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Re: A List Apart: Articles: Prefix or Posthack

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 13:10:37 -0700
Cc: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, Rob Crowther <robertc@boogdesign.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <AB2B4BAF-4953-4AF9-B1B2-08DD2FB02433@gmail.com>
To: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>

On Jul 11, 2010, at 12:25 PM, Sylvain Galineau wrote:

>> From: Brad Kemper [mailto:brad.kemper@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:33 PM
>> To: Sylvain Galineau
>> Cc: fantasai; Rob Crowther; www-style@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: A List Apart: Articles: Prefix or Posthack
> 
> 
>> He would probably only notice when he upgraded his browser, and then
>> complain to the intranet author (or Web-page-based tool provider) about
>> why their crappy pages break every time the browser is updated. Didn't
>> that vendor claim compatibility with browser X?
> 
> If the new version shows a broken page, the browser usually gets first
> blame, not the page.

So I am told by implementors. But working in the sort of corporate environment we're talking about, I know that the place I work for didn't upgrade most of the machines to IE7 until all their major apps (from various vendors, which our business, unfortunately, depends on) were known to be updated for compatibility with that browser. They still haven't moved on to IE8 or more modern browsers, except in special cases (like mine, as a Web designer). They take it as a given, based on experience, that they cannot install major new versions of browsers until the browser-based apps they use are ready for them. 

If they did update and saw everything broken, they WOULD complain to the vendor, who always states which browsers are compatible with the app. It's sort of a super-pervasive and never-dead version of the "best viewed in IE6+" thing that the rest of the Web has mostly moved a way from. But not moved away from in this old corporate world, where upgrading old apps from the 90s is considerably less expensive, time-consuming, and risky than converting to something completely new and different. 

>>> It may also implicitly assume that most users do run the latest
>> version of a
>>> given browser.
>> 
>> Why is that? Old browsers are not affected by newer browsers, only by
>> the removal or changing of the properties in the style sheets.
> 
> Because it implicitly assumes that by the time the prefixed property is
> removed, the older versions of the browser - those that can only handle
> the prefixed version - are no longer around.

I don't think it assumes any such thing. If I'm using an old browser to render old CSS, what do I even care about what the removal of support for the old CSS in newer browsers implies to others using those more modern browsers? It's not removed from the old browsers, only the new ones. And removing it from the newer browser does not remove it from older style sheets.

If Firefox 5 removes support from prefixed properties that were available in Firefox 3, it doesn't have any effect at all on shops that might depend on Firefox 3 to render those effects. Those shops won't update their browsers until their apps have been updated.

If it implies anything to the users, it is that they need new or updated browser-based apps that no longer rely on using old browsers (especially if using the old browsers represent a security concern, due to lack of updates).

> This is not true of all
> browsers and all environments as we know from IE6 and IT shops around
> the world.

Yeah, don't I know it!

>> Right. Something in between is fine.
Received on Sunday, 11 July 2010 20:11:14 GMT

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