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Re: Versioning and html[5]

From: Geoffrey Sneddon <foolistbar@googlemail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:41:02 +0100
Message-Id: <E09AC67F-66B3-4C42-862E-CB581546640F@googlemail.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>


On 12 Apr 2007, at 23:32, Chris Wilson wrote:

>>> I believe our (IE's) only tenable answer (to satisfy the goals of 1)
>>> don't break the web, and 2) improve our standards compliance) is  
>>> that we
>>> must require that document authors opt in to standards compliance.
>>
>> This doesn't help to get interoperability on today's content,
>> unfortunately.
>
> Nope.  Sorry, nothing will help there other than every other  
> browser reverse-engineering the bugs and foibles of the browser  
> that (a huge amount of) the current set of web content was designed  
> with - IE6.


I totally understand why MS cannot change their behaviour in any  
backwards incompatible way, because as the prominent browser, the  
content relies in IE's quirks. Therefore, for the spec to be  
backwards compatible, it needs to be backwards compatible. Assuming  
the WG copies IE's behaviour, are you willing to provide direct  
documentation as to how IE works, without relying on others reverse- 
engineering it?

As far as versioning goes, it seems you are trying to tie a certain  
set of UA bugs to a specific version of the standard; however, if the  
specification defines how the parsing be done, surely this is an  
issue of CSS (as DOM is part of the HTML WG's work, so if that's  
clearly defined that's also not an issue)?

If we are to use versioning, two possibilities are really obvious:
  - A public ID in the DOCTYPE
  - An attribute on the <html> element

For the DOCTYPE, it makes it hard to remember (I doubt all too many  
people in the WG can say what the HTML 4.01 public ID is without  
looking it up), and the <html> element may be omitted, so not every  
document could place it there.

In summary, the only way to truly have a backwards compatible  
specification is to make it compatible with IE (except, obviously,  
where bugs in IE cause it to crash).

- Geoffrey Sneddon
Received on Friday, 13 April 2007 10:41:07 UTC

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