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

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Mar 12 11:48:24 PDT 2007

On Mon, 12 Mar 2007, Matthew Ratzloff wrote:
> On Mon, March 12, 2007 10:39 am, Ian Hickson wrote:
> >>
> >> It's tempting to think that browser makers will get it right the 
> >> first time, but I'm not sure I believe it.  <!DOCTYPE HTML> might 
> >> introduce headaches when Microsoft or Mozilla or somebody realize 
> >> they've had a bug in their rendering engine for a couple of years 
> >> that people depend on now. Does that DOCTYPE now become <!DOCTYPE 
> >
> > No, we just fix the spec.
> I don't understand.  The bug becomes part of HTML 6?

If Web content relies on it so much that browser vendors are forced to 
implement it, then yes, we just make it part of the language. We've 
already done that in HTML5 with, for example, changing

   <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">


   <meta charset="utf-8">

> > You still end up with dozens of codepaths to test. Testing one browser 
> > is a near-infinite amount of work, increasing the complexity is not 
> > workable.
> The idea was that common functionality would be moved back into the 
> core, so that dozens of code paths wouldn't have to be tested.  
> Requiring bug reports to contain either a URL or the version the bug 
> occurs under would narrow bug hunting greatly.  And it's not like it'd 
> affect the entire code set--JPEGs, for instance, aren't subject to 
> version differences.

You still have to test everything in each mode. The whole point of testing 
is to make sure there's no unexpected behaviour. You can't assume that the 
behaviour is correct in both modes just because it's supposed to be.

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

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