[whatwg] Using the HTML5 DOCTYPE as a new quirksmode switch

Robert Brodrecht whatwg at robertdot.org
Sat Mar 10 22:27:42 PST 2007

On Mar 10, 2007, at 9:40 PM, Matthew Ratzloff wrote:
> I don't care about DTD, but DOCTYPE is established, so it seems  
> strange to
> trash it in favor of something new when the benefit is questionable  
> (as
> far as I can tell).

I don't think anyone wants to trash the DOCTYPE in light of the  
current landscape.  The problem is that the IE team wants ANOTHER  
switch to turn on Super-Standards Mode.

> If DTD is out, bring back the deprecated "version" attribute that it
> replaced.  Assuming there is only one version of HTML 5.0, the  
> following
> would work:
> <html version="5.0" mode="strict" encoding="UTF-8" lang="en-US">
> ...
> </html>
> All attributes optional, obviously.

That's a great idea.  That solves not only the versioning system, but  
could solve the IE Super-Standards Mode switch (though I don't think  
the "mode" attribute needs to be there... no one wants to  
specifically render in quirksmode, I'd think).  Again, my worry is  
that W3C doesn't implement it.  My header idea would go above W3C's  
and WHATWG's heads.  That means that it doesn't have to be in any  
published spec (and it shouldn't be, IMO).  It's just something to  
tell IE how to treat the content (the same way we tell browsers to  
render as XML, charsets, caching, etc).  There is really no reason it  
needs to be in any specification.  However, if we can solve the  
missing versioning problem, it could be dual purpose (assuming W3C  
implements it in their recommendation).

Robert <http://robertdot.org>

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