[whatwg] several messages about XML syntax and HTML5

Simon Pieters zcorpan at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 8 08:13:18 PST 2006


From: Sander Tekelenburg <tekelenb at euronet.nl>
>[...] But it still leaves the question whether
>every browser will in fact be HTML5 compliant.

They probably won't, at least for the next few years. Historically all 
browsers have always had bugs in their implementations. But having a clear 
spec generally leads to much better interoperability than not having a spec 
at all.

>Apparently Apple, Mozilla and
>Opera have that ambition. Smaller ones, like iCab and lynx, will just have 
>follow. But what about Microsoft? I still have the impression that they can
>undermine this entire effort by getting people to use authoring tools that 
>purpose contain errors that result in 'good' looking pages in Explorer, and
>'bad' in HTML5 browsers. Simply by producing code that they know will 
>in 'bad' pages when parsed in accordance with the HTML5 parsing rules.
>So my question is: am I wrong that this risk exists?

I believe you are wrong. That potential risk is much bigger *today* than if 
browsers implemented the HTML5 parsing model, because the HTML5 parsing 
model is a compromise between all browsers while being closest to IE. So 
pages written specifically for IE will probably look better in HTML5 UAs 
than today's non-IE browsers.

>And if the risk exists,
>what are the plans to deal with that situation when it happens?

I think that if MS change their tag soup parser, they will change it to be 
more compliant with HTML5, because doing otherwise would break the Web and 
MS don't want that (because breaking the Web means users won't use the new 

If it by any chance *does* happen, then I think this will happen:

   1. MS change their tag soup parser and break the Web (unlikely).
   2. Users start using this new browser (unlikely).
   3. New Web content authored for this new browser breaks in other browsers 
(including IE6, IE7) (unlikely).
   4. Other browser vendors find they are incompatible with new Web content 
and start to reverse engineer this new browser (has happened before, so 
potentially likely).
   5. The HTML parsing spec is updated to reflect reality (happens right 
now, so potentially likely).

Given that the first three steps are very unlikely to happen, I don't see 
what there is to worry about. :-)

Simon Pieters

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