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

Re: The perils of prefixing... or rather trying to unprefix

From: Sebastian Zartner <sebastianzartner@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 20:28:17 +0100
Message-ID: <CAERejNYrmb5s4KN5j_EURf0pt0GZzWx0yd7-29sM7RzofpiBNg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu> wrote:

> On 11/6/12 5:22 AM, Sebastian Zartner wrote:
>> Just because some JS library developers are not fast enough catching up
>> with unprefixing things in Gecko is not a reason to avoid prefixing.
> No, you don't understand.
> There should be no "catching up" involved.  Gecko currently supports both
> "transform" and "-moz-transform".  But these libraries _still_ break.
> Furthermore, they will likewise break for anyone else who implements a
> property called "transform".
I.e. the people who created the libraries expected "transform" never to get
unprefixed. So it's their fault, no?

And as a result, users can't use websites.  Web developers are trying to
> author sites, and those don't work.  This is not a theoretical harm here.

That's clear. Maybe there's a better way to deal with such problems in the
future than using prefixes. See the thread Fran├žois posted.

>  Introducing new / experimental things without prefixing them will cause
>> much more problems in the future in case their sytnax / logic changes.
> If their syntax changes there is no problem.
> Note that I'm not suggesting we blindly ship unprefixed stuff.  For
> example, we're shipping unprefixed @supports right now, but there is no
> problem, because it's not enabled by default.  This is likely to be the
> model Gecko follows from now.
>  Instead people should be better prepared for what's coming next
> Yes, and we should all have puppies and Unicorns.

I was serious about my statement, so please don't make fun of it. E.g. the
current Firefox versions don't offer a way to open the release notes
anymore. So you can't see immediately what has changed.

>  and support for the prefixed properties should be kept for one or two
>> engine
>> versions
> You clearly didn't read my original mail.  Please do go do that now. I'll
> wait.

You missed that I was speaking of a general strategy in releasing changes
like these. In this case you kept the prefixed properties together with the
unprefixed ones. This should always be done, but wasn't done by Mozilla
before for other previously prefixed properties.

Received on Tuesday, 6 November 2012 19:28:45 UTC

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