Notes on IE9 for Web Developers

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 | Business | by

I’m reading through the Interoperable HTML Parsing in IE9 blog post on MSDN and there are some nice, and some not so nice things.

The following are some subjects talked about, and what it means for us web developers.

Generic Elements

The full support of “generic elements” is fantastic for us HTML5 web developers.  We can finally use some of the newer tags not actually defined yet (although they will probably be defined in the HTML5 engine, but we have been forbidden from using non standard tags in IE without hacks).

Great news, about damn time. I never understood the big harm in supporting generic tag elements.


Uh oh.  Microsoft is changing the way whitespace is handled in the DOM.  The huge impact is if there is code out there that assumes “firstChild” and other such navigations will go to an element, we are in for trouble.  I’m sure Microsoft has a good reason for this, but it annoys me at first glance.

Microsoft does provide a function “firstElementChild” to always grab a child, instead of a newline or tab character.  That’s great, but we have been using firstChild for a while, why can’t they make changes like this mapped to new functions instead of taking over existing ones.

Overlapping Tags

I finally understand why I would see code appear twice in some locations in IE only.  The way IE8 handles overlapping tags.

Looks like IE9’s handling over overlapping tags is going in line with the way Chrome, and other browsers handle it.  Yay!

Some useful tidbits to keep in mind when working with your web applications that will be launching in the near future.  IE9 shouldn’t be far away.  I’m already seeing visitors to my site using IE9 (albeit only 0.24% of all IE browsers, which are 18% of my overall traffic — thats 0.043% of my overall traffic).

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2 Comments to Notes on IE9 for Web Developers

Spokane Web Designer
September 17, 2010

It seems like despite how many times they refine and tweek IE that it always comes up short even for the simplest fixes that need to take place. Don’t they have any web designers in the room when they do this?

Gran Canaria
October 5, 2010

I’m sure there is some new kind of pain lurking in IE9. It’s just crazy that with all the IEs we had up until now, this one is going to change things for the better. No, I don’t think so.
Maybe Spokane is right, they should give some web developers a clearance to enter the room?
After all, there are standards that need to be respected. Or not?
I would really like to see times when I do not have to open half a dozen web browsers to see if everything is OK.

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