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Re: Version information

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 16:00:03 -0700
Message-Id: <CFC61904-E887-4242-9028-32721716D4FF@apple.com>
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>


A few comments...

On Apr 6, 2007, at 3:38 PM, Chris Wilson wrote:

> Indeed, and I spent tons of time reverse-engineering Netscape  
> behavior back in the day.  And I expect I'll be traipsing my way  
> through your <canvas> bugs at some point in the future (or  
> something; that's illustrative, not normative).

For what it's worth, we fixed a number of problems that the WHATWG  
standards process and other implementations flushed out, and found  
workarounds for the compat-issues in Apple-specific content. It was  
somewhat painful but I think it will lead to a better web than adding  
a new mode switch would have.

>
>> One would hope that Microsoft will not repeat these mistakes with
>> HTML5 and future versions, but instead would set out on a policy of
>> continuously improving standards compliance except where breakage
>> would be too extreme, as the other major browsers do.
>
> And that is our plan, except I think perhaps our definitions of  
> "too extreme" differ.  We can't, for example, change the behavior  
> of how we support CSS floats in IE7 without requiring an opt-in,  
> since we would change layout significantly for half the web.*  When  
> we break the web, it's our fault, even when we're breaking it to  
> improve standards compliance.

I think the CSS problems are somewhat different from the HTML ones;  
adding new elements, attributes and APIs is fairly unlikely to break  
existing content compared to fixing CSS layout standards compliance  
bugs (particularly bugs that have been around for many years).

> We (Microsoft) want to and plan to continue to bring our  
> implementation in ever-higher compliance with the standards.  We  
> can't change our behavior for content that exists today, though, so  
> we will have to have content developers opt in.  I'd like to know  
> when someone is creating HTML 5 content, because (just like Quirks  
> mode) that tells me when the last time they looked at the standards  
> was.  Same with HTML 6, etc.

Quirks mode is about bugs, not standards versions. And it sounds like  
a new quirks mode would also be about past bugs, not changes in the  
standards themselves. To opt in to or out of an old set of bugs, it  
sounds like the right thing is UA-specific versioning, not standards  
versioning. I don't think you would expect other UAs to emulate the  
locked-in IE set of quirks for every standard version in the future.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Friday, 6 April 2007 23:00:28 UTC

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