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Re: Almost Standards Mode still needed?

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 14:27:10 +0200
Message-Id: <C4D25079-6BB1-459C-8EC1-10EE12DBF000@iki.fi>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

On Nov 9, 2008, at 18:21, Daniel Schattenkirchner wrote:

>> That simple (and I might say unintuitive) CSS is something the  
>> *site* needs to provide in the (Full) Standards Mode. Therefore,  
>> there's a very real compat problem with sites that don't provide  
>> it. That is, if someone ships a browser that implements the CSS2  
>> line box model fully for images in tables for sites that now  
>> trigger Almost Standars in Gecko/Opera/WebKit, layouts will break  
>> in an ugly way, which probably won't cause a positive user opinion  
>> of the browser exhibiting such breakage.
>
> What sites will actually break in an ugly way?

I don't have the resources to find out except for trying a few top  
pages.

Top sites wouldn't be the problem anymore. With a cursory look, the  
only top site that I could find that would have a glitch if the Almost  
Standards Mode were turned into the Standards Mode was YouTube (and  
the glitch would be fairly minor).

It's more likely that the problem is in the long tail of unmaintained  
pages created in the past 5 years.

> Are these gaps too much for websites to bear?

Yes, they are in the very obvious cases (e.g. an Adobe ImageReady  
layout from circa 5 years ago pasted onto a page that for whatever  
reason happens to trigger the Almost Standards Mode).

> We have a conflict here, but do we want to stay it the same eternally?

Upgrade evangelism for this particular quirk is very hard because the  
behavior is ancient, so authors intuitively think it's not their fault  
but browsers are being silly if they break compat. (Yes, I have been  
involved in trying to get sites change their behavior wrt. this  
issue.) Browsers already have the sniffing functionality. Browsers  
must have the alternative layout behavior for the Quirks Mode anyway.  
The win of eliminating an existing code path now seems small compared  
to the upgrade evangelism issue that would be caused with the long  
tail of sites.

>> Yes, we are. Most standards-aware new commercial Web design seems  
>> to happen in the Almost Standards Mode--not in the Full Standards  
>> Mode these days.
>
> That's true. Most standards-aware new commercial Web design also  
> seems to be tableless, though. The actual reason is that authors  
> want @target and the likes, not because they're choosing Almost  
> Standards Mode at will.

That's very likely.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Monday, 10 November 2008 12:27:56 GMT

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