[whatwg] [web-apps] Some comments

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 10 01:31:30 PDT 2004

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>> lots off script,
>> Obviously, unsupported Javascript objects can't degrade, but I think
>> the only ones defined so far in WA1 are those that already exist and
>> are widely used by multiple browsers.
> 'display:none' is probably even more widely implemented.

    This is part of another thread ("Re: [whatwg] Suggestion for Menus 
in Web Forms 2.0"), and has little to do with a graceful degradation 
requirement. Furthermore, there's no analogy between a Javascript object 
that can't be used on legacy browsers and an HTML labeling element that 
requires CSS to prevent the label from being rendered.

    With the Javascript objects, even if you use object detection to 
trigger alternative code on legacy user agents, it's still handled 
within Javascript, and doesn't spill out into HTML markup or CSS. By 
contrast, requiring text to be a child node of and element instead of 
allowing THE OPTION of an attribute for the text forces the use of CSS 
in legacy browsers without providing any real benefit to the webmaster. 
Furthermore, there are already precedents of using attributes for text, 
such as the |label| attribute for <option> and the |alt| attribute for 

    Clearly, graceful degradation will not be possible for all possible 
features, but this is better handled on a case-by-case basis rather than 
rejecting the concept of graceful degradation outright.

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