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Re: Separation of versioning concerns

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 10:44:21 -0400
Message-ID: <462F6945.90808@us.ibm.com>
To: Eric Daspet <eric.daspet@survol.fr>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Eric Daspet wrote:
> 
> 
> Le Mer 25 avril 2007 13:45, Sam Ruby a écrit :
> 
>> [...] This group needs a way to say that this
>> particular representation of this particular page was produced
>> specifically for IE8.0 (or whatever) and may not render as intended by
> browsers that do not implement a rendering mode that is compatible with
> that particular version of that particular browser.
> 
> This assume that authors that rely on a specific version know that they
> are doing so. In my opinion, this is not the case. Most authors may rely
> on a bug and do not know that it is a bug. They won't use the explicit
> lockdown as they think they are "standard" (think of many people that say
> "I'm standard : look, it runs well on IE").
> 
> This suggestion is fine only if authors are aware that they are exploiting
> bugs and specific behaviour. I do not think we are in a such situation.

For the moment, I'll concede the word "most".

However, I will assert that there is an important constituency that 
still needs to be represented.  A constituency that wants to give 
browser vendors every opportunity to move towards increasing standards 
compliance.  I happen to be in that set; there may be others too.

So, as an alternative to the original proposal[1], let's make the 
selection of compatibility vs standard explicit.  One set of users will 
insert meta tags that contain content such as the following:

   "HTML/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.2)"

Another set will chose meta tags that contains values such as:

   "HTML/5.0 (standard; WD-html5-20080124)"

This makes the choice explicit.  This makes it difficult for the choice 
to be an accident.  This makes it difficult for someone to state that 
they were misinterpreted.  But most of all, it makes it easy to remedy 
in the case where the author chose incorrectly: s/standard/compatible/.

- Sam Ruby

[1] depending on how this discussion goes, these two "alternates" merely
     differ on what the default value for the meta tag is.  I would be
     OK with specifying that the default is user agent specific.
Received on Wednesday, 25 April 2007 14:44:28 GMT

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