[whatwg] Menus, fallback, and backwards compatibility: ideas wanted

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Sun Jan 8 21:17:59 PST 2006

At 01:21 +0000 UTC, on 2006-01-09, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Sun, 1 Jan 2006, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:


>> 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.

True, that can also be a cause. But imagine for a moment a situation where at
least the majority of browsers in use would have a nice NAV display:meta
implementation, making it *visible* to people how they can organize the data
they publish. Wouldn't that work as a guide, helping those who are not that
well-organized realize how to publish their content in a more organised
manner? They might well think "Ah, I can do like that other site: make a
contact and a help page and tag 'm with display:meta to put them in that
navigation thingy. I can even make "sections" that way to different parts of
my site. k3wl."

That's how it works with most things: some technique becomes available in a
nice and obvious form and suddenly people start using it.

>> > [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
>> would probably be very useful.
> Well go and convince them and when you have some implementations we can
> add it to the spec. :-)

My impression was that representatives of most browsers subscribe to this
list. So I'm assuming they've already heard me. Maybe they're silently
laughing at the nonsense I'm talking. Maybe they're already enthusiastically
implementing it. I've no idea.

Anyway, I don't think we want to go back to the days where a browser defines
its own new standards which other browsers are then forced to copy, faults
included because by then too many authors/users are relying on that specific
implementation. Makes more sense to me to all of us try to agree on something
we think could work, and only then start work on (experimental)
implementations and a spec.


> (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.)

Agreed. Well put.


>> Something like display:meta wouldn't have stood a chance back then, but
>> it might today.
> I'm not convinced. Please prove me wrong. :-)

Working on it ;)

Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/~tekelenb/>

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