is that IE7 has rolled out, and of course Microsoft does not recommend you try to run IE6 and IE7 on the same machine although this is possible by going through some hoops, made all the more easier by Jon Galloway who has written an IE7 installer that will allow this (http://weblogs.asp.net/jgalloway/archive/2006/07/26/IE7-Standalone-_2800_Updated-for-IE7-Beta-3_2900_.aspx) .
However to be safe it is probably still best to run a virtual machine on your PC with IE 6 installed rather than risk conflict problems that may affect your testing of a web application. Even this route has it problems, as I found after installing IE7 on my main machine here. I fired up one of my Virtual PC’s on it with XP installed needing to do some testing of a site in IE6 and was shocked to find that IE7 had replaced the IE6 in that as well! What you then have to do is create a new virtual PC and reinstall XP with IE 6 on it, what a pain! Currently IE7 is an optional download but how long will it be before a critical update forces it onto everyone’s desktop?
There are reports every week of sites it breaks; only the other day I received a bulletin from Sonicwall, the makers of excellent firewall and security products. This bulletin states that IE 7 will break some of the setup screens so that they appear empty (http://www.sonicwall.com/img/support/ExSnwlConfigScreensIEver7.pdf ). so I’m sure that all the webmasters and developers can expect lots of fun and games over the next couple of months as users complain of new bugs and layout problems in sites that have previously worked. IE7 certainly offers improvements in many areas like printing ( it only took 7 versions of the browser and 10 years to get it to print a web page correctly ! ), security with automatic warnings that you are visiting a phishing site that may be gathering your details without you knowing ( this should never have been possible in the first place), Tabbed browsing ( like the other browsers ) , ability to choose multiple search engines ( because everyone was switching off the MSN one and pointing it to Google ). As you can see I’ve yet to be impressed by IE7.
What I would like is a really lightweight browser that loads up very fast, does not consume large amounts of RAM, and renders web pages correctly according to the standards Is this really too much to ask as we head towards 2007 ?
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton