Mark “Tarquin” Wilton-Jones offers a pretty good overview of the changes. Many are good, and I’m especially happy with the Acid2 support and the decision to make the IE8 rendering mode the default. It is also important to note that there is still “much more” expected in beta 2.
For now, some of my personally biggest peeves with this beta:
- Oddly enough, IE8 does not ignore the IE5/Mac Band Pass Filter hack. I’ve used this in a few places on my site, so I’m not too happy about that. But not a huge issue, I suppose
- The “clear” style fails. I use this a lot too.
- Data URIs are limited to images, won’t work in the address bar, and have a size limit of 32kb.
- Generated content is limited, not allowing images or background images, which was one of my main purposes for using it.
- No SVG, XHTML, or CSS3 (aside from box-sizing and vertical text).
- Some new proprietary features have been added.
It rather seems like they aimed at passing Acid2 first, supporting the absolute minimum amount of features to pass it. This seems to be the opposite of the IE team’s initial view of Acid2, which basically was that it would focus on supporting features first, which would then result in Acid2 support.
I’m optimistic though, that this was done just out of laziness, but rather to quickly show the web developing community their new dedication to supporting standards. I strongly suspect the limitations will be gone by the time IE8 ships. They’re definitely on the right track, and I’m delighted they decided to make this beta public, which didn’t seem to be the plan initially.