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[whatwg] Fallback styles for legacy user agents [was: Re: Deprecating <small> , <b> ?]

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 21:45:04 +0000
Message-ID: <492C71E0.4070409@googlemail.com>
Calogero Alex Baldacchino wrote:

> I know, and agree with the basic reasons; however I think that deriving 
> an SGML version (i.e. by adding new entities and elements, as needed, to 
> an html 4 dtd) should not be very difficoult, and could be worth the 
> effort (i.e. to graceful degrade the presentation of a menu element 
> thought as a context menu, wich content should not be shown untill a 
> right click happens - if the u.a. cannot handle it, not showing it at 
> all could be a reasonable behaviour). The derived sgml version should be 
> aimed just for older browsers, while "newer", html 5-aware ones should 
> just ignore any dtd reference. I'd consider this chance, at least on the 
> fly - I suspect that the complete break out with the earlier sgml 
> specifications might carry in an undesireable side-effect: from one side 
> it solves the problems arised from sgml partial support/bad 
> implementation and from browser-specific quirks, but from the other side 
> no mechanism is provided to make sgml-somehow-based user agents to gain 
> whatever awareness on the newly defined elements.

What "SGML-somehow-based user agents"? While many web browsers switch 
behavior based on what they detect in the first characters of an HTML 
document (including the doctype declaration), there are no (or at any 
rate, no remotely /popular/ web browsers) that read text/html DTDs in 
the way required for this idea to be workable.

Since all you're proposing is to bake implied STYLE values into the DTD, 
it seems to me your use-case could be served by making an HTML5 
"foundation" stylesheet publicly available.

Compare:

http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2007/05/01/reset-reloaded/

http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/base/

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Tuesday, 25 November 2008 13:45:04 UTC

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