W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > April 2005

Re: Question re:"allowtransparency" attribute in iframes

From: Christopher Ryan McVinney <ryan@getnicestudios.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 08:49:06 -0600
Message-Id: <200504071449.j37En6D05366@getnicestudios.com>
To: www-validator@w3.org

Lachlan Hunt:
Thank you for your long, thought out response. I understand the 
information you are providing, as most of it is unfortunately what I 
expected to hear, however, I must say I still do not understand the 
w3c's reasoning. It seems that the point of the w3c is to create 
standards that web developers (like myself) should follow, unless I am 
mistaken, which I may be. I try to conform as much as possible to these 
standards to be sure my pages display properly and no users have any 
errors. Unfortunately, Microsoft and many other companies frequently 
disregard this, and I find it extremely obnoxious of them at times. My 
issue however is that I do not believe the w3c should be completely 
ignoring current trends and/or new developments in the industry just 
because they feel certain attributes are not valid for some reason, 
simply because they are more recent additions/developments (even if a 
company like microsoft introduces them). As you state in your response, 
there is no way (that I know of either) to make a frame transparent 
using a cascading style sheet, without the "allowtransparency=true" 
attribute set. This seems as though it should be a basic attribute in 
html, as it is really not a complex thing. In an industry standard, 
frequently referred to HTML reference book from O'Reilly 
entitled "Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference" 2nd Edition, the 
corrections for the next addition featured information regarding the 
use and implementation of the allowtransparency attribute (can be found 
at this link: http://www.dannyg.com/support/update9.html ). I have 
found many web designers online who feel the same way. You might find 
this little conversation on a board pertinent as well: 
http://www.xmgfree.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t1058.html . Many 
people I have discussed with asked this very question: "I don't see why 
you worry so much about following the w3c guidelines anyway... the code 
works fine with IE and firefox". In closing, it seems to me that the 
w3c is dangerously close to becoming obsolete if it no longer feels the 
need to monitor the industry, and change occasionally with the 
advancement of technology. I realize that every little made up 
attribute cannot be added, but widespread attributes that many, many 
developers wish to use (or already do use regardless of the w3c), and 
which IE, Mozilla, Netscape, Firefox, and Safari all support (and yes 
they do, in response to your question, though maybe not every other 
current browser) SHOULD be considered. Unless you are telling me that 
the w3c is never ever going to add anything else again to this dtd, 
which seems archaic. At the minimum, the w3c should stop claiming to 
have the standard definition for html if it never wants to 
update/change anything again. I do really respect the w3c, which is why 
I took the time to correspond with you, and I really dislike having to 
create pages that do not conform to the accepted definition of valid 
HTML, even though I know it doesn't really matter in the end. Thank you,
C. Ryan McVinney

> Christopher Ryan McVinney wrote:
> > Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> >> The validator is correct, it is an invalid attribute.
> > 
> > That is incorrect, it IS a valid attribute these days,
> According to...?
> Well, it is certainly *not* in the HTML 4.01 recommendation [1]. 
> Therefore, it is *not valid* and *non-conformant*.  It is, and always 
> will be, a proprietary non-standard presentational attribute that 
> *should not* be used.
> > and that is why I was writing to the w3c regarding its use.
> > It should be defined in the 4.01 transitional html dtd,
> > and I do not know why it isn't.
> Because the HTML 4 recommendation should not be updated to include 
> non-standard proprietary, presentational attribute.  Presentational 
> aspects like this allowtransparency is something that should be 
> specified in a stylesheet, if ever.
> Although, there is currently no alternative available in CSS for this 
> attribute, I suggest you remove the attribute anyway.
> > Microsoft created it, I 'll give you that, but check it out in any 
> > browser's latest version and it works across the board.
> Wide spread use and implementation among the popular browsers to cope 
> with large number of people like yourself that make use of and depend 
> upon non-standard proprietary attributes to make their pages render 
> correctly is not a reason for it to be standardised.
> There are lots of proprietary extensions copied by other browsers 
> to cope with all the pages designed and tested with only one browser 
> mind.  If they did not, unfortunately, many pages simply wouldn't 
> and everyone would be stuck with the worst browser availalbe: IE.  
> just because browsers are forced to implement these things in order 
> gain any market share, is not a reason for any proprietary extensions 
> be standardised.
> In fact, all the elements and attributes available in the 
> DTD have been deprecated for quite some time, and their use is also 
> recommended, and new versions of (X)HTML have dropped transitional 
> features completely.
> > It should be defined in the dtd. This is the question I am asking -
> > why is it not validating?
> It will never become a standardised attribute, and will never 
> in an official HTML DTD.  But if you simply want to get past the 
> validator without caring about conformance, you can use a custom DTD 
> > In other words, why has it not been added, still,
> > when many developers are using it successully in every browser...
> > at what point does it become a valid attribute, if not then?
> Every browser?  Please define what you mean by "every browser".  If 
> you've included more than just IE, Mozilla, Opera and maybe Safari, 
> be very surprised.  If allow transparency works in all of the 
> plus many more, you may be able to claim "every browser", but I 
> guarentee not all of these do:
> IE, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, OmniWeb, Konqueror, kHTML, Lynx, Amaya, 
> Mosaic, WebTV, and many more...
> Lastly, "HTML validation is just a tool" [3] may be a good article 
> you to read, as it will help explain the difference between the 
> process of validation, and true conformance with HTML.  Although you 
> use a custom DTD to get past a validator, such documents are still 
> non-conformant HTML documents.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
> [2] http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/own-dtd.html
> [3] http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/validation.html
> -- 
> Lachlan Hunt
> http://lachy.id.au/
> http://GetFirefox.com/     Rediscover the Web
> http://GetThunderbird.com/ Reclaim your Inbox

C. Ryan McVinney
The Music Gym & Get Nice Records
Received on Thursday, 7 April 2005 14:49:17 UTC

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