This is surreal… I just posted about Microsoft’s latest trick with IE8 and a meta tag and I already have an update that warrants a new post. Through some reading and clicking, I arrived at a blog post by Jeremy Keith on this subject. Without going into the pros and cons of the meta tag, his post shows me three things.
The first thing is the format of the tag. It appears it will take the following form:
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8" />
A second point is IE’s default behaviour. In this case, default means without any changes to existing pages. Apparently, Microsoft decided that, without meta tag, a page will be rendered in IE7 mode. I’m going to borrow Jeremy’s words because they are perfect:
Unless you explicitly declare that you want IE8 to behave as IE8, it will behave as IE7.
That’s just plain ridiculous! What’s the point of creating a new version if the default behaviour is to use the old version? I guess this is Microsoft logic.
The third point is closely related to the second one. The right default behaviour would be to use the current browser version. There is a way to activate that option by using IE=edge as… you guess it, value for the content attribute of the meta tag. Using that trick is strongly discouraged though.
So essentially this means the meta tag is not an optional step, but rather a mandatory part of creating a web page. To use the mode associated with a browser version beyond 7, you have to specify it. To disable the checks, you also have to specify it.
This is so surreal and such mess..