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Re: Versioning and html[5]

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 20:46:29 +0100
Message-ID: <461E8C95.2040003@cam.ac.uk>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> 
> On Apr 12, 2007, at 19:40, Chris Wilson wrote:
> 
>> I promised I would write up the picture of how we view compatibility 
>> at Microsoft.
> 
> Thank you. It helps understand the IE team point of view. However, even 
> if we take as granted that IE needs opt-in versioning, there's no 
> guarantee that the opt-in flags for future IE versions will match the 
> publication of future HTML spec versions.

I think this is a very important point. If IE7.5 and IE8 are both 
released in the HTML5 timeframe with IE7.5 introducing a HTML5 mode 
triggered off some assertation in the document that it is HTML5 (e.g. 
from the doctype), would this prevent IE8 from introducing any 
significant HTML/DOM/CSS features/bugfixes in HTML5 mode?

It seems to me that development of language specifications and 
development of browsers are orthogonal processes that should not be tied 
together by versioning info. All future versions of the spec should be 
developed under the premise of "don't break the web" thereby making 
spec-version information in documents unnecessary*. If UA vendors really 
believe that author opt-in is needed for all UA changes (and Microsoft 
seem to be the only vendor advocating this position), the only solution 
I can see is to force authors to specify their opt-in to the bugs and 
features of a particular UA  using e.g. <meta name="ua-version" 
value="IE7"> to specify IE7+ should work in IE7 mode when rendering the 
document. It's ugly as hell but it has the one redeeming feature of 
actually solving the stated problem which adding spec-version 
information to documents does not.

*Ignoring editors which may want to save metadata about a document, 
including the HTML subset that is being used to edit it, which is not 
useful outside of that editor.

-- 
"Instructions to follow very carefully.
Go to Tesco's.  Go to the coffee aisle.  Look at the instant coffee. 
Notice that Kenco now comes in refil packs.  Admire the tray on the 
shelf.  It's exquiste corrugated boxiness. The way how it didn't get 
crushed on its long journey from the factory. Now pick up a refil bag. 
Admire the antioxidant claim.  Gaze in awe at the environmental claims 
written on the back of the refil bag.  Start stroking it gently, its my 
packaging precious, all mine....  Be thankful that Amy has only given 
you the highlights of the reasons why that bag is so brilliant."
-- ajs
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 19:46:44 GMT

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