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Re: Feature detection (was: <details>)

From: Jeremy Keith <jeremy@adactio.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:44:10 +0100
Cc: "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1127090A-CB46-42B0-B521-5DE902BB7F10@adactio.com>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Anne wrote:
> One thing I'm afraid of is that if people start using <details>  
> before implementations are ready is that implementations can no  
> longer provide the functionality of <details> natively. From that  
> perspective I'm sort of happy authors cannot use it yet.

That's a fair point but that's going to be true of any new element  
that adds functionality.

As James said:
> it applies to any other markup introduced in HTML5 that is intended  
> to alter browser behavior e.g. an author could use <input  
> type="color"> with a javascript widget

Toby wrote:
> This would be a reason to add <script implements> to HTML5

This strikes me as overly-complex and I agree with Anne that:
> The design of this construct does not seem resilient against the  
> copy-and-paste cargo-cult pattern.

But the issue of feature detection is an important one.

The latest instalment of Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into HTML5 deals with  
this very issue:
http://diveintohtml5.org/detect.html

The fact that feature detection is already being abstracted into third- 
party scripts like Modernizr bodes well:

http://www.modernizr.com/

In conclusion, while I share Anne's concern about usage outpacing  
implementation, I'm reassured by the fact that authors are already  
thinking about robust feature detection.

-- 
Jeremy Keith

a d a c t i o

http://adactio.com/
Received on Monday, 14 September 2009 14:44:55 UTC

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