Download Internet Explorer 8 Beta, New Features In IE8
Updated Post with more new under the hood features of IE 8.
In the recent news it was announced that IE 8 Passes the ACID 2 test and will render in standard mode by default. The folks at Neowin have managed to uncover links to Internet Explorer 8 Download page and also a list of upcoming features in IE 8.
Note: The download links currently don’t work try them later.
Below are the list of new features found in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1.
Whats New For Users
Activities are contextual services to quickly access a service from any webpage. Users typically copy and paste from one webpage to another. Internet Explorer 8 Activities make this common pattern easier to do.
WebSlices is a new feature for websites to connect to their users by subscribing to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like feeds where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.
In Internet Explorer 7, the Links bar provided users with one-click access to their favorite sites. The Links bar has undergone a complete makeover for Internet Explorer 8. It has been renamed the Favorites bar to enable users to associate this bar as a place to put and easily access all their favorite web content such as links, feeds, WebSlices and even Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
Automatic Crash Recovery
Automatic Crash Recovery (ACR) is a feature of Windows®Internet Explorer® 8 that can help to prevent the loss of work and productivity in the unlikely event of the browser crashing or hanging. The ACR feature takes advantage of the Loosely-Coupled Internet Explorer feature to provide new crash recovery capabilities, such as tab recovery, which will minimize interruptions to users’ browsing sessions.
Improved Phishing Filter
Internet Explorer 7 introduced the Phishing Filter, a feature which helps warn users when they visit a Phishing site. Phishing sites spoof a trusted legitimate site, with the goal of stealing the user’s personal or financial information. For Internet Explorer 8, we are building on the success of the Phishing Filter with a more comprehensive feature called the “Safety Filter.”
Whats New For Developer
Better AJAX Development
- AJAX Navigation enables users to navigate back and forth without leaving the AJAX application and could be used navigating a page without performing a traditional full navigation. This allows websites to trigger an update to browser components like the address bar by setting the window.location.hash value, firing an event to alert components in the page and even creating an entry in the travel log.
- DOM Storage is a simple-to-use method for storing and retrieving strings of key/value pair data. Data can be stored per tab instance for a session or persisted to the local machine. This allows pages to cache text on the machine which reduces the effect of network latencies by providing faster access to pre-cached data. Several innovative uses are possible. For example, use this in combination with the new network connectivity event to allow a page to cache data if it detects that the computer is offline.
- Connectivity events allow websites to check when the user is connected to the network and receive notification of connectivity changes.
- Six connections per host instead of two for broadband scenarios and a scriptable property allow for more improved performance by allowing parallelization of downloads in Internet Explorer 8. In addition, this increases functionality by ensuring a request is not blocked to a host if two connections already exist. Websites can optimize their downloads based on a scriptable property.
- XMLHTTPRequest Enhancements include a timeout property that can be set to cancel the request if necessary, allowing developers to manage the request better.
Cross-domain communication is an integral part of AJAX development and mashup Web applications. Internet Explorer 8 includes two features to help you build cross-domain communications that are safe and easy to implement:
- With Cross-domain Request (XDR), developers can create cross-site data aggregation scenarios. Similar to the XMLHttpRequest object but with a simpler programming model, this request, called XDomainRequest, is the easiest way to make anonymous requests to third-party sites that support XDR and opt in to making their data available across domains. Three lines of code will have you making basic cross-site requests. This will ensure data aggregation for public sites (such as blogs) will be simple, secure and fast.
- Cross-document Messaging (XDM) APIs allow communication between documents from different domains through IFrames in a way that is easy, secure and standardized.
DOM Core Improvements
- Internet Explorer’s object model does not distinguish properties from attributes. This makes it impossible for a property (.href) to return a different value than an attribute (getAttribute(‘href’)).
- Core attribute operations are broken: Getters and setters behave inconsistently given certain parameters. An oft-cited example is getAttribute(‘style’), which returns the style object rather than a string as expected.
Internet Explorer 8 fixes many of the cross-browser inconsistencies in these two areas. Specifically, the following bugs in core areas have been fixed:
- Separate URL handing for properties and attributes such that relative URLs can be retrieved via an attribute and absolute URLs can be retrieved via a property.
- Fix element’s attribute array modifiers—getAttribute, setAttribute, and removeAttribute have cross-browser compatible implementations.
- Other attribute-related API fixes implemented.
Platform Performance Improvements
Internet Explorer 8 includes several changes that improve the performance of Web sites. These changes affect many Internet Explorer subsystems, including the HTML parser, CSS rule processing, markup-tree manipulation as well as the JScript garbage collector and runtime.
The majority of these changes will affect performance only, with little to no functional effect on most Web sites. However, they may expose aspects of Web sites that depend on the timing of operations or performance of the browser. In addition, those Web sites that unknowingly access objects after they are freed may find such access failing in Internet Explorer 8.
Internet Explorer 8′s performance improvements affect each site loaded in Internet Explorer 8 regardless of the chosen rendering mode.
Circular Memory Leak Mitigation
Internet Explorer 8 includes improvements to memory management. These improvements mitigate memory leaks that were previously created by circular references between JScript objects and DOM objects.
This feature may affect the behavior of webpages that depend on garbage memory that, only as the result of a memory leak, existed in previous versions of Internet Explorer. In Internet Explorer 8, these pages will reference unallocated memory and generate a fault.
This feature affects each website displayed in Internet Explorer 8 regardless of the site’s chosen rendering mode.
HTML Improvements and ACID2
HTML uses elements to represent both structure and meaning in a document. To help developers take full advantage of the elements that HTML 4 offers, and to better provide the semantic meaning intended by Web author, Internet Explorer 8 has upgraded support of the following presentational elements:
- The P element: Represents a logical paragraph.
- The OBJECT element: May represent any object including images.
Through improved support of these HTML elements, Web developers may build more expressive and accessible HTML markup.