W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2000

Re: Doctype detection

From: Matthew Brealey <webmaster@richinstyle.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 09:53:28 +0100
Message-ID: <397FF888.2EC5@richinstyle.com>
To: Ian Hickson <py8ieh=mozilla@bath.ac.uk>
CC: www-style@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
Ian Hickson wrote:
> 
> 1. For browsers to have any significant market share they must
>    render legacy content in a backwards-compatible way.

That's not true. Microsoft owns the browser market and can do what it
likes. If it released a compliant browser, this would not affect its
market share, on the basis that most people get Internet Explorer with
their computer, and do not even realise that other browsers exist (and
also on the fact that it is popular for its interface more than its
levels of support for CSS and HTML). The people who have created crappy
sites would very soon fix them if they started looking bad in Explorer.
If they chose to follow this root the web would be standards-compliant
within a couple of years.

> 2. Browsers should render documents designed for the standards
>    in a standards-compliant way without being explicitly told
>    to using non-standard extensions.
> 
> ...how would you suggest browsers should detect whether to use
> their quirks mode or their standard compliant mode?

Answer: they shouldn't. 

If they must, the only way this should be implemented is via a HTTP
header (and http-equiv). It is vital that the default be correct, rather
than bug, mode - as I said above, sites would change in a flash if
Explorer was compliant (and this would do Microsoft a lot of good too I
might add).

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Received on Thursday, 27 July 2000 04:54:05 GMT

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