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Re: A List Apart: Articles: Prefix or Posthack

From: Eric A. Meyer <eric@meyerweb.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2010 14:24:08 -0400
Message-Id: <a06230921c85d18365382@[192.168.1.196]>
To: www-style@w3.org
At 7:28 PM +0200 7/9/10, Anton Prowse wrote:

>Eric A. Meyer wrote:
>>>>   then there will be a lot more reluctance to use vendor prefixes.
>
>>  At 8:32 AM -0700 7/9/10, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>>  Why?
>>     Because the perception becomes one of instability.  It doesn't 
>>have to make logical sense.  If I stood in front of a room of 
>>people and explained that prefixed properties are in-progress and 
>>can change, there might be grumbling but they can deal with that. 
>>If I then state the prefixed properties will be completely 
>>unrecognized in the future, the immediate and overwhelming reaction 
>>would be, "Why the hell are you wasting my time telling me about 
>>something that will by design stop working?  I can't use that!"
>
>I'll play devil's advocate and ask, why can't they use it?

    In this case, "I can't use it!" is another way of saying "I won't 
use that!"  Which is a problem, in my opinion, since it reduces the 
pool of experimenters and testers.

>Firefox 4
>will probably introduce several new behaviours that won't work for the
>sites that authors are building today, either.

    Yes, I've seen the :visited changes, which I think swing the 
pendulum much too far the other way-- but as Alton Brown would say, 
that's a different show.

>Your point seems to be
>that once an author has embarked on exploiting a particular behaviour
>(eg achieving a box shadow through pure CSS) then they have the right to
>  expect that that behaviour be always available.

    I think it's a natural assumption, personally.  And it's one I've 
seen throughout other people's writing and conversations about using 
prefixes.

>If my site uses -moz-box-shadow today in Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 but fails
>to get any box shadow in Firefox 4 because it fails to support
>-moz-box-shadow, then tough luck for me.

    To me, that plan is needlessly author-hostile.  Of course, with 
things as splintered as they are now, it's possibly the the least 
hostile we could be to authors.  With less splintering, or even a 
formalized way of using prefixes, we could drop that hostility and 
gain a few advantages in the bargain.

>Web authors tend to be highly experimental and so I don't
>think we should automatically assume that prefixed properties will be
>ignored.

    Not 100% ignored, but much less used.  I think it's only common 
sense to expect that.

-- 
Eric A. Meyer (eric@meyerweb.com)     http://meyerweb.com/
Received on Friday, 9 July 2010 18:24:50 GMT

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