IE7 beta2

I thought it was about time I took a spin with IE7 beta2. The reason to see how the sites I built in the last couple of years looked in IE7 and what remedial work was required.

I was pleasantly surprised, other than this blog, all the other sites are working fine. WorkLife Balance which uses a png background to get the semi transparent menu bar in all other browsers except IE6 and below. Which gets feed by conditional comments an additional stylesheet which replaces the png with a solid background and then uses a IE only filter to reduce the opacity of that div. IE7 beta2 flew through that site and most of the other sites built in the last 15 months or so. Because those sites feed IE6 and below an additional stylesheet by conditional comments and IE7 gets the same style sheets as Firefox, Safari, Opera and everybody else and appears to behave as a good CSS citizen.

The one problem I noticed on the sites using an older template, like Labour Relations was the a:hover not working as expected, failing to highlight items in the drop down menus, and no removing the highlight colour when not be hovered over in the left hand menus. However, that should be an easy fix, seeing it works in the updated template, like Resources Safety. Two choices, updating the behaviour (.htc) file used to get IE6 and below to work with dropdown menus, or put the behaviour (.htc) file in a stylesheet that only gets served to IE6 and below.

menubar as seen in IE7B2

Off course there is always an exception and it is this blog. The first is the menu bar that runs across the top and bottom of all pages. For some reason IE7 calculates the measurements as does IE6 and below, totally different to me, Firefox, Safari and Opera. That could be easily fixed by removing the fix from the IE6 and below stylesheet and creating a stylesheet that is served all versions of IE. However, as I have never got that menubar the way I wanted I will redesign this blog instead.

calendar as seen in IE7B2

One of the strangest bug I have ever seen is happening with the standard WordPress calendar, the last character of any active link turn invisible. They are still active, it is not a problem with the background image, because I have tested that. There is something in how IE7b2 deals with the CSS I used, that freaked it out . At the moment I will not worried about it, because a Microsoft beta is not a Google beta, in other words we will get a production version sooner rather than later, plus I will probably lose those background images in the redesign and that will probably solved the problem. All the other WP2 calendars I looked at are working as expected in IE7b2

Overall IE7b2 is an interesting beta, there are bugs, it does not behave as expected. However, the most important thing about this release is the direction Microsoft are taking with IE. They are putting in features for the customer: tabbed browsering, phishing filters, RSS feeds, cleaner and better organised interface and I expect more features found in Firefox, Opera and Safari to make their way to IE7. For developers, IE7 are finally getting serious about web standards and they are adding real tools like the DevToolBar it will not replace Firefox and the Web Developer Extension on my PC, but it is a move in the right direction.

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