Wednesday, February 20, 2008

IE 8 : Version Targeting debated

Over at "A List Apart" Jeffrey Zeldman and Jeremy Keith aren't quite seeing eye to eye on Microsoft's plan for version targeting in Internet Explorer 8. The idea is that IE8 will allow you to define a meta element that tells the browser how to render the page. Therefore, if your page has a bunch of hacks that work in IE7 then the page won't break in IE8. The cusp of the ALA debate is that standards savvy developers will need to add the meta element or have their pages forever rendered ala-IE7 because IE8's default render engine is IE7. Jeremy Keith notes "If Microsoft are to be believed, the self-crippling default behavior of IE8+ is necessary to save the web" and "Version targeting is not a bad idea. The choice of delivery mechanisms—meta element or server header—is inspired. As an optional feature, this could prove to be a real lifesaver in some development environments. As a mandatory millstone however, it strikes a blow against progressive enhancement". This is a subtle but important debate and everyone should take a moment to read these two articles:

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