Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 out, and compatibility tags

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 was released today in multiple languages, with more to come in the next 30 days. So, this represents a move beyond the "BETA 1" developer preview stage (possibly by a longshot).

As can be expected, there will be a lot of pages and sites that want to opt-out of IE 8 “Standards” mode rendering. There are two ways to do this:

  • On a per-site basis, add a custom HTTP header

X-UA-Compatible: IE=EmulateIE7 (IIS 7.0 example:)


  • On a per-page basis, add a special HTML tag to each document, right after the <head> tag

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

Implementing the HTTP header is useful if a site owner wants most of their site to render as it did in IE7 or if there are no plans to update site content. Inclusion of this header honors any Quirks mode pages that belong to the site.

Using the meta-tag on a per-page basis is beneficial when you want to opt-in specific pages to render as they did in IE7.

NOTE: The X-UA-Compatible tag and header override any existing DOCTYPE. Also, the mode specified by the page takes precedence over the HTTP header. For example, you could add the EmulateIE7 HTTP header to a site, and set specific pages to display in IE8 mode (by using the meta-tag with content=”IE8”).

I have no immediate plans to start using IE 8 as I’ve got plenty of other problems and challenges. But you are welcome to share advice or experiences by commenting here. On second thought, maybe I'll install it on my laptop which I don't use that frequently and on which I don't have mission-critical "stuff".

BTW Department

Have you ever wondered where the new Sql Server Database Publishing Wizard is? You know, the one that installs with Visual Studio 2008? Well you can run it “standalone”, in case you were wondering -- c:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Publishing\1.2\SqlPubWiz.exe . On a 64-bit, here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Publishing\1.2\Sqlpubwiz.exe