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

Robert Brodrecht whatwg at robertdot.org
Wed Mar 14 10:20:43 PDT 2007

Anne van Kesteren Wrote
> IE doesn't have a broken box model in standards mode.

I was under the impression you wanted to throw out different rendering
modes because they are difficult for implementors.  If so, at least for IE
(and presumably quirksmode in other browsers, since they tend to mimmic
IE's quirks), there would be two box models that aren't reconcilable.

> Authors code against implementations, not specifications.

Yeah, authors eventually end up doing browser testing, and, in that way,
code against an implementation.  However, I have to look at the
specification to determine what is valid markup.

It seems, according to implementations, that HTML, HTML-XHTML, and real
XHTML all allow "user invented tags."  While they don't validate
(validating is coding against a spec), the browsers I test on all rendered
the content and applied CSS markup.  Except for Safari in real XHTML, the
element was added to the DOM and accessible with JavaScript.  This seems
roughly congruent with HTML specs[2], though I don't know if it is
congruent with CSS specs and DOM specs.   However, if I code against the
implementation, not bothering to code against the specification (e.g. by
validation or by looking at the specification), I can make up my own
elements and have them render on the page.

Since validation is a part of the web standards movement, I would say that
authors worth their salt will code against both implementations and

[1] http://whatwg.robertdot.org/files/20070314-invented-tags/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/appendix/notes.html#notes-invalid-docs

Robert <http://robertdot.org>

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