[whatwg] Client-side includes proposal

Shannon shannon at arc.net.au
Mon Aug 18 10:56:33 PDT 2008

Kristof Zelechovski wrote:
> Client-side includes make a document transformation, something which
> logically belongs XSLT rather than HTML.  And what would the workaround for
> legacy browsers be?
> Chris

You make good points but last I checked general browser and editor 
support for XSLT was abysmal. Everyone is saying its on their "roadmaps" 
though so maybe it will one day be reliable enough to use.

You could go:

<include src="banner.ihtml">

But this just seems wasteful, pointless and open to abuse. I think a 
better workaround is that people with legacy browsers download each 
include file seperately and paste them together in DOS or AmigaOS or 
whatever system it is that keeps them from installing a modern browser.

Of course XSLT has the same legacy issues as do many parts of HTML5. I 
know the reasoning but at some point the web will have to leave 
unmaintained software behind or face the same grim reality OpenGL is 
facing now (can't move forward because a minority want legacy support 
for 10 year old CAD applications, can't go back because competing 
protocols are in front on features).

I'd like to see the option made available and its use determined by the 
market as we have always done. If a developer wants to piss-off users by 
writing a Flash or Silverlight-only website then the ONLY thing we can 
do is provide an equivalent feature and hope that it does less harm (by 
virtue of being a truly open standard). The average web developer's 
mentally is very different from the majority of this list, they won't 
compromise to do the "right thing". If I can do client-side includes in 
Flash and Silverlight (and I can) then why should HTML be left behind?

Anyway, I don't mean for an open discussion on this as I'm sure it's 
been debated endlessly. I'm just stating my case for going ahead with 
this feature.


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