[whatwg] Versioning (was: Re: Using the HTML5 DOCTYPE as a new quirksmode switch)

Anne van Kesteren annevk at opera.com
Wed Mar 14 05:37:08 PDT 2007

On Mon, 12 Mar 2007 01:01:38 +0100, Matthew Ratzloff  
<matt at builtfromsource.com> wrote:
> On Sun, March 11, 2007 3:20 pm, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>> There needs to be versioning? The web has done great so far without  
>> it... I'm not sure I really see the need.
> The Web has done great so far without it?  When "strict" mode was
> introduced, all existing websites didn't suddenly start rendering under
> it.  It was opt-in.  Versioning is just a formalized way of opting into a
> certain rendering method.

FWIW: Introducing strict mode has been quite painful and still is. Every  
time you encounter a rendering bug on some web page you have to check on  
what rendering mode the page relies (quirks, almost standards or  
standards) and then figure out what the behavior should be for quirks and  
almost standards by reverse engineering other popular browsers. Next time  
such a thing comes up we should just "fix" the specifications instead in  
my opinion to keep things predictable for authors and "easy" for  

Versioning of APIs can probably work ok if there's a single  
implementation, because then the specification for a particular version is  
just that, the implementation. For multiple separately evolving  
implementations that deal with something as complex as the web it's not  
really feasible though.

Anne van Kesteren

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