WWW6: Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.0
Microsoft gave a brief overview of the new features of version 4 of their Internet Explorer, known as MSIE40. the software is currently freely available in a so called "Developer Release" from the
MSIE40 homepage. before you download MSIE40, make sure you have read the
the key features of MSIE40 are:
- support for dynamic HTML:
Microsoft started an initiative together with the W3C to add more dynamics to HTML pages. "Dynamic HTML" includes:
- HTML object model
based on the Document Object Model (DOM), a proposal of Microsoft to the W3C. it allows an author to add a particular behavior to existing HTML tags through simple Java or VisualBasic scripts. this adds functions to documents such as:
- pop-up boxes, a way to hide information until the reader needs to see it. as soon as the reader moves the mouse pointer on a particular object on a page - such as a word, a picture or so - a box with additional information pops up (demo, requires MSIE40 !).
- expandable table of contents. the reader can expand and contract a table of contents by clicking on a title or subtitle (demo, requires MSIE40 !)
- mouse-over event capabilities. the appearance of an object may change as soon as the reader moves the mouse pointer over it, such as changing the color etc. (demo, requires MSIE40 !)
- 2D positioning
provides means to exactly position images and text on Web documents. in addition, it supports layered documents by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which means, objects can cover other objects or can hide behind other objects. combined with the ability to move objects around, this allows authors to create highly interactive documents with interesting graphical effects (demo, requires MSIE40).
- data binding
this basically means MSIE40 is capable of receiving information from a Web server and create a database locally on the client. the reader can then not only access that data, but can perform manipulations on that data, such as sorting or filtering. all these manipulations are done locally without any further interaction between the server and the browser. this saves not only bandwidth on the network, but also reduces the work load on the server.
- multimedia controls
MSIE40 improves and extents the capabilities for multimedia effects, such as sound, movies etc.
- communication and collaboration
MSIE40 provides all kinds of means to communicate on the Internet, including email, news, conferencing and Web authoring. as a counterpart to the well known Notepad, it introduces a similar tool to edit Web documents called FrontPad.
these active objects allow to receive information over the Web not only on request, but based on subscription. once a user has subscribed to such a service, the information will be updated on a regular basis.
- Web integration
the desktop and the Internet become more integrated. the same tools will be used to access local resources as well as resources on the Internet. in addition, applications will provide the same "look and feel" by providing the same toolbars.
my first impression of MSIE40:
i installed MSIE40 a few days ago. it comes in three different versions: minimum, enhanced and full.
- "minimum" includes the browser, Microsoft Outlook Express (e-mail client), and ActiveMovie (a comprehensive media player), its size is approximately 11 MB.
- "enhanced" includes the browser, Microsoft Outlook Express, FrontPad (a Web authoring tool), and ActiveMovie, its size is approximately 15 MB.
- "full" includes the browser, Microsoft Outlook Express, NetMeeting (a conferencing tool), FrontPad, NetShow (Internet broadcasting player), Microsoft Wallet (security feature), and ActiveMovie, its size is approximately 20 MB.
it is possible - and recommended - to start small and to install additional options later. the "Active Setup" provides two options: immediate installation or download everything and install it afterwards off-line. i chose the "enhanced" version and to download everything.
the installation run very smooth. many things look different now, including the desktop, the Windows explorer, the control panel and so on. they now have all the same toolbar. the taskbar has changed as well: there are new icons, it has received sliders and on the very right, there is a new button. actually, the later is a super button. if i click on that button, all may Windows disappear instantly and all i see is a clean desktop. if i hit the button again, all Windows appear immediately. at the first glance, this is similar to "Minimize all Windows", but this is much faster and more convenient. MSIE40 seems also to be faster and - of course - it supports all the features mentioned above. so far, i haven't discovered any WebPage that i could not access with MSIE40 and it never crashed. another improvement i noticed is the fact, that it now returns to exactly the same position on the previous page when using a link back to the originating document. this is not the case
to the WWW6 trip report main document
09-may-1997 (ra) /