[whatwg] Questions: IE 6 Compatibility, HTML 5, Spec Timeframe, and Implementation Timeframe

Dean Edwards dean at edwards.name
Tue Apr 26 11:27:34 PDT 2005

Brad Neuberg wrote:
> I have several questions and concerns.
> First, what exactly is the stance in regard to IE 6 compatibility for
>  Web Forms 2.0 and Web Applications 1.0?  I've been hearing things
> lately concerning Web Applications 1.0 that seem like they would be
> very difficult, impossible, or cause slow performance if emulated in
> IE 6.

Most of WF2 can be implemented in IE6 without a noticeable degradation
in performance. Obviously, it will have some limits. A page with
hundreds of form controls might cause some slowdown on older spec
machines. An IE6 implementation is never going to be perfect but I
believe you can script WF2 to a more than acceptable level on this platform.

I'm not sure about WA1 as I haven't thought about it so much from an
implementer's point of view. What bits of it do you think are difficult
to implement? It seems to me that some of it does not need to be
implemented at all.

> Whats the exact relationship between these specs and IE 6?  Will
> there be a baseline of support in IE 6, a low water mark?

I don't think we've set a water mark but it has always been the
intention to produce a WF2 spec capable of being supported on IE6.

> Second, what is the relationship of HTML 5 to these two specs? Who is
>  developing this standard?  At first glance it seems like a large 
> dependency.

WF2 and WA1 are components of HTML5:


> Third, is there a timeframe for completing these two specs and for 
> getting actual implementations out the door?

> one of the things that attracted me to the WHAT-WG was its focus on
> being real-world and pragmatic, getting it out the door rather than
> getting it perfect, co-opting and using existing de-facto standards

This is pretty much the reason I got involved too. :-)

> Would hard deadlines on both specs, including deadlines for
> implementations, help this?

As a programmer I always hated hard deadlines.

> We need this stuff yesterday; it's just too important. ;)

I agree. ;-)

Some of the developers on this list are collaborating on a WF2
implementation for IE5/6. It won't be ready yesterday but it will be
built. We'll announce more about this development when there is
something concrete to demonstrate.

Does that satisfy your concerns?


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