By the time you are reading this the all new IE Developer Channel will have been released into the wild. This is a new way for the Internet Explorer team to share with the developer community the progress being made in the browser. It is part of our commitment to increased openness, and joins the Status IE site as another method of getting developer feedback, and helping you plan for future IE versions.
Never before has the IE team been so open with their future plans. It is also a break from the tradition of previous developer previews in that it both has the full browser chrome and can be installed side by side with your main IE11 browser. This should make testing much easier, without losing the ability to test in the current version or force you to run a separate VM (it is in fact run as an App-V Client.) As with IE11 it runs on Windows 8.1 update and Windows 7 SP1.
For the first developer channel release, we are including some of the new features that were marked “in development” on the Status IE site. This includes WebGL Instancing Extensions, Gamepad API (unprefixed you’ll be pleased to know), and WebDriver. We have also included a big update to the F12 Developer Tools. A number of other features are in active development that will be included in a future IE Dev Channel release.
As an aside, many of the existing articles and demos for Gamepad API only use the moz or webkit prefixes, or an earlier version of the spec. If you find any outdated content please file an issue in the Stale GitHub repo. I’ve been attempting to reach out to authors to get these fixed.
We hope that you find the developer channel useful and that it will make IE less of a black box to develop for. If you have any feedback or find any bugs, please don’t hesitate to file them on Connect. Interoperability is a big focus of IE. If you have any questions or further comments we are always watching the IEDevChat Twitter feed, and are we’re happy to help.
When I joined the IE userAgents programme, Increased openness was something I wanted to push for, so I’m personally pleased of how things are now moving with the new dev channel and status site; two of the things I hoped could become a reality. This is something that felt a long way off even just a year ago. I feel like things are changing, and I hope we’ve shown that we are heading in the right direction with actions as well as words.
For both the Dev Channel and Status IE releases I had the pleasure of working on the development (and design for IEDC) of the web sites, along with my colleague Antón Molleda. If you find any issues, don’t hesitate to contact us. For StatusIE bugs can be filed in the GitHub repository. For the IEDC site we made liberal use of SVG and it should be fully responsive (which was quite a pain for embedded YouTube iframes.) We didn’t make use of 3rd party libraries or frameworks, except Google Analytics and YouTube so the page should be lightweight. We also tried to make sure the page itself is accessible with the use of WAI-ARIA.
Please take some time to play with the preview and let us know what you think! If you’re not on Windows, don’t forget that Modern IE provides VM images for Windows 7 and 8.1.
Some exciting news just came out of Build, Microsoft’s developer conference, in San Francisco today. Have you ever wondered what the IE team are developing for the next version of IE, or what their position is on your pet feature? While Chrome has the Chrome Dashboard, IE has traditionally been a black hole. Just check out any feature on the aforementioned dashboard and look what it says for IE’s positon. Most will say “No public signals”. The same can be said for sites like Are We Componentized Yet?
No longer. I’d love to introduce you to status.modern.ie. Our dreams answered. I could never have imagined the IE team putting out a dashboard such as this even just a few months ago. In my experience, the IE team is becoming increasingly open, and this is one manifestation of this. Long may it continue.
The site is clearly inspired by the Chrome Dashboard, and shares many of the same web platform features listed on that site. You can expand each feature to see the current browser support and check the specification. Perhaps the most interesting filter is the status, which allows you to display the features in development or what they are considering developing for example. As you’ll be able to see, the IE team are currently adding the much requested preserve-3d, along with GamePad API, WebGL Instance Extensions, DOM3 Xpath and cross-domain font loading. A couple of those should be great for game developers!
The site is currently in beta and will be improved over time, including the data that is displayed. Of note, Opera support information is missing, as the data was pulled from Chrome Status and its information is very out of date. The IE team is in touch with Opera as I speak, and hopefully it will be updated soon.
When I started consulting for the IE dev relations team, being more open about features in development one of the first things I requested (along with a more open bug tracker.) I’ve no idea if I influenced the decision to build this site in any way, but I‘m very happy it happened. The IE team is certainly listening to developers much more recently.
As mentioned, the site is in beta and will be improved over time. The site itself was written by the company I work for – Plain Concepts. The frontend was written using Angular, along with technologies such as HTML5, SVG, CSS3 and WAI-ARIA. The backend was written in Node.js using Azure Websites. There is an API available at http://status.modern.ie/features with CORS enabled. The website will eventually be open source on GitHub once the site leaves beta and we’ve fixed up a bunch of stuff. I’m currently in the process of cleaning up the CSS and making it more responsive. We also have to do a bunch of testing around accessibility. There are a number of features coming, such as being able to directly link to features.
One of the great things about our industry is how passionate people are about helping each other learn. Be it articles about the latest and greatest techniques that they’ve discovered, or blog posts about new web platform features that have landed in modern browsers. All this content–often created by people in their spare time–has one downside: it is often unmaintained, and with the frequency that certain features or APIs can change syntax or new prefixed implementations arrive, the content can become outdated. If the content appears high up in search results, or is linked from influential sources, it can lead to developers copying code that may not work in as many browsers as it could. It can also harm the adoption of the latest version of the spec.
With the introduction of IE11, all major browsers now support the Fullscreen API. However, due to prefixes and differences between the specification and early implementations, you may need to update any code you have that makes use of this feature. When I looked through the top search results on Google, none of the results showed both the latest syntax for all features and the ms prefix. In this post I’ll show you what has changed and what needs updating.
While most CSS features are defined by the CSS Working Group and either included in CSS Level 2.1, or individual CSS Modules, there are a surprising number squirrelled away in various other specifications. These may or may not have been worked on in conjunction with the CSS WG, but as many probably get overlooked, I thought I’d list them in a blog post so that I can find them later. How many did you know about?