IE8 Not Ready For Prime Time Unless You Like Self-Abuse

Windows Internet Explorer 

Image via Wikipedia

 

As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know I like using Internet Explorer and am not a fan of Firefox. Additionally I have tried Opera through many of its versions but never stuck with it for whatever reasons. Where Safari is concerned I have tried it since the first version for Windows was made available and if it wasn’t for one bad bug I would probably end up using it over Internet Explorer. So being a regular user of IE I obviously was interested when they announced that the second beta of the browser was available for download and grabbed myself a copy.

I also know very well that this release was still considered a beta and as such isn’t meant for anything more than finding the bugs on the road to going gold. So with that understanding I installed IE yesterday and proceeded with my daily routine and waited to see when and how IE would fall down – if it did. As far as any of the settings for it I left everything at the defaults that it would have imported from my previous IE 7 install which will be the case with your average user who downloads and installs it. I won’t bother going into any great details about the changes or supposed improvements because that has already been well covered by Ed Bott which you can read about on his ZDNet blog.

What follows here instead is some of the problems that I have experienced in using this release. Some are ones that should be expected from Microsoft’s move the bring IE right up to current web standards and others are those weird and wonderful ones that come from using beta software. As a startup reference point the following graphic displays the resources begin used by a default install of IE 8 Beta 2 with 3 open tabs:

IE 8 Startup with 3 open tabs (Task Manager)

Now being the typical blogger that I am the first site I checked out in the browser was WinExtra which played pretty well with the only exception being the Lijit search widget. For some reason in IE it insists that the button goes under the text entry field but in IE7, Firefox and Safari it displays as it should right beside the text area

Lijit Search Widget

One other thing that I found wasn’t working in the way the plugin company or the blog owners intended it to is the Snap plugin. On blogs that have it enabled IE 8 users will see the following example when visiting

Snap plugin

Then whenever they hover a Snap linked item they will see the following

Snap Plugin

The displayed popup should be displayed right of off the linked text rather than the top left hand corner. While I am sure that most people won’t be concerned since the Snap plugin isn’t one of the more favoured plugins by blog visitors.

The one other big problem I had was with the Share This option link which allows visitors to share the selected post with their various networks like Digg. While it displays okay within the posts

Share This Link 

And it should show like this – as it does in Firefox

Share This Firefox

What we get on WinExtra when we click the link is this instead

Share This Extended IE8 WinExtra

And at this point the browser locks and when you look in Task Manager you see it chewing through resources where it starts from the base amount shown in the first graphic of the post and continues to climb until you kill the IE process in Task Manager

IE8 WinExtra Share This Extended

Restarting I figured I would try again using another site to test only to find that when I clicked on the Share This link the page went white

Share This New Tab Mashable

And once again looking in Task Manager we can see it chewing through the resources in the same way as it had done in the other test

Mashable Share This Extended

At this point I figure I have had enough fun and call it quits on any more checking out of Internet Explorer 8 because quite obviously – or at least from my experience – this browser isn’t ready for any real serious use. What I have to find out now is can this be rolled back to IE 7 or am I going to be really pissed at myself when I find out I’m stuck until the next release.

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7 Comments

  1. 29/08/08 at 4:42

    Steve, interesting write up – I'm vaguely surprised that a beta 2 would have errors like that, but I guess that's software for you. Curious, though, if you could post startup memory use and post using memory use for FF and IE7?

  2. 29/08/08 at 5:42

    Steve, interesting write up – I'm vaguely surprised that a beta 2 would have errors like that, but I guess that's software for you. Curious, though, if you could post startup memory use and post using memory use for FF and IE7?

  3. 29/08/08 at 15:46

    Actually I had thought about something along these lines when I was working on the post. What I am going to do is work up a post comparing the resource usage between:

    Safari
    Firefox 3
    IE 8 Beta 2
    IE7

    They will be all be displaying the same three pages (tabs) from startup and will run for three hours. I'll grab both starting and closing screencaps of their reported resource usage in Task Manager. Actually started on it this afternoon so may have a post for it later tonight

  4. 29/08/08 at 16:46

    Actually I had thought about something along these lines when I was working on the post. What I am going to do is work up a post comparing the resource usage between:

    Safari
    Firefox 3
    IE 8 Beta 2
    IE7

    They will be all be displaying the same three pages (tabs) from startup and will run for three hours. I'll grab both starting and closing screencaps of their reported resource usage in Task Manager. Actually started on it this afternoon so may have a post for it later tonight

  5. 02/09/08 at 6:52

    Steven,

    Don't forget about the whole IE in standards mode stuff.
    You might like to add a meta tag to your template and try your site in IE7 compatability mode:

    <meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=7″ />

    See if that helps (you'll most likely have to click on the little button that appears at the end of the address bar to use the right rendering mode.

  6. 02/09/08 at 7:52

    Steven,

    Don't forget about the whole IE in standards mode stuff.
    You might like to add a meta tag to your template and try your site in IE7 compatability mode:

    <meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=7″ />

    See if that helps (you'll most likely have to click on the little button that appears at the end of the address bar to use the right rendering mode.