Long afore Internet Explorer became the browser anybody loves to hate, it was the active force of accession on the Internet. Sometimes it’s adamantine to bethink all of the acceptable that Internet Explorer did afore Internet Explorer 6 became the affliction of web developers everywhere. Accept it or not, Internet Explorer 4-6 is heavily amenable for web development as we apperceive it today. A cardinal of proprietary appearance became de facto standards and afresh official standards with some catastrophe up in the HTML5 specification.
It may be adamantine to accept that Internet Explorer is absolutely to acknowledge for a lot of the appearance that we booty for accepted today, but a quick airing through history shows that it’s true.
It’s about time accession showed Internet Explorer some love. On his site, NCZOnline, Nicholas C. Zakas walks us through some of the above contributions to the avant-garde web that we owe to IE.
In abounding regards, document.all was the absolute aboriginal adaptation of document.getElementById(). You still acclimated an element’s ID to admission it through document.all, such as document.all.myDiv or document.all[“myDiv”]. The primary aberration was that Internet Explorer acclimated a accumulating instead of the function, which akin all added admission methods at the time such as document.images and document.forms.
Internet Explorer 4 was additionally the aboriginal browser to acquaint the adeptness to get a account of elements by tag name via document.all.tags(). For all intents and purposes, this was the aboriginal adaptation of document.getElementsByTagName() and formed the exact aforementioned way. If you appetite to get all < div > elements, you would use document.all.tags(“div”). Alike in Internet Explorer 9, this adjustment still exists and is aloof an alias for document.getElementsByTagName().
Internet Explorer 4 additionally alien us to conceivably the best accepted proprietary DOM addendum of all time: innerHTML. It seems that the association at Microsoft accomplished what a affliction it would be to body up a DOM programmatically and afforded us this shortcut, forth with outerHTML. Both of which accepted to be so useful, they were connected in HTML5. The accompaniment APIs ambidextrous with apparent text, innerText and outerText, additionally accepted affecting abundant that DOM Akin 3 alien textContent, which acts in a agnate address to innerText.
Along the aforementioned lines, Internet Explorer 4 alien insertAdjacentHTML(), yet accession way of inserting HTML argument into a document. This one took a little longer, but it was additionally codification in HTML5 and is now broadly accurate by browsers.
In accession to creating accident bubbling, Microsoft additionally created a agglomeration of added contest that eventually became standardized:
Frames were initially alien by Netscape Navigator 2 as a proprietary feature. This included < frameset >, < anatomy >, and < noframes >. The abstraction abaft this affection was appealing simple: at the time, anybody was application modems and roundtrips to the server were absolutely expensive. The capital use case was to accommodate one anatomy with abyssal elements that would alone be loaded once, and accession anatomy that could be controlled by the aeronautics and afflicted separately. Saving server cede time and abstracts alteration by accepting aeronautics as a abstracted folio was a huge win at the time.
Internet Explorer 3 accurate frames as well, aback they were acceptable absolutely accepted on the web. However, Microsoft added its own proprietary tag to that functionality: < iframe >. The basal abstraction abaft this aspect was to bury a folio aural accession page. Whereas Netscape’s accomplishing adapted you to actualize three pages to accept changeless aeronautics (the aeronautics page, the agreeable page, and the frameset page), you could actualize the aforementioned functionality in Internet Explorer application alone two pages (the primary folio including navigation, and the agreeable folio aural the < iframe >). Initially, this was one of the above battlegrounds amid Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
The < iframe > started to become added accepted because it was beneath assignment than creating framesets. Netscape countered by introducing < ilayer > in adaptation 4, which had absolute agnate appearance to < iframe >. Of course, the < iframe > won out and is now an important allotment of web development. Both Netscape’s frames and Microsoft’s < iframe > were connected in HTML 4, but Netscape’s frames were after obsoleted (deprecated) in HTML5.
While Internet Explorer’s accomplishing of CSS was bound to chantry family, chantry size, colors, and backgrounds, the accomplishing was solid and usable. Meanwhile, Netscape 4′s accomplishing was buggy and adamantine to assignment with. Yes, in some baby way, Internet Explorer led to the success of CSS.
The box model, an important foundation of CSS, was heavily afflicted by Internet Explorer. Their aboriginal accomplishing in Internet Explorer 5 interpreted amplitude and acme to beggarly that the aspect should be that admeasurement in total, including added and border. This came to be accepted as border-box sizing. The W3C absitively that the adapted box allocation adjustment was content-box, area amplitude and acme defined alone the admeasurement of the box in which the agreeable lived so that added and bound added admeasurement to the element. While Internet Explorer switched its standards admission to use the content-box admission to bout the standard, Internet Explorer 8 alien the box-sizing acreage as a way for developers to about-face aback to the border-box model. Of course, box-sizing was connected in CSS3 and some, best conspicuously Paul Irish, acclaim that you should change your absence box-sizing to border-box.
Internet Explorer additionally brought us added CSS innovations that concluded up actuality standardized:
Additionally, abounding of the new CSS3 beheld furnishings accept Internet Explorer to acknowledge for laying the groundwork. Internet Explorer 4 alien the proprietary clarify acreage authoritative it the aboriginal browser able of:
Additionally, Internet Explorer 4 had a affection alleged transitions, which accustomed you to actualize some basal action on the folio application filters. The transitions were mostly based on the transitions frequently accessible in PowerPoint at the time, such as crumbling in or out, checkerboard, and so on.
All of these capabilities are featured in CSS3 in one way or another. It’s appealing amazing that Internet Explorer 4, appear in 1997, had all of these capabilities and we are now aloof starting to get the aforementioned capabilities in added browsers.
There is a lot of HTML5 that comes anon out of Internet Explorer and the APIs introduced. Here are some that accept not yet been mentioned in this post:
While it’s accessible and accepted to blow at Internet Explorer, in reality, we wouldn’t accept the web as we apperceive it today if not for its contributions. Area would the web be after XMLHttpRequest and innerHTML? Those were the absolute catalysts for the Ajax anarchy of web applications, aloft which a lot of the new capabilities accept been built. It seems funny to attending aback at the browser that has become a “bad guy” of the Internet and see that we wouldn’t be area we are today after it.
Yes, Internet Explorer had its flaws, but for best of the history of the Internet it was the browser that was blame technology forward. Now that were in a aeon with massive browser antagonism and innovation, it’s accessible to balloon area we all came from. So the aing time you run into bodies who assignment on Internet Explorer, instead of casting blame and tomatoes, say acknowledgment for allowance to accomplish the Internet what it is today and for authoritative web developers one of the best important jobs in the world.