[whatwg] [web-apps] Some comments

Olav Junker Kjær olav at olav.dk
Mon Aug 9 04:31:35 PDT 2004

> Furthermore, all our "gracefully degradation" solutions so far have 
> not required CSS.

I think the requirements for backwards compatibility of WAML should be 
different that for WF2. With WF2 it makes sense to strive for graceful 
degradation, since it is possible to implement most of the features 

For WAML, however, I don't think graceful degradation as far as support 
for browsers without CSS or script makes sense. As I understand the 
spec, WAML is intended for complex applications with menus, dialog 
boxes, complex controls, lots off script, two-way communication with the 
server in the background and so on. There is no way, that this kind of 
application will degrade gracefully on browser which doesn't support CSS 
or script. Even if new elements were designed so that they wont show up 
in those older browsers, the app would stille be completely non-functional.

The position paper says:
"Basic Web application features should be implementable using behaviors, 
scripting, and style sheets in IE6 today so that authors have a clear 
migration path. "
I think this is a resonable requirement, however its a far cry from 
requiring that web applications should degrade gracefully in Netscape 2 
with scripting turned off.

If course you could implement a pure HTML version of the webapp that is 
compatible with old browsers, but that version will likely have a very 
different UI and flow. You won't implementet it *in the same page* as a 
WAML-app. So I suggest non-graceful degradation for browsers that don't 
support WAML: redirect to an alternative page.

Olav Junker Kjær

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