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Microsoft gives more info on how IE10 handles historic dates

Today is the one month anniversary of the launch of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 web browser for Windows 7. While Microsoft is apparently already working on IE11 for Windows Blue, the company is still revealing more information on how IE10 has been designed with new features.

One of those new additions is a way for IE10 to more accurately reflect the historical Daylight Saving Time standard in the web browser. In a new post on the IE blog, Microsoft claims IE10 is the first web browser to include these new features based on the revisions to section of the ECMAScript 6 draft specification. The blog adds:

We expanded the capabilities of the Web platform based on the scenarios where Web developers have to interact with the server for accomplishing their needs. We looked at how JavaScript engines interpret historical dates and adjust for DST. We noticed a shortcoming in the ECMAScript standards specification that prevents existing JavaScript implementations from being more accurate in adjusting for daylight savings time. We worked with the ECMAScript standards committee and proposed a specification change to drive more clarity into the next version of the ECMAScript specification.

Microsoft has also launched a new web page on its IE Test Drive website called Exploring Historic Dates that demonstrates just how IE10 can calculate the date and time for specific events in the past based on the DST standard. This will in theory help web sites offer more accurate information about those dates even if the user is in a different time zone. The blog offers a lot of technical detail on how this was accomplished in IE10, using the browser's Chakra engine and JavaScript.

Microsoft does note that some parts of the world have never used Daylight Savings Time. If they want to run the Exploring Historic Dates demo, those users should switch their PC's time zone to one where DST is used, such as Pacific Standard Time, and then rerun the web browser demo.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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