CSS in IE8

According to Wired,

  • The target for CSS support in IE8 is full and complete support for CSS2.1.
  • The only CSS3 module in IE8 is writing-mode (for vertical text support). IE has supported this since version 5.x, so it will continue to do so.
  • IE8 will not support CSS' border-radius, which is often used to make rounded corners without images. Microsoft's Chris Wilson confirms that border-radius support is "high on the wish list," though, and should make its way into the next release after IE8.

Full CSS 2.1 complete support is cool but it must be said that "full CSS 2.1 support" does not mean anything yet. CSS 2.1 is not yet a W3C Recommendation and it does not have an approved full Test Suite yet. Microsoft has submitted a rough 7,000 CSS 2.1 tests to the CSS WG but these tests need review before becoming official.

I am a bit surprised that Selectors are not fully or almost fully implemented in IE8. IE8 will then be far from Gecko, Opera and Webkit in terms of Selectors. Keeping a too low level on Selectors is a door open to CSS hacks based on selectors' sniffing, and that's a true disappointment to me.


1. On Friday 23 January 2009, 10:47 by Mardeg

The very next line is:
"There is no official roadmap for IE9, but native SVG support is likely."
... yay?

2. On Friday 23 January 2009, 16:19 by Daniel

They accept CSS files sent as text/plain, so Full support is clearly not their goal.

3. On Friday 23 January 2009, 19:50 by Jim Battle

Rounded corners might make it into "the next release after IE8".

It took a couple years for IE7 before IE8, without any points between. Does "the next release after IE8" mean IE9?

4. On Saturday 24 January 2009, 19:07 by James Hopkins

I'd argue that many of those 7,000 test cases are surfeit and unneccessary. For example, they have around 50 test cases specifically testing an absolutely positioned element that is offset to the left, and some are actually invalid. Although I'm sure the IE team have tried to utilise their CSS conformance suite, us bug testers are having to resort to using others which incorporate more complex examples.

5. On Sunday 25 January 2009, 00:08 by name

"CSS 2.1 is not yet a W3C Recommendation"

CSS1 is enough for everybody.

6. On Wednesday 28 January 2009, 01:46 by James Hopkins

April fools is not for a few more months yet :)