W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 1997

Re: Backwards compatibility of new selectors

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 21:29:27 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <9712042129.ZM1373@grommit.inria.fr>
To: Douglas Rand <drand@sgi.com>, Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>, www-style@w3.org
On Dec 3,  4:11pm, Douglas Rand wrote:

> Liam Quinn wrote:
> > CSS1 didn't work with existing software (IE3) when it became a standard.
> > Did you tell your rep to vote for it?
> Both you and Neil are totally missing the point.  CSS1,  as proposed,
> did not make existing software act incorrectly.

It made existing software non-conformant, wheras earlier it had been more

> It made available
> more information for conforming agents to format the resulting
> output more nicely without invalidating anything.

I wouldn't say it didn't invalidate anything. In particular, the entire
selector syntax changed several times. At one point Arena had
implementations of several different syntaxes and would try to choose
between them intelligently. Then we saw sense and just implemented the
current version of the spec. And, we added clear and unambiguous
forward-compatibility parsing rules to deal with future changes.

> The current proposal
> for CSS2 selectors is not in the same category,  hence I feel
> differently about it.

Douglas, you have made your point and we can all sympathise with your
predicament. Is it really too late to make your implementation a CSS1
compliant one? That way, the CSS WG only needs to deal with
"CSS2-CSS1" compatibility rather than "CSS2-all known implementations
buglists" compatibility which is much harder to get right.

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Thursday, 4 December 1997 15:30:04 UTC

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