Fixing IE8 font aliasing when using fade effects

One of the joys of testing with IE8 is the added google time that I get to spend hunting down bugs and solutions. If you find something mesbehaving in Redmond’s browser, then the Internet knows about it and has a fix somewhere.

Todays culprit was caused by using jQuery’s fadeIn effect on a div containing text. The way that jQuery has to animate the opacity transition causes the font’s to not be anti-aliased, appearing all rough and blocky during the animation. It’s due to the use of the filter property to affect the opacity, There are a couple of fixes, including hooking into jQuery to alter how the fadeIn/fadeOut/fadeTo effects work, but the simplest solution is to give the element containing the text a background-color.

Although littering your CSS with redundant background-colors will be a pain when you redesign your site, I think its preferable to relying on a javascript solution.

Fixing IE8 mystery error KB927917

While testing some updates to one of our Facebook applications today, I ran into an odd error message on IE8.  The error message mentioned KB927917, and is caused by trying to modify the DOM before it is built.  At first, I was confused, because the app is not modifying the DOM at all, its a redirect that is part of the authentication step.  The culprit code was something like:

{syntaxhighlighter brush:js;}<script type=”text/javascript”>
top.location.href = ‘http://example.com/foo/’;
</script>

This was working, without warnings, in Chrome, Firefox, and IE7.  To prevent IE8 from complaining, the redirect should happen after the page is done loading.

{syntaxhighlighter brush:js;}<script type=”text/javascript”>
window.onload = function() {
top.location.href = ‘http://example.com/foo/’;
};

</script>

Internet Explorer support is on the decline.

Interesting reason for supporting IE6, although the articles lays out many more reasons why many websites are no longer supporting Microsoft's outdated browser.

Not only do the numbers of IE6 user continue to be significant, the types of users seem to be desirable as well: internet n00bs that click on ads and buy what they see (with the money that was not taken by Nigerian 419 scams).

Supporting Internet Explorer 6 « Content Here

IE9 will have, hardware acceleration?

This super-early look at Internet Explorer baffles me. The biggest benefit they tout is using the DirectX APi to use hardware acceleration for rendering web pages faster. This is like buying me a faster processor and then giving the credit to IE when pages load faster as a resutl.

Wouldn’t a good Window Manager offload that work so that applications don’t deal with it? It must be the only way to catch up to Chrome on Linux.

At the PDC today, in addition to demonstrating some of the progress on performance and interoperable standards, we showed how IE and Windows will make the power of PC hardware available to web developers in the browser. Specifically, we demonstrated hardware-accelerated rendering of all graphics and text in web pages, something that other browsers don’t do today. Web site developers will see performance gains and other benefits without having to re-write their sites.

IEBlog : An Early Look At IE9 for Developers

Microsoft VPC IE Images may require activation

I’ve written before about using Microsoft’s IE Application Compatibility Images with VirtualBox. These images provided a very convenient, and free, way to setup testing environments in all versions of Internet Explorer.

The images, since they are free copies of Windows, expire after a time, requiring you to download a new image. The latest images provided by Redmond, require activation if you use VirtualBox, or probably any other virtualization environment instead of VirtualPC, which is windows-only. Whether or not this is intentional is hard to say, but I don’t think that it is.

If you have the old images, it seems like you can keep using them. The only limitation I’ve run into is that the machine shuts down after an hour. For web-development work, that’s been sufficient time for me to test and fix web broswer rendering bugs.

To keep up to date, you can follow this thread on virtualbox.org, or Pete Lepage’s blog, he’s “Product Manager, Internet Explorer, Developer Division.” and is trying to track down a solution.

Unpatched IE Flaw exploits in the wild

If you’re using Internet Explorer, or are forced to use it at work, you should seriously consider switching browsers until Microsoft deems it time to release a patch to the latest Internet Explorer security hole. This one is pretty serious as it does not require any action on the user’s part beyond visiting a compromised website. Once you visit such a site, spyware and keyloggers can be installed on your machine to steal personal information. From the washington post article linked above:

Rather than download a “beta” (read: potentially unstable) version of
IE or wait around for Microsoft to issue a fix, a far better idea would
be to ditch IE altogether (or only use it only when absolutely
necessary). I use Mozilla’s Firefox for everyday browsing, but your mileage may vary. There are other options, of course, such as Opera and Netscape, to name a couple.

More details and interesting links on Asa Dotzler’s post titled Just think of it as an executable.

Firefox 1.5 released last week.

I know I’m a bit late to the game, but some of you may not know that Mozilla Firefox 1.5, was released last week. If you are still using Internet Explorer on your Windows machine, you should install and start using Firefox because its more secure, faster, and extendable. This Introduction to Firefox is a great starter’s guide for making the switch form IE.

If your a web developer or designer, you should be interested in what’s new in the browser. Simon Willison has an overview of new CSS tags, and other feature, that Firefox supports.

IE developer switches to Firefox

Scott Berkun, who designed and worked on the development of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer versions 1 to 5, explains why he switched to Firefox.

He has great praise for the design team, particularly those who have kept the browser focused on appealing to the mainstream user.

“Firefox feels to me like what IE 6.0 should have been (or what i
expected it to be after I left the team in ‘99). It picked a few spots
to build new features (tabs), focused on quality and refinement, and
paid attention to making the things used most, work best.”

He also has some helpful critiques for improving the browser, to which Asa Dotzler responds.  The comments to Asa’s post are very informative too, Scott has even replied there.

IE7: Don’t belive the Hype and FUD

It seems Microsoft is trying to stem the tide of users ditching the security hazard that is Internet Explorer for Mozilla Firefox. They just announced that Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta Due This Summer. Why wait until this summer for a preview version of their next browser when you can get Firefox today? Not to mention that If You are Not Running XP It Will Only Cost You $100 and may only be available for the latest Windows version – sorry win2k users!.

Firefox 1.0 is better right now than IE 7 will be when it comes out. Don’t wait. Get Firefox now. 25 Million Downloads can’t be wrong.