W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > October 2014

Re: Draft [URL] reference update to informative text

From: Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 13:55:20 -0700
Message-ID: <CAMFeDTVc4RMdqGXNwEMwrR_YoqY5-Xrr+EMskm2kxZ_miUR71A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:

> On 10/09/2014 03:44 PM, Domenic Denicola wrote:
>> From: Tim Berners-Lee [mailto:timbl@w3.org]
>>  Since when?
>>> Is there anything like a public implementation report which tracks that?
>> https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/URL#
>> Browser_compatibility
>> (Chrome 32, Firefox 26)
> That page describes URLUtils.pathname as "a DOMString containing an
> initial '/' followed by the path of the URL."

The high order bit on the web is "is this feature implemented interoperably
in multiple browsers (and specifically, the browsers I care about
supporting)". Unlike standards like USB, which are designed and implemented
atomically, the web platform is implemented a bit at a time, by a browser
at a time.

For users of the platform, "I tested it and it runs unprefixed on the
browsers I care about" is a *far* better measure of stability than "it is
marked as HTML5" or "it has reached CR".

In theory, features should advance along the standards process at the same
time as they reach interoperable stability. In practice, changes in the
platform are extremely granular, and the process of advancing features
along the process involves many details that do not map onto practical

I am strongly in favor of better stability signaling in the WHATWG process,
but at least it gets the basics of stability on the web right.

> Here are test cases where Firefox 32 and Chrome 37 produce different
> results, neither of which start with an initial '/':
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/8e738a5350
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/010d3b8e54
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/f95c57aa35
> There are also plenty of examples where the URL is badly formed and an
> empty string is returned by both.  A few examples:
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/8e4dba714b
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/a7e821cc81
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/aa0a198c57
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/05/urltest-results/723aa80622
>  What about other browsers?  Do they have plans?
>> Yes, IE has it marked as "Under Consideration."
> The developer.mozilla.org page indicates that Chrome, Firefox, and IE has
> "basic support", without defining what that means.  I will note that out of
> the 256 tests defined for URL spec, there isn't a single one where those
> three browsers return the same value for pathname.
> Before anybody attempts to infer what point I am trying to make, I'll make
> it clear:
> * Readers of this page will be done a disservice in that the information
> isn't technically accurate nor does it adequately capture the state of
> interop.
> - Sam Ruby
> P.S.  I didn't pick this as an example.
> P.P.S.  For those who want to play with this data, I've placed the current
> results in JSON for at:
> http://intertwingly.net/stories/2014/10/09/urltest-results.json
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2014 20:56:08 UTC

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