W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2012

Re: Vendor Prefixes and Generic Prefixes: who shall use which when and why?

From: Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 11:29:13 -0800
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-id: <3EC522D3-F2BA-4114-BF5F-F84D27C32214@apple.com>
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>

On 07/02/2012, at 7:53 AM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:

> Otherwise, you have a fairly perverse incentive for a UA vendor to ship
> a prefixed property, evangelize its use on the web, but hold up the
> standards process so that it can't be implemented unprefixed by other
> UAs.  And per your proposal that would also mean those UAs can't clone
> the prefixed version, so it doesn't solve the problem that we're dealing
> with right now.
> 
> The above is not a hypothetical issue, by the way.  It's exactly what
> happened with 2d transforms, transitions, animations, and
> -webkit-text-size-adjust.  And those are precisely the properties that
> triggered the current discussion!

I'm not sure if you're suggesting that Apple intentionally held up
the standards process to get an advantage over other implementors, or
that simply it would theoretically be possible (and perhaps advantageous)
to do so (and in your non-hypothetical world, it happened whether intentional
or not).

Just in case it was the first one, I take no offence, but I'd like
to say that it certainly wasn't the case.

In particular, the standards process was delayed because I (and others
at Apple) didn't have enough time to devote to working on specs. Despite
having billions in the bank, we don't have the luxury of full-time W3C
editors like Hixie and Tab. If we wanted to hold up the standards
process we probably wouldn't have even proposed the work to W3C (after all,
these features shipped on iPhone first which had 0% market share at
the time). So we have a few choices:

- don't implement or propose the feature
- implement the feature but don't bother with standardization
- propose the feature before implementing (I would not expect much progress without an implementation)
- implement the feature and propose it at the same time (which is what we did)

Mozilla tends to take the fourth option (e.g. requestAnimationFrame, your earlier take on Web audio). Microsoft are doing something similar with their paged media work. I don't think there is any malice.

It's really regrettable that things stalled. I'm sorry. I can assure you
that the blame is not on the UA vendor in this case.

Dean
Received on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 19:33:38 GMT

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