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

Re: Support Existing Content

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 23:14:50 +1000
Message-ID: <4631F74A.5080408@lachy.id.au>
To: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>
CC: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>, public-html@w3.org

Gareth Hay wrote:
> I don't understand the issue.
> Surely any browser manufacturer is always going to have a mode that will 
> render older pages.

Mozilla, Opera and Safari will have the following modes:
* Quirks Mode
* Almost standards mode
* Standards mode

(though I have seen discussion elsewhere about merging standards and 
almost standards into a single mode, by adopting the few almost 
standards quirks into the relevant specs.)

Unfortunately, IE will have those, plus a new mode for nearly every new 
browser version released.

> What is preventing them having an HTML5 mode, which may or may not build 
> upon their previous engine.
> That way, you visit a page that you used to (google, bank, etc) browser 
> uses 'old' mode.
> You visit an HTML5 page, browser uses the new mode.
> Why is this a problem?

There are several problems with that, all of which have been mentioned 
several times on this list.

* It doesn't help improve interoperability for legacy content.
* New browsers in the future will still be forced to reverse engineer 
legacy browsers, instead of just implementing the spec.
* Browser vendors (except for IE) don't want to maintain more different 
modes for for HTML because it increases complexity and cost.  (see the 
versioning threads)
* Every new mode that is introduced, introduces a new mode that may need 
to be reverse engineered and specced.

There are probably more that I can't remember off hand, please search 
the archives.

Lachlan Hunt
Received on Friday, 27 April 2007 13:15:24 UTC

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