Cafe au Lait Special Report: Internet Explorer 5.5

Initial Report, Wednesday July 12, 2000

Microsoft's released Internet Explorer 5.5 for Windows. This release includes a lot of XML support. CSS support is expanded. A print preview function has been added. I don't yet know whether or not this supports real XSLT as opposed to the pseudo-XSLT IE5 used. More news as I try it out.

OK, I've installed it and ran some simple test files at it and I am sad to report that IE 5.5 failed almost all my tests quickly, obviously, and immediately. It does a worse job on XML pages with XSLT stylesheets than the latest beta of MSXML3 that I had running with IE5. Many other known bugs and annoyances have yet to be fixed. In particular:

I cut Microsoft a lot of slack for IE5, probably more than I should have. What they provided in IE5 was a reasonable implementation of what was then the current draft specification. However, the XSLT 1.0 spec preceded IE5.5 by more than half a year, and Microsoft still hasn't gotten it right! At this point, I can only attribute their failure to incompetence or malice. Take your pick.

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Copyright 2000 Elliotte Rusty Harold
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Last Modified July 12, 2000