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

Asbjørn Ulsberg asbjorn at tigerstaden.no
Tue Mar 13 12:02:10 PDT 2007

On Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:26:12 +0100, Keryx Web <webmaster at keryx.se> wrote:

> Personally I think the best route to go for MS is to fix all bugs and  
> make "Standards Compliance Mode" truly compliant. And perhaps mimic FFox  
> and have an "almost compliance mode" for transitional doctypes, behaving  
> the same way as FFox of course when they see one.

If you watched and listened to the Yahoo! talk[1], you'd notice the amount  
of documents on the web employing the CSS1Compat mode ("standards mode")  
today. According to Chris Wilson, it's about half of the web[2]. That's a  
lot of backward compatibility to pay attention to when you change  
something as serious as the DOM. The only way to not break 50% of the web  
is to invent a new mode that gives the IE developers a blank sheet they  
can begin to draw on. Improving on the legacy, proprietary DOM just isn't  
feasible, imo.

> Let's not give MS an excuse to keep behaving badly with HTML 4.01 and  
> XHTML 1!

First of all, IE doesn't understand XHTML, so they can't really behave  
badly with it. Second, this is not giving them an excuse. This is giving  
them a way out of the mess they've created with their proprietary DOM.

Currently they have managed to pull themselves partly up from the mess  
they created with the proprietary CSS implementation, but while they did  
that, the web noticed the effort and learnt about "standard mode"  
(CSS1Compat) and now they can't improve CSS1Compat without breaking almost  
half of the web. That's why <!DOCTYPE html> can be

[1] <http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=287660>
[2] Of the top 200 US web sites. I do not, however, think this number is  
unrepresentative for the web as a whole.

Asbjørn Ulsberg     -=|=-    http://virtuelvis.com/quark/
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»

More information about the whatwg mailing list