Teched 2010 - Internet Explorer 9

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Intro

The first session of interest I went to for the second day was a session on the new features in Internet Explorer 9. Firsts message in this session was: STOP USING IE 6!

Yes! Even Microsoft wants you to stop using IE 6. Of course, they will point out that when IE 6 was released, it was more standards compliant than the major player at the time, Netscape 4, but admittedly they also point out that they dropped the ball after that and let other competitors pass them.

The good thing is Microsoft is trying to make a mends, and I must say that I was impressed with direction they are going with IE 9.

If you are interested in seeing for your self you can visit their web site at http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/.

Performance

During the first part of the session, a bar chart was presented comparing all of the major browser players JavaScript engine.  The first bar on the chart represented IE 8, and I was really surprised to see how slow IE 8 was. It must have been at least four or five time slower than the fastest browser JavaScript Engine, Chrome. However, the latest release of the IE 9, is very close and is in fact faster than the latest Firefox JavaScript engine and even its beta release too.

Where IE 9 really shines in performance is its graphics accelerator engine. There was a demo of moving graphics on a web page and IE 9  was able to processed it seamlessly and when the same demo was done in Chrome it was much slower and very choppy.

HTML 5

IE 9 will have full support of HTML 5 with features such as: SVG1.1 video, and audio. If you want to learn more about SVG there is a very good open source graphic editor you can play with called Inkscape.

Other things HTML 5 has is a new function called DOMContentloaded which allows you specify that some images should not be loaded until the DOM is completely loaded. For example, this is a good approach for websites that want to show third party ads, but do not want those ads to hinder the time it takes to load the web page. By forcing those ads to load at the end the webpage will appear to load faster.

CSS3

Turning to CSS3, a neat feature is that you will be able filter styles based on what client is accessing the site and other criteria such as what screen size the client has. Called media queries , this feature provides the flexibility to choose what styles to load based on media types.

For example you can conditionally load a style sheet based on whether the client is a browser or a printer:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="sans-serif.css">
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print" href="serif.css">

CSS3 also allows provides more ways for you to select elements. For example input:not(enabled) will only style an input element that is not enabled.

CSS3 provides more granular control over colors allowing you to control things like opacity and even making the opacity increase in value as the color progresses through an element.

Debug Tools

IE 9 has added some new functionality to their debug tool. The main feature being the Network tab. Similar to Fiddler, except now incorporated in the browser, this tab will allow you to watch what is being requested and the response that is coming back, including what is contained in the header.

Conclusion

Thats all I have for not but  check back and I will update the site with other sessions I have attended.

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