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Re: legacy of incompetence? [was: a compromise to the versioning debate]

From: Dão Gottwald <dao@design-noir.de>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:44:34 +0200
Message-ID: <4624DD52.5070006@design-noir.de>
To: Henk-Jan de Boer <html-wg@hjdeboer.nl>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "Preston L. Bannister" <preston@bannister.us>, "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>, Alexander Graf <a.graf@aetherworld.org>, public-html@w3.org

Henk-Jan de Boer schrieb:
> I get the feeling that Microsoft tries to keep a back door open with 
> proposing versioning, simply because the don't really believe that HTML5 
> will be fully backwards compatible for IE (that is, compatible with all 
> or at least nearly all content that relies on their old bugs)

Nobody can prevent MS from doing one more mode switch for <!DOCTYPE 
html>. And this single switch wouldn't be a problem, in my opinion. 
Other browsers don't have to follow that route, as their standards modes 
are incompatible with IE even today. But AFAICT, Microsoft's argument is 
that HTML>5 won't be necessarily backwards-compatible and could require 
a doctype switch (hence versioning). That doesn't sound like a valid 
argument to me, given that we all want future HTML versions to be 
backwards-compatible and that existing switches aren't there to 
represent HTML versions but to emulate the wrong rendering behaviour 
from older browsers. Now I fear that MS actually wants more switches 
because their initial implementation for the new HTML5 rendering mode 
(that includes CSS and DOM at least) could be screwed up again. I don't 
think that's acceptable.

> Wouldn't it be better to 
> pick up the versioning debate later on, when Apple, Opera and Mozilla 
> can claim that HTML5 is fully backwards compatible with existing content?

IE, due to its broken standards mode, often gets different content 
served than Safari, Opera and Firefox. Authors expect IE to be broken, 
hence the risk to break sites when fixing bugs. You can't test this with 
other browsers.

--Dao
Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 14:44:52 GMT

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