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Re: Proposition to change the prefixing policy

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2012 15:02:48 -0700
Cc: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-id: <0368AA2A-478E-442F-A09C-E6B7F42ABEFC@apple.com>
To: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>

On May 4, 2012, at 11:14 AM, Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com> wrote:

> On 5/4/12 11:02 AM, "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU> wrote:
> 
>> On 5/4/12 1:26 PM, Florian Rivoal wrote:
>>> In the cases where implementations and real world usage are ahead of the
>>> spec, then yes, it would limit the ability of the WG to make
>>> incompatible
>>> changes. But this isn't necessarily bad.
>> 
>> It can be quite bad.
>> 
>> Several WG members have indicated on numerous occasions that as a matter
>> of company policy they are unable to propose something for
>> standardization until they have shipped a (prefixed, at the moment)
>> implementation of it.  What this means with your proposal is that any
>> ideas they have, no matter how half-baked, would have to be dumped out
>> on the web without a prefix before they could even start to bring them
>> to the working group.
> 
> I do not think this would necessarily be the case. Experiments and
> browser-specific features could still be added with a vendor prefix only.
> We could mandate that the unprefixed version (aliased to the prefixed
> version) could only come after the appropriate standards body had a
> proposal in hand and agreed to work on it.

Here's another slightly more conservative version.

Properties can be shipped in unprefixed form once both of the following are true:
(A) The appropriate standards group (most likely the CSS WG for CSS properties) has agreed to take up the relevant specification as a work item; AND
(B) At least two independent roughly interoperable (though not necessarily identical in all edge cases) implementations are publicly available.

This would leave room for truly experimental work and proprietary extensions, and would avoid locking in syntactic quirks immediately, but would phase out prefixes much more quickly than the current approach of waiting for CR.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2012 22:03:15 GMT

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