IE8, and why fixing that pesky 'tab issue' sealed the deal

In my most recent piece, "IE8, and why it's almost my default browser", I outline a couple of factors that inhibited IE8 from holding the default browser position on my PC. Since writing that article, due in part to some helpful Neowin members and some quality time with IE8, I have since awarded IE8 that coveted position on my PC and have promptly thrown Google Chrome to the curb.

Perhaps the most taxing of my issues was what has been colloquially referred to as the 'tab issue'. Many users have complained of severe delays when opening new tabs in Internet Explorer. The solution I have discovered (thanks to helpful Neowin members) is that the 'tab delay' is actually caused by Spybot S&D's Immunization settings. Upon hearing this, I promptly entered into Spybot S&D and de-immunized Internet Explorer. To my amazement, IE8 opened instantaneously! I went completely tab-happy and started opening an insane amount of tabs, and they all opened just as fast as they did in Chrome!

In taking a moment to wipe the tears of joy from my face, I was reminded of my other issues with IE8, as mentioned in my previous article. Stumbling upon the Chrome Experiments website alerted me to the shortcomings of my beloved browser, as it was clear that javascript in the form presented, was not an ability of IE8.

The experiments certainly are cool, but I quickly began to question their relevance. I visited all of my frequent sites, the ones which utilizes javascript and found that while IE8 may indeed be unable to render an onslaught of virtual bouncy-balls, it could handle what was actually important quite proficiently.

With my two biggest issues solved, one with a quick-fix and the other with an enlightenment of sorts, I proudly designated IE8 as my default browser.

At the conclusion of my previous piece, I mentioned that the importance lay in the fact that IE8 fell short for very few reasons. With the reasons having been properly dealt with, it no longer falls short! I've disposed of my flavour-of-the-week, Google Chrome and am happily surfing the Internet with IE8.

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The main issue of IE 8 is (to me) the stupid sound it does each time you click something... Like in Windows Explorer.

Hah! That's a Windows Sound Scheme

Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices | Sounds

Scroll down to Windows Explorer. "Start Navigation" is the one you hate. I hate it too, along with many other default Windows sounds, which is why I customized my sound scheme LONG ago.

fairly sure he was just being funny, i know i was freaking happy when IE8 suddenly sprang to life at blazing speed

IE8 still have many problems properly rendering sites. I would like to see the rumor of having different rendering engines becoming true.

Surely the spell checker is dependent on which program you select in the Tools Option: Programs (IE8)
There are perfectly good spell checker plug-ins available anyway....
I've not had one security issue since using IE8. As for display problems; none have been noticed. In fact all round IE8 is a great program!

This doesn't work for me since I don't actually have Spybot installed on my computer. Tabs still open at a snail's pace.

"Probably the same issue though. It's not just Spybot, it's anything that fills up the Restricted Sites list. They changed the logic handling for the RS List between RC and Final and that's what is causing the delays. Any program that adds a large number of entries to it will cause it. Empty your Restricted Sites list and see if that fixes it."

The group I haven't heard from yet is webmasters. Has IE finally become standards compliant enough so that webmasters don't have to write one set of code for all normal browsers, and then a special set of code to get a page to function in IE.
For the record, I use Firefox for the addons, and the one I can't live without is Foxmarks, that syncs my bookmarks, and now even my passwords across multiple computers, i.e. home and work.

it's finally almost perfect... still having it's kinks, but not more than the usual Webkit or Opera weirdness.
Out of all the engines, seems only Gecko always works as expected. Sometimes being slower just means they are doing the proper calculations for everything

Have my dad and brother use IE all the time and they are always the first to get those dumb fake Vista popup's that install malware on the computer. Since I never do, never have that problem. nuff said.

I've never once seen one of those pop-ups on my Vista machine, and I'm a heavy IE user. Maybe it's the sites they visit?

Although I had nearly decided to switch to Firefox before IE 8 came out, I've since gone back to 100% IE. Compared to IE 8, Firefox 3 feels slow to me now...

JonathanMarston said,
I've never once seen one of those pop-ups on my Vista machine, and I'm a heavy IE user. Maybe it's the sites they visit?

Although I had nearly decided to switch to Firefox before IE 8 came out, I've since gone back to 100% IE. Compared to IE 8, Firefox 3 feels slow to me now...

They appear on technology websites where the ad claims you have an infection or software problems and con you into clicking on it. IMHO the issue is the scum bags who do these ads rather than Microsoft.

Macalicious said,

They appear on technology websites where the ad claims you have an infection or software problems and con you into clicking on it. IMHO the issue is the scum bags who do these ads rather than Microsoft.

LOL, which "technology" site are you referring to?

Those who did / are still doing Web Development should never encourage IE usage. Not even IE 8.
We could give them a chance in 3 - 4 years time again. But for now they should be punished.

iwod said,
Those who did / are still doing Web Development should never encourage IE usage. Not even IE 8.
We could give them a chance in 3 - 4 years time again. But for now they should be punished.


Wrong. IE8, Opera and Chrome all displayed a site I desigend perfectly. I had to go back to fix things for Firefox3.

chAos972 said,

Wrong. IE8, Opera and Chrome all displayed a site I desigend perfectly. I had to go back to fix things for Firefox3.

Agreed. IE8, Chrome, and even Opera seem to display websites perfectly, while FF3 still has some issues. I use FF3 still to this day, but I use Chrome when I am designing a website, to ensure it works to what most people still use.

I think you missed his point. He's saying IE should be punished for it's years of neglect.

Also, can you tell me what specific FF3 issues you've had?

I'll give you a specific IE8 issue. It fails to register an absolutely positioned element as a child of the closest parent element with display: relative. If I apply something to the parent element, the absolutely positioned child acts as if it doesn't belong to the parent and doesn't inherit the style. It causes big problems when trying to make pure CSS dropdown menus.

Chrome, Safari, FF3 all behave identically, IE8 is the only problematic one. And no, it wasn't in any compatibility mode I verified that through the developer tool

i tried google chrome and got use to it.. but the lack of extensions was killing me. got adblocking to work with adsweep! excellent! loved the super fast launch speed and browsing speed :D
i wanted my extensions badly. so i browsed for a solution and came across firefox minefield... and damn is it fast! super fast browsing speed but launch speed is still slower than google chrome...cant blame firefox for that though because i have like 38 addons and it takes 15 seconds for a cold start but around 5 seconds for a warm start.
chrome on the other hand launches in 1 second roughly, has slower browsing speed than minefield, a more compact interface (but not even close to the compactness and beautiful interface i get with firefox after a bit of customization).

these two are my main browsers right now.. minefield for main browsing and google chrome for quick launch browsing (like when i wanna look up summin quick)

tried internet explorer 8 and the first page I loaded showed up with artifacts when i scrolled down. never fired ie8 up again.

BilliShere said,
i tried google chrome and got use to it.. but the lack of extensions was killing me. got adblocking to work with adsweep! excellent! loved the super fast launch speed and browsing speed :D
i wanted my extensions badly. so i browsed for a solution and came across firefox minefield... and damn is it fast! super fast browsing speed but launch speed is still slower than google chrome...cant blame firefox for that though because i have like 38 addons and it takes 15 seconds for a cold start but around 5 seconds for a warm start.
chrome on the other hand launches in 1 second roughly, has slower browsing speed than minefield, a more compact interface (but not even close to the compactness and beautiful interface i get with firefox after a bit of customization).

these two are my main browsers right now.. minefield for main browsing and google chrome for quick launch browsing (like when i wanna look up summin quick)

tried internet explorer 8 and the first page I loaded showed up with artifacts when i scrolled down. never fired ie8 up again.

Chrome will have extensions support soon - I'm sure someone could right a hack but then it would be stuck in a cycle of incompatibility because of a lack of a stable extension api.

It's still not instant for me. Say from the front page I middle click on this article's link to open it in a new tab. It takes 1.5 seconds before the tab appears.

There are three addons which report load times of 0.03 seconds or less.

rm20010 said,
It's still not instant for me. Say from the front page I middle click on this article's link to open it in a new tab. It takes 1.5 seconds before the tab appears.

There are three addons which report load times of 0.03 seconds or less.

Yes for some reason the IE 8 I use in Windows 7 beta 7000 is actually faster than the version currently available for Windows Vista.

For me, Firefox is my browser of choice because of the extensions. Although, atheistically it has fallen behind when used in Vista or Windows 7... its still the web browser I have the lease amount of hassle with.

My experiences with IE are always looking over someones shoulders or having to do something on their machine. And almost every time there is some obtrusive nasty looking toolbar that they have installed that makes me want to run in the corner and puke my lungs out.

Glasser + Hide Menubar, and they're practically indistinguishable in appearance. I generally use IE myself, but aesthetics through customizability has always been a strong point of Firefox.

As for the toolbar issue, Firefox isn't immune to that any more.

+1

I actually think with glasser and hide menubar its the best looking browser around, that with the ability of add ons makes it fantastic.

Although customisation (including aesthetics) is a strong point of Firefox its a shame a couple more features aren't standard, I think the styling of glasser and the removed menu bar would be perfect - then the ability to right click the main bar similar to wmp without classic menus, to select the normal menus would be great (maybe they have classic menus or not as an option similar to wmp too)

I use both Macs and Windows PC's where I work. I have found, for me personally, that the browsers that are made by the same people that made the OS seem to function the best for me. Safari in OSX and IE8 in Windows are my choices. I've used the other browsers and have no issues with them, I just prefer the native browsers.

I have the tab issue and I don't have Spybot installed. I've disabled practically every addon and there is still about 1 second delay when opening a tab, which doesn't sound like a big deal, really, but I'd rather do without.

Chewbob said,
I have the tab issue and I don't have Spybot installed. I've disabled practically every addon and there is still about 1 second delay when opening a tab, which doesn't sound like a big deal, really, but I'd rather do without.


Check your hosts file.

Probably the same issue though. It's not just Spybot, it's anything that fills up the Restricted Sites list. They changed the logic handling for the RS List between RC and Final and that's what is causing the delays. Any program that adds a large number of entries to it will cause these delays, not just Spybot. Empty your Restricted Sites list and see if that fixes it.

osm0sis said,
Probably the same issue though. It's not just Spybot, it's anything that fills up the Restricted Sites list. They changed the logic handling for the RS List between RC and Final and that's what is causing the delays. Any program that adds a large number of entries to it will cause these delays, not just Spybot. Empty your Restricted Sites list and see if that fixes it.


I just disabled the Java addin and that fixed it. I have nothing in terms of restricted sites or Spybot installed.

osm0sis said,
Probably the same issue though. It's not just Spybot, it's anything that fills up the Restricted Sites list. They changed the logic handling for the RS List between RC and Final and that's what is causing the delays. Any program that adds a large number of entries to it will cause these delays, not just Spybot. Empty your Restricted Sites list and see if that fixes it.

Restricted sites list is empty and I had the problem in IE7 as well, so what you suggested is not what causes the delays. Not in my case anyway.

go into Manage Addons and pull the slider all the way over to the right so you can see the addon load times. Are any of them high? that'd be the culprit. especially if you've had this since IE7.

osm0sis said,
go into Manage Addons and pull the slider all the way over to the right so you can see the addon load times. Are any of them high? that'd be the culprit. especially if you've had this since IE7.

Highest is AVG weighing in at 0.34 secs, which is disabled. The rest are 0.03/4 secs (and are also disabled anyway). Ah well, I probably wouldn't use it anyway. Thanks for the help.

I'd see about uninstalling those addons and see if they reduce the load time (even though you say they're disabled). All of my addon load times are 0.00, so I would say that is where your bottleneck is. Somehow.

Why? does the fact that they are editors mean they have to put the opinions of some anti-microsoft zealots before their own personal wishes?

For the record, Opera user here

i dont think this has anything to do with anti-microsoft zealots. i think of neowin (especially editors) as advanced users and IE in my eyes is for people who do not know better.

kabix said,
i dont think this has anything to do with anti-microsoft zealots. i think of neowin (especially editors) as advanced users and IE in my eyes is for people who do not know better.

Well then, your eyes need some adjustment. I suggest contact lenses, or spectacles if you're not bothered about style.

Marshalus said,
It's a shame that people feel they must insult each other over a browser. It all takes you to the same Internet.

For the record, I use Google Chrome.


Yeah, but some of them take you to the internet and give you a screwed up picture of it.

Memnochxx said,
Yeah, but some of them take you to the internet and give you a screwed up picture of it.

Show us a few. And NOT Joe Blow's home Linux web blog. Show us some major sites that IE screws up on that Firefox or Chrome show correctly.

Please. I'm serious.

kabix said,
i dont think this has anything to do with anti-microsoft zealots. i think of neowin (especially editors) as advanced users and IE in my eyes is for people who do not know better.

In your eyes, maybe. For others, it's a great browser that's only improved with this latest release. IE6 was awful, IE7 was ok, but IE8 is great. I use it all the time. Used to use Firefox... actually I still do sometimes. But IE8's my default.

You should try it. :P

kabix said,
It's a shame that neowin editors use IE. really.... just... just go in the corner!

Comments like this really do not help contribute to a meaningful discussion :/

I despise Internet Explorer because of how far behind it is compared to the other major browsers, but I understand that it does the job for some people and I understand they have a choice in what they would like to use.

Calum said,
Comments like this really do not help contribute to a meaningful discussion :/

I despise Internet Explorer because of how far behind it is compared to the other major browsers, but I understand that it does the job for some people and I understand they have a choice in what they would like to use.

Far behind in what?

IE has always been the retard that lags behind his classmates in every aspect. It still doesn't support SVG or CSS3, which other browsers have been doing for quite some time now. IE still doesn't have spell-check or plugins capability. The only reason people still use IE is because most of them are too lazy and/or ignorant to download other, better browsers. Plus, I really don't feel like castrating all my websites to work in a browser that only lazy people use. Burn IE.

This is coming from an everything-but-IE user. I've used Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc, and I can safely say that all of the above are better choices.

kabix said,
It's a shame that neowin editors use IE. really.... just... just go in the corner!


It's more of a shame that somebody bases their opinions on others by the web browser they use.

With me, it's certain extensions and the location bar (the way it looks, the favicon, the tags, the way it shows bookmarks first, etc) which keep me using Firefox.

I prefer webkit as a rendering engine out of all of them.

Deathray said,
Extensions are the reason I am using Firefox and nothing else


I wonder why there aren't any of these extensions for IE? Is it the browser, or is it that people just don't try?

I'm not dependent on extensions.

If I'm not mistaken, we can block ads using the InPrivate filtering feature. To be honest, ads don't really bother me that much. Maybe that's just me?

MitchLeBlanc said,
If I'm not mistaken, we can block ads using the InPrivate filtering feature. To be honest, ads don't really bother me that much. Maybe that's just me?


Not just you. I don't understand how it's so hard to ignore banner ads. On most well done sites, such as neowin, they're really unintrusive.

-Spenser

stifler6478 said,
Not just you. I don't understand how it's so hard to ignore banner ads. On most well done sites, such as neowin, they're really unintrusive.

-Spenser

Because on many sites they clash or the ad is for something I really, really don't want to see.

stifler6478 said,
Not just you. I don't understand how it's so hard to ignore banner ads. On most well done sites, such as neowin, they're really unintrusive.

-Spenser


Apart from that great big stonker of an ad slap bang in the middle of the site!

stifler6478 said,
Not just you. I don't understand how it's so hard to ignore banner ads. On most well done sites, such as neowin, they're really unintrusive.

-Spenser

Neowin uses adwords. Adwords are the very essence of intrusive ad placement.

Shadrack said,
Neowin uses adwords. Adwords are the very essence of intrusive ad placement.

This. Honestly the most annoying advertisements I've ever seen, next to ads with sound.

stifler6478 said,
Not just you. I don't understand how it's so hard to ignore banner ads. On most well done sites, such as neowin, they're really unintrusive.

-Spenser

Maybe for static ones. But then you get animated ones or ones that play audio or whatever other nasty ideas they have.

They could fix the tab issue, the annoying clicks to fill up cached login and passwords, they could also make selecting a word to use the Google Toolbar. They could also add something like FF Persona and the icons for the bookmarked pages could be loaded correctly like they do in Firefox.
After all of that, THEN it could be MY default browser.
Yes... I forgot about spellcheck too...
Firefox still rules. Only $$some blinds don`t agree with that.

The tab issue is caused by other programs not made by Microsoft and Google needs to work on a selected word using their toobar not Microsoft.

True. But I have nothing against Microsoft. But unfortunately, the lack of good browser support may be the reason for those issues, because the beta testing program was long and big enough to solve these problems.

Marshalus said,
Spell check is something that is still holding me back.

Lack of OS support is holding me back. I read up on Mac OS X progress though, and it's coming along nicely

But isn't IE8 specializing in the user experience and speed? Wouldn't that include making IE8 more open to addons? Such as spell check, couldn't that be an addon? :S

Electric Bolt said,
But isn't IE8 specializing in the user experience and speed? Wouldn't that include making IE8 more open to addons? Such as spell check, couldn't that be an addon? :S


IE has addons always has had addons.

IE7Pro, if it gets support for IE8 works and has spell check. It has the redline under words and then you do the right-clcik and see a list etc.

It works well in IE7, but it's not yet ready for IE8 it seems.

Yeah, I keep hearing people say IE7Pro for IE8. If the developers of IE7Pro plan to release a version for IE8, I really hope they change the name to IE8Pro...