IE8 Oddity

Check out this example web page in IE8.

Notice the white box doesn’t carry the full height of the screen. But then click on compatibility mode and it does.

So why doesn’t the white box carry all the way, as it should? It looks like it’s trying to reserve space for a horizontal scrollbar that isn’t there. If I go and set overflow:scroll to the BODY then the gap is filled in by a scrollbar. put the two side-by-side or in separate tabs and quickly switch between the two. Looks like that gap IS there for that horizontal scrollbar; it’s exactly the same height as a scrollbar.

I wonder what kind of bug this example hints at and how will it crop up in other web pages.


I found Microsoft’s IE feedback site which, among other things, lets you view bug reports in the system; this is a lot like bugzilla for Firefox.

Anyways, here’s a bug that describes a problem where the horizontal scrollbar is always visible. The bug was closed out with the release of IE8 beta 2, but included in the document in a workaround for this bug.

I applied the fix, which is to set overflow:hidden on the HTML element and EXPLICITLY set overflow:auto on the BODY element and lo the gap goes away.

So the bug is still there.

And why the hell do I have to explicitly set overflow:auto to the BODY element?! Microsoft, what the hell? The spec itself says the BODY element should have a default value of overflow:auto. Jeeze.

At this point I’d report the bug to Microsoft through their feedback tool. But I can’t, because their system is ass.

First off, DO NOT SIGN UP, DO NOT LOG IN to Microsoft feedback. As soon as you do YOU CANNOT VIEW THE IE FEEDBACK PAGE until you apply to join that feedback. When you do join it, you’re asked a bunch of personal information, and after you jump through those hurdles all you see is THE EXACT SAME THING YOU SEE IF YOU DO NOT LOG IN.

The only NEW functionality is I can comment on existing bugs.

I can NOT, however, submit a new bug report.

Microsoft, c’mon, you’re suppose to be better than this.

1) Why can people who don’t log in view the feedback sites, but once you’re logged in you’re blocked? That’s absolutely stupid!

2) Why does your web site tell me that if I want to submit a new bug report I need to apply for permission AND NOT PROVIDE ANY MEANS TO DO THIS?

I wonder how many bugs there are in IE8 that have gone unreported because this system is so poorly designed.


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