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Re: A Compromise to the Versioning Debate

From: Bruce Boughton <bruce@bruceboughton.me.uk>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2007 10:43:48 +0100
Message-ID: <4621F3D4.5000305@bruceboughton.me.uk>
To: Mihai Sucan <mihai.sucan@gmail.com>
CC: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, public-html@w3.org

Mihai Sucan wrote:
>
> While I personally want a switch like this "always standards-mode", I 
> don't agree with the assumption "we are competent enough to make 
> informed decisions for ourselves".
>
> [..] The majority of web developers working in companies *will* make 
> use of this switch unknowingly of the consequences, and then they'll 
> blame IE [n] for breaking their pages (because they relied on some old 
> bugs).
>

To find themselves in this situation, they must first explicitly opt-in 
to HTML5 standards mode with <!DOCTYPE html>.  When IE9 comes out and 
perhaps breaks their sites, they can then add the IE8 mode switch.  If 
they were competent enough to find out about <!DOCTYPE html> they should 
be competent enough to find the mode switch if hand coding.  I would not 
expect a programmer to program Java without referring to the API, so I 
don't see why we expect people hand-coding HTML not to refer to the 
spec.  For those that don't hand code their HTML, it is important that 
tools vendors expose this option.

However we handle the opt-in situation, it does require some knowledge 
from the author, and so long as this feature is clearly and prominently 
documented (both in the spec and in tutorials, web developer sites and 
tools) I don't think it is outlandish to expect authors to know this.

I hope I do not appear elitist.  I am not trying to be, but I don't 
think it is unreasonable to expect people to have to refer to the spec,

Bruce
Received on Sunday, 15 April 2007 09:44:39 GMT

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