Opera 9, Tech Preview 2 is out and that’s what I call an interesting change log. Liking a lot of things – thumbnail previews when mousing over a tab; user interface exposure to whole bunch of stuff only previously available via .ini files; Widgets; BitTorrent…

One line of the change log did catch my eye: Several changes to the default margin and padding of legends and fieldsets. This ties in directly to my suggestions on how to create Cross-browser unobtrusive fieldsets and legends and seems to screw Opera by making it apply both the Gecko and the IE/Safari solutions. So the legend is thrown out to the left. The best solution now would seem to be a basic line of code for Opera and Gecko, a negative margin for IE hidden behind a hack, and let Safari do whatever it wants. But more testing is needed.

I’ve also downloaded, via BitTorrent, a slightly naughty copy of Internet Explorer 7, Beta 2. Unlike Opera I’m not happy about installing a Microsoft beta product on my home PC, and as it’s not really a legit copy I’m also wary of installing it at work. I wonder what IT would say if I asked to install cracked beta software on a machine?

However, it does have a whole bunch of CSS improvments and changes (and no doubt some new bugs as well) and I’d like to get a head start of investigating what we’re going to need to change when IE7 goes public (I wouldn’t actually change one single line of code before then because the final release may differ from the beta). And of course, I bet IE7’s CSS changes will impact on my fieldsets and legends experiment as well. Still, better bumpy progress than stagnation.

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