Re: HTML version issue summary?

At 08:30 -0500 UTC, on 2007-04-26, Jeff Schiller wrote:

> In the "bugmode" thread, Lachlan stated that
> "I will draw the line at requiring authors to use non-conforming
> attributes just to get the latest standards mode.  As a web developer,
> I certainly do not want to forced to use such an opt-in." [1]
> But, Microsoft has taken the hard line that an opt-in WILL be required
> in regardless of what web developers think they want.

Note that Chris Wilson in
specifically said he wants IE to use a "proprietary, non-invalidating opt-in
switch". I assume that with "non-invalidating" he means "conforming" and I
assume he means that the switch will be in a HTML comment. (But it would be
nice if we wouldn't have to assume.)

So the "non-invalidating" part at least is somewhat positive[*]. But there is
the real issue that a proprietary opt-in switch requires authors to rely on
some other source than the HTML spec, and that conformance checkers by
definition cannot check the conformity of a proprietary switch. To me, that's
a show stopper.  Authors will want to publish conforming documents that are
treated as such. Authors who are not specialists should be able to use an
authoring tool and rely on a built-in conformance checker. A proprietary
switch makes that impossible.

[*] Although, assuming I understood Henri Sivonen correctly, a switch hidden
in comments can still be a problem for authors piping content through
non-HTML tools. I don't know enough about this to judge it properly, but it
seems that even this "non-invalidating" approach would still be a problem for
authoring  tools.


> The question seems to be whether the opt-in should be spec-mandated or
> something proprietary.  My proposal is that this should be defined by
> the specification



> Here are some of the use cases in the above scenario:
> Content Type A) Pages served without the DOCTYPE:
> - will continue to be considered "quirks mode" into the future by all

As I understand it, the WHATWG only introduced a doctype to provide IE with a
switch. (HTML 5 isn't SGML, so no doctype required.) So I got the impression
that the aim at least /was/ to treat doctype-less HTML documents as HTML 5.
Given that WHATWG's HTML 5 defines how UAs are to treat what today we call
"invalid markup", in that scenario there is no such thing as quirks/standards
mode. There is only HTML (5 and up).

Unless I misunderstood this, therefore the only quirks/standards modes we are
discussing is's. All other UAs will treat all HTML documents as HTML
5. (Well, unless the HTML WG decides to assign more value to a doctype.)

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <>

Received on Thursday, 26 April 2007 16:17:03 UTC