W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

RE: Version information

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2007 18:01:54 -0700
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5C276AFCCD083E4F94BD5C2DA883F05A27D6D61A4D@tk5-exmlt-w600.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
Lachlan Hunt [mailto:lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au] wrote:
>Chris Wilson wrote:
>> Yes, we will require opt-ins to turn on "really really" standards
>> mode in future versions of IE.
>
>I do not understand.  The intention of HTML5 is for it to be defined in
>a way that *is* compatible with the web.  And assuming that is the case,
>you will be able to implement it because it will not significantly break
>compatibility.  This is in part because much of the processing
>requirements were based reverse engineering IE, Firefox, Opera and
>Safari.  If there is something in the spec that will significantly break
>compat, then we can revise the spec based on implementation experience.

Opera, Safari and Firefox do not bug-for-bug repeat IE's mistakes.  For example, in the way <object> tag fallback works.

That's a good thing, if you ask me - because they are more correct - but we can't change it in IE without requiring document authors to opt in to the correct behavior, because we will break pages - even if they are authored-to-IE-specifically pages - and that's unacceptable.

>IMHO, saying "we will not make any changes" is no way to make progress,
>it's will only prevent it.

Indeed, I absolutely completely agree with you.  That's why we need to be able to identify content that actually expects standard-compliant behavior.  The bulk of the web today does not expect that, or at least does not expect it from IE.

>> Every time this WG releases a new  version of HTML, if we can identify
>> it we can automatically opt it in to "really really" standards mode.
>
>It has already been explained why such a solution is unworkable in the
>real world for all future versions of HTML.

Then please explain it again to me, or point me at exactly where such an explanation is detailed.  From my experience in IE, I disagree.

>We need to define exactly
>how to handle the web as it is today and that means defining how to
>handle today's content.

Knock yourself out.  To us that's the current behavior of IE, and we cannot change it no matter how wrong it may be (and in some cases, it's quite provable wrong)*.  I'd like to build an IE that accepts standard content, and handles it according to the spec - which will allow all UAs to have the same behavior.  Unless we have some way to identify that content, we will not be able to change, and then we will have to make "the spec" mirror precisely what IE7 does.  I think that would be an awful spec, and I'd rather create a better future.

-Chris

* I'm happy to answer questions about how or why IE does something particular, when such questions arise.  My intent is not to prevent other UAs from parroting IE's current behavior; it's to make "the spec" that we're all built on a better, more consistent standard.

--
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/

Received on Monday, 9 April 2007 01:02:00 UTC

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