W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

Re: HTML version issue summary?

From: Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 22:18:30 -0400
Message-ID: <46300BF6.4070909@earthlink.net>
To: Dão Gottwald <dao@design-noir.de>
CC: public-html@w3.org

Dão Gottwald wrote:
> Matthew Raymond schrieb:
>> Jeff Schiller wrote:
>>> I guess the theory here is that Microsoft has the farthest to go to
>>> "get it right"?  Therefore, in the first version of IE that supports
>>> any form of HTML5, the web authors better _really_ be sure that they
>>> want to trigger HTML5 processing in IE (above and beyond the standard
>>> DOCTYPE/version attribute mechanism)?
>>
>>    If support for HTML5 is so bad in IE that HTML 4.01 rendering is
>> preferable, I think most people would rather use HTML 4.01. However, I
>> just don't envision a scenario where IE's handling of HTML5 is so bad
>> that you want IE to treat compliant HTML5 documents as HTML 4.01.
> 
> You could use the proprietary opt-in then.
> Thing is, IE.next will handle HTML5 documents significantly worse than 
> IE.next+1.

   That doesn't mean that fallback to HTML 4.01 in IE.Next is better
than HTML5 support in IE.Next. You always want to fall back to the best
mode available.

> If IE.next uses the HTML5 doctype as an opt-in, that will
> render that doctype useless for IE.next+1 as a trigger for real 
> standards rendering. That's similar to the current situation. We want to 
> avoid that.

   Exactly. So long as Microsoft is using doctypes and versions to do
the switching on, the spec is nothing more than a set of guidelines for
them, because as soon as another version comes out, the bugs for the
previous version are locked in forever. We need to do what we can to
encourage the use of explicit switches for bug compatibility and allow
standards-compliant markup to receive the best possible treatment the
any particular version of their browser can provide.

>> It
>> would be market share suicide. Think about it: Why would anyone depend
>> on a product from a company that can't support standards even when their
>> head browser developer is the chair of the working group that developed
>> the standard in question?
> 
> Um.
> 1. Nobody wants Microsoft to not support standards. We want them to do
>     it in a sane, future-proof way.
> 2. You're ignoring that Dave proposed to support opt-ins to the new but
>     not yet finished rendering mode.

   I was my understanding that Dave was proposing that IE.Next use HTML
4.01 rendering for HTML5 if there wasn't an explicit IE-proprietary
opt-in switch. I fail to see how that's future-proof, since that switch
will be tied to bug compatibility with that version, and removing it for
the IE.Next+1 would mean cutting off legacy IE users.

> 3. People did depend on broken IE versions for years. Go figure.

   The |bugmode| attribute would solve this problem. You insert one
little attribute and the pages works in every browser that supports that
bug compatibility mode for all time. Authors could add |bugmode| to
their markup preemptively, and the fallback for user agents that don't
support the mode you specify would be the best available standards-based
rendering.
Received on Thursday, 26 April 2007 02:16:25 UTC

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