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RE: Versioning and HTML

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:47:28 -0700
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D12127075745E648BBC075EF46983E1744EA00B164@TK5-EXMBX-W603v.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
On Sunday, April 19, 2009 Ian Hickson wrote:
>> Problem (from Chris Wilson): "the general problem with how we define
>> HTML today; if HTML5 becomes a Rec and we realize we did something
>> poorly we will cause rampant compatibility problems if we change
>> implementations. There are a whole bunch of versioning mechanism that
>> will address that but also cause their own problems."
>
>Isn't this the problem the Candidate Recommendation stage is supposed to
>address?

Not if vendors have already shipped implementations, in commercial products, prior to CR (let alone *IN* CR), and are unwilling to change (and break compatibility for customers who have shipped products based on those implementations of unratified "standards".  Reference:  the current SQL store issue and Maciej's commentary in public-webapps two weeks ago (sorry, listserv appears to be down right now).

This isn't pointing fingers at Maciej or Apple; it's pointing out that this problem is not just Microsoft's.  It's systemic; browsers need to ship on their own time cycle, and need to provide features for their customers, and when the standards don't keep up, they may ship experimental things.  The only way out of this would be for EVERY browser to very carefully only ship "proprietary-marked" (a la CSS' vendor extensions) versions of APIs/elements until the standard moves OUT of CR, and then add support for the standard naming and deprecate their proprietary-marked versions over time.

-Chris
Received on Friday, 24 April 2009 23:37:21 GMT

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