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Re: Versioning and html[5]

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 19:15:31 +0100 (BST)
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0704121845520.5410@localhost>

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the long post. I completely agree with the need for 
authors to indicate which version they think their document should 
be processed as. It is a complete pain for content developers to 
have to tweak their pages each time a new version of a browser comes 
out. HTML is only a small part of the problem. In my experience, you 
get the most pain from variations in the scripting APIs across 
different browsers and different versions of browsers from the same 
vendor. CSS provides its share of pain, whilst HTML is actually 
pretty painless in comparison.

I am therefore keen that we find ways for authors to clearly state 
which versions of the scripting APIs and style sheet support they 
expect their document to be processed as as well as being able to do 
so for HTML. The challenge is that there isn't a single 
specification for the set of scripting APIs so that it is unclear 
how to identify the set in a simple way. Indeed, not all of the 
widely deployed APIs are covered in standards, and there are lots of 
variations across browsers even where the standards exist.

CSS has also ducked the issue, and as a result authors have had to 
take risks, e.g. with selector hacks that have no guarantee of 
working in the future when new versions of browsers appear with new 
implementation quirks. As a developer, I would like a clean reliable 
way to describe which style rules apply to which delivery contexts, 
and media queries look promising if they could be expanded upon. The 
IE conditional comments for HTML are better than selector hacks, but 
have to be placed in the HTML and there is currently no direct 
equivalent within CSS.

BTW what is the recommended way to provide different styles for when 
scripting is enabled and when it is disabled?  It is easy to think 
of solutions, e.g. adding or removing classes from the onload event 
or using document.write to link to a style sheet, but it would be 
nice to have something that feels less of a kludge.

  Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 18:15:47 GMT

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