[whatwg] several messages about XML syntax and HTML5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Dec 8 13:51:57 PST 2006

On Fri, 8 Dec 2006, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> But it still leaves the question whether every browser will in fact be 
> HTML5 compliant. Apparently Apple, Mozilla and Opera have that ambition. 
> Smaller ones, like iCab and lynx, will just have to 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 on 
> purpose contain errors that result in 'good' looking pages in Explorer, 
> and 'bad' in HTML5 browsers. Simply by producing code that they know 
> will result in 'bad' pages when parsed in accordance with the HTML5 
> parsing rules.

Yup, that's always been a problem. However, it might be harder for them 
than you might imagine. For example, the parser spec in HTML5 is basically 
the most compatible you can be with IE7's parser as humanly possible, 
because we need to be able to render existing content. But Microsoft also 
have to be compatible with IE7's parser, since they _also_ have to be 
compatible with existing content. So they effectively have to be pretty 
compatible with HTML5.

> So my question is: am I wrong that this risk exists? And if the risk 
> exists, what are the plans to deal with that situation when it happens?

The plan has always been to provide shims to make HTML5 work in the most 
popular browser, thus allowing content to exist that relies on HTML5, thus 
encouraging browser vendors to support it natively.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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