[whatwg] Menus, fallback, and backwards compatibility: ideas wanted
ian at hixie.ch
Sun Jan 8 17:21:42 PST 2006
On Sun, 1 Jan 2006, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> > I'm not convinced the problem you describe is real. For example, you
> > say "Ask any WWW newbie; ask any experienced Web surfer; ask any Web
> > site developer "what are the biggest problems with Web sites?" and
> > chances are "navigation" will rank in their top 3." but have you
> > actually tried this?
> In a non-scientific manner, yes. I constantly see friends, family,
> clients, strangers, colleagues struggle to figure out how to navigate
> through sites they don't know yet.
Well sure, I struggle through such sites myself. The problem would not be
aleviated by having a single point for site navigation, because the
problem is just that the sites have poor structure. It doesn't matter how
you _present_ the structure, if the structure itself is broken.
> > [display:meta] could be interesting if (and it's a big if!) you could
> > convince browsers to implement it.
> I imagine it would be a logical step for Opera and Safari to take, given
> their activity in the hand-held/small screen market where something like this
> would probably be very useful.
Well go and convince them and when you have some implementations we can
add it to the spec. :-)
> > I tried to get <link> reliably and widely implemented for around five
> > years. I failed. I don't see why we would be more successful with
> > display:meta.
> I understand your point about time, but I think you're forgetting a
> related and essential factor: "situation". In the past 5 years the
> Web/browsers have matured somewhat. Standards-support is valued much
> more today.
(Actually, this is a common mistunderstanding. It isn't standards support
that is valued. It is interoperability. Standards support is merely one
way to help foster interoperability.)
> In other words, the current situation is different from that of 5 years
I didn't say I tried to get <link> implement five years ago. I said I
tried to get it implemented _for_ five years. About four of those five
years were more recently than five years ago.
> Something like display:meta wouldn't have stood a chance back then, but
> it might today.
I'm not convinced. Please prove me wrong. :-)
> As to us "failing": 5 years ago only lynx and iCab offered LINK support.
> Today Opera and Mozilla do so too, even WinIE can, through a third-party
> tool, and last but not least some automated Web publishing systems
> generate LINKs. If I'd had to choose between labelling that as "failure"
> or "success", I'd have to pick "succes". The only thing we failed at is
> getting WinIE to support it natively - and I don't see how we could not
> have failed at that.
Neither of the two biggest browsers (IE and Firefox) ship with support for
<link> navigation as standard. Neither expects to do so in their next
version. Thus some 98% or so of users don't have access to <link>
navigation UI. Similarly, 98% or so of pages don't have any links for such
UI to hook into in the first place, so even the few users who could use
such a UI, rarely see it. CMS-based blogs and autogenerated documentation
are the typical exception, but they aren't a big part of the Web (the
blogosphere's collective ego notwithstanding).
I couldn't call this a success without diluting the meaning of the word.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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