[whatwg] Questions: IE 6 Compatibility, HTML 5, Spec Timeframe, and Implementation Timeframe
bkn3 at columbia.edu
Tue Apr 26 12:00:36 PDT 2005
At 11:51 AM 4/26/2005, Ian Hickson wrote:
>On Tue, 26 Apr 2005, Brad Neuberg wrote:
> > First, what exactly is the stance in regard to IE 6 compatibility for
> > Web Forms 2.0 and Web Applications 1.0?
> * New features must gracefully fallback to legacy UAs: although that
> fallback may be simple lack of support for that feature, using new
> features in legacy UAs must not cause the experience in older UAs to
> be worse than if the feature was simply not used.
> * <object></object> in HTML4 allows graceful fallback, and is fine.
> * <img alt=""> doesn't allow good fallback, but degrades to nothing
> at all, so could be considered if there were no other better ideas.
> * Switching to a different MIME type makes the file unusable in older
> browsers, so it would be unacceptable.
Nice. I like this policy. Perhaps the spec can specify a new behavior,
and then describe how it falls back in IE across all the elements.
> * Ideally, new features should be implementable using shims in WinIE, but
> there may be cases where that's not possible, and in those cases we're
> not going to avoid adding the feature just because WinIE can't do it.
> * a 3D context for <canvas> is probably not something we can
> realisticly expect to see implemented in IE using JS, but it's
> still something we've had demand for and thus something we'll
> likely be working on.
Yeah, shims are great but I also agree that we shouldn't let IE hold back
progress. A middle ground sounds like the best approach, which you have
> > 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. Whats the exact relationship between
> > these specs and IE 6? Will there be a baseline of support in IE 6, a
> > low water mark?
>The relationship is that most people won't use features that don't work in
>IE, so most features have to bear that in mind. Some people have specific
>needs (<canvas> for example is something we've heard a lot of demand for
>from people wanting to write games and the like), which they can't ever
>expect to really have work in IE, and so for those we need to offer
>features designed so that they can still provide alternative versions for
>IE (i.e. fallback).
> > 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.
>HTML5 is the Web Apps spec. It isn't called that yet in the headings for
That makes sense. So, Web Forms 2.0 is a response to XForms, since XForms
isn't realistic, and Web Applications is basicly a realistic HTML 5, which
the W3C won't or can't provide in the terms the web needs today?
> > Third, is there a timeframe for completing these two specs and for
> > getting actual implementations out the door?
>Web Forms 2 is basically done and will be going to Call For
>Web Apps 1 has no ETA yet. Implementations of some parts have shipped for
>years (XMLHttpRequest), implementations of others are likely to ship soon
>(<canvas>), implementations of other parts aren't likely for a long time
> > I'm concerned that proprietary web app/rich web app defacto standards
> > will succeed faster than the WHAT-WG, like Flash and Avalon, and 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 like innerHTML
> > rather than rolling new ivory tower ones. Would hard deadlines on both
> > specs, including deadlines for implementations, help this?
>I agree that we have to move fast. I believe the main ways to do this are
>to (a) write text at a steady rate (as I am doing), (b) to get feedback on
>the spec (as is happening), and (c) to stop adding new features. There is
>one more feature I think we need to add to the spec that isn't there
>already, namely the session stuff that people have been discussing. Other
>than that I'm of the opinion that we have enough features for "HTML5" now
>and so "all" that remains is fleshing the spec out.
>I don't think deadlines would help, really.
I agree; I like your approach. Thanks for all the work and being
responsive to people's concerns. Thats not easy. :)
>Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
>http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
>Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Brad Neuberg, bkn3 at columbia.edu
Senior Software Engineer, Rojo Networks
Check out Rojo, an RSS and Atom news aggregator that I work on. Visit
http://rojo.com for more info. Feel free to ask me for an invite!
Rojo is Hiring! If you're interested in RSS, Weblogs, Social Networking,
Java, Open Source, etc... then come work with us at Rojo. If you recommend
someone and we hire them you'll get a free iPod! See
More information about the whatwg