Wishlist for IE7

At the IEBlog, Chris Wilson is asking for specific requests and descriptions of problems that developers would like to see fixed in IE7. What, aren’t Microsoft employees allowed to use Google? Is it impossible to access the W3C site from within Microsoft? There are many detailed descriptions of the problems with IE around, and the specs we want implemented are available at the W3C.

Oh well, since he’s asking, I’ll post a modified version of the wishlist I wrote back in May last year. I’ve picked the problems and missing features that are the most annoying and/or important to me as a web developer.

  • Fully (and correctly) support CSS 2.1
  • Fully (and correctly) support HTML 4.01
  • Fix the insane floating bugs, many of which are described in depth at Position Is Everything
  • Let users resize text even when size is specified in pixels
  • Stop background images on links from being reloaded when you hover over the link

If full CSS 2.1 support is too much to ask for, I’ve picked a few favourites that I’d love to see support for:

  • min-width, max-width, min-height, and max-height
  • :hover on all elements, not just links
  • position:fixed for foreground elements, not just background images
  • display:table
  • child selectors, the :first-child pseudo-class, adjacent selectors, and attribute selectors
  • the :before and :after pseudo-elements

I’d say that’s being pretty specific.

Note that this wishlist is written strictly from a developer’s point of view. I never use IE for anything but testing and most probably never will, unless IE/Mac makes an incredible (and unlikely) comeback.

Posted on March 10, 2005 in Browsers


  1. I posted my wish list on the site itself. I want to see improvements in many areas, not just CSS and HTML.

  2. Simon, a lot of your wishes are not going to make it because there are not appropriate test cases for them.

    Roger, background-attachment:fixed is only properly supported on the BODY element by IE. And only because the BODY element is treated similar to the viewport.

  3. March 10, 2005 by Jason Berry

    It would probably be best to post it over there, or at least post a link to this article.

    But yeah, why can’t they just look at W3C, and correctly implement the specs laid out over there? It boggles the mind :|

  4. I am shocked you didn’t mention PNG alpha channel support!

  5. I would love to have attribute selectors (input[type=”submit”]). I hate when I have to make classes for submit buttons, secondary options and input elements because they all are INPUTs (just an example).

  6. That’s what I said… before they deleted my comment altogether… I suppose they aren’t ready for a dev to say that they’re sick and tired of IE.

  7. March 11, 2005 by Chris Wilson

    No, Dave, plenty of other people in that thread said in pretty explicit wording they’re sick and tired of IE. Bruce felt your tone was over the top and disrespectful. Personally, I wouldn’t have removed it unless you had actually used obscenities, but there you go. At any rate, I had registered your requests before Bruce deleted the post.

  8. Well Chris, considering your position, I’m glad you got a chance to see it… in the anger originally presented.

    I was trying to convey just how frustrating working with IE can be on certain occasions. I felt that the tone was warranted to help convey that meaning.

    I am glad that you are receiving it in the way it was intended, even if others did not.

  9. March 11, 2005 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Anne: Ah, I didn’t realise that.

    Jason: Done.

    Josh: PNG was on my original list, but I narrowed this down to what I feel is most important. And I can live without full PNG support in IE.

    Chris: Nice seeing you here :-)

    Dave P: I didn’t see your comment, but I can relate to the anger and frustration that can be caused by trying to make IE do things that other browsers have no problems with. It’s easily the single most stressful part of being a web professional these days.

  10. March 11, 2005 by Justin Wignall

    And I can live without full PNG support in IE” - please don’t say this out loud! We want full PNG support accross the board without question.

    Whilst full and correct css implementation should be, in my opinion, the priority, ‘small’ things like png support are the only way in which the web can move out of 1989 and into the 21st century. With MS still playing the undeserved dominant role in the browser market they should be leading rather than catching up.

    I say there should be partial css3 support available (maybe?) via doctype switching for testing, a team dedicated to getting css3 in by the end of the decade(!) and hell, why not xforms support whilst they’re at it.

    With the resources availble now sp2 is done and longhorn is so far away, maybe ms should try leading once again - but this time basing they’re ideas on recomendations of w3c and the community and adding to them only via the correct channels.

  11. March 11, 2005 by Mark

    min-height? there is min-height in IE! they just made a typo! maybe someone left inkspots on the paper or the programmer had a pixel-failure on his display… they just forgot the “min-” in the name.

    so my wish would be to implement something called,… called,… wait,.. trying to remember… AH! there it is: HEIGHT!!!!! I want HEIGHT!!!

  12. Since its a wish list, how about that Javascript 2/ECMA Edition 4. That would be sweet!

  13. March 13, 2005 by Albert Gedraitis

    “At the IEBlog, Chris Wilson is asking for specific requests and descriptions of problems that developers would like to see fixed in IE7. What, aren’t Microsoft employees allowed to use Google? Is it impossible to access the W3C site from within Microsoft?”

    The W3C site, that’s a new one to me, and clicking on your underscore did not give a live link to the site. But I did get a cursor tip note: World Wide Web Consortium. I’ll look this up.

    Now, what I am familiar with, is the Web Standards Group. Their list mail is full of freakouts about trying to make sites compatible with IE, in this version and that version, and on and on. Some people working for sites that are compatible with all browser brands get totally exasperated with compatibilizing with IE, to the extent that they’re saying forget it - ie, IE. It’s an absolute morass and MS isn’t interested in doing anything about. I’m afraid that Chris Wilson is propagating only an apologia for a total different world than the one in which most website developers are living today. MS’s IE seems a very reactionary technology, given the options today and the need for Web Standards.

    Yours, Albert Gedraitis

  14. Grattis till Bloggie…


  15. opps..i am a bit tired i think…you was nominated…Seems Script goddess won your class…

  16. Though experiment for MS folks:

    Imagine that IE7 actually fulfilled Roger’s wishlist.

    Imagine the turnaround in web developers’ thoughts about Microsoft and IE.

    Imagine how much that would be worth to Microsoft.

    Only MS folks can make it happen.

    It seems so achingly fall-outta-bed obvious that it’d be a good thing to do.

    I’m not holding my breath … but I’m open to dreaming.

    — stan

  17. June 2, 2005 by Trauma XP

    em-units relative to the body would be nice, no more misbehaving by being relative to their parent element.

  18. June 3, 2005 by Chris Sullins

    “Is it impossible to access the W3C site from within Microsoft?”

    Any W3 information is contraband at Microsoft, whether digital or print form. :-P

  19. June 8, 2005 by Kyle Haskins

    Anyone know where to continue submitting these requests for IE7? The entry over at the IEBlog is closed for comments. I have a specific request that I haven’t seen mentioned.

  20. For the benefit of anyone that doesn’t already know, there is a way to get PNG alpha transparency in IE5.5+.

  21. I’m very excited about IE7 new CSS improvements as I just finished a design theme for csszengarden.com You can have a look at CSS Zen Garden Theme Design Guide

  22. May 11, 2006 by TamilMusicListener

    Replace the UI for IE favorites, easy to delete a favorite instead of having to scroll all the way down a big list then right click and select delete.

    Ability to Hide the Scroll bar while providing the same functionality with keyboard commands. Scroll bar takes away screen real estate.

    Ability to display the current website URL in noticeable ways at the top of the webpage (where the IE “infamous yellow bar” appears)

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