W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > February 2015

The Old Web and Sustainability

From: Karl Dubost <karl@la-grange.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:09:28 +0900
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <35F6B674-5304-4822-93D9-A386107C2C83@la-grange.net>
To: Marc Fawzi <marc.fawzi@gmail.com>
Marc,
(moved to www-archive because off topic for Webapps.
Original mail https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webapps/2015JanMar/0600.html )

Le 12 févr. 2015 à 11:45, Marc Fawzi <marc.fawzi@gmail.com> a écrit :
> how long can this be sustained? forever? what is the point in time where the business of retaining backward compatibility becomes a huge nightmare?

We are still too young to have a strong opinion about it. As a thought experiment, I would say: 

    go to the a library, ask for the department of ancient 
    books, and start "browsing" a 4 centuries old manuscript.

There are difficulties there, storage of the manuscript, our own ability to read old scriptures, to understand the grammar of the time, and the historical/cultural context to translate what was once written.

Web pages are much younger but they display a lot of legacy already. In Web Compatibility, we deal with, sometimes, very "old" Web sites which will never be updated, they contain old HTML/CSS/JS constructs. Not that far ago, Web sites were designed with IE in mind, then it was WebKit, and now we see a tendency to see Blink only sites. All of that has costs, both on the maintenance of the code and less visible one in terms of access to information (a cultural cost).

As for sustainability, if you consider the Web as an interconnected set of things, it sometimes looks like a living organism. In a biosphere, you usually don't go with a clear cut. New things grows on the dying and evolving things. Part of the process. 

We have to live with it. Even if, sometimes, it is a tad annoying.

-- 
Karl Dubost 🐄
http://www.la-grange.net/karl/
Received on Thursday, 12 February 2015 06:09:35 UTC

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