W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2007

Re: several messages on versioning

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 21:58:40 +0000 (UTC)
To: Jeff Schiller <codedread@gmail.com>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, Dannii <curiousdannii@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0704182152180.17772@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 18 Apr 2007, Jeff Schiller wrote:
> This means despite all best efforts and intentions there WILL BE 
> compatible differences between HTML5 and HTML4 (de-facto or specified) 
> behavior on some levels - we hope insignificant.

Attributing these differences to HTML5 is wrong, though. There are 
differences between different implementations of _HTML4_ (and related 
technologies). In so far as it is possible for a browser to exist and be 
compatible with existing "HTML4" content, it is possible to write a spec 
that is as compatible.

> If there is a compatibility change needed in a future version (HTML6) it 
> seems that at least you, Ian, have agreed it would require a new DOCTYPE 
> (in which case "<!DOCTYPE html>" will be retroactively changed to mean 
> only HTML5 and its point versions 5.01, etc).

Well, as it has been pointed out a new root element attribute would be 
better than a new DOCTYPE, but yes, if we lose our way and actually need 
spec-mandatated per-version differences, we can add versioning when we do 
that. The point is we haven't done that yet.

On Wed, 18 Apr 2007, Chris Wilson wrote:
> We've already frozen behavior in quirks mode, as have other browsers.  

Actually other browsers continue to fix standard bugs in quirks mode. In 
IE, it appears that quirks mode is an actual second rendering engine; in 
other browsers, quirks mode and standards mode are the same rendering 
engine with simply a few differences here and there. As the standards mode 
renderer is fixed and updated, the quirks mode renderer gets the same 
fixes. It's only where specific differences are found to be needed that 
quirks are added.

It's much the same thing with the standards mode vs XML mode in those 
browsers; they use the same code and same rendering engine, but 
occasionally a feature or another will check to see if the document was an 
HTML or XML document and act accordingly.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 21:58:51 UTC

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