[whatwg] HTML 5 : Misconceptions Documented

Mike Wilson mikewse at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 17 05:18:07 PST 2009

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Jan 2009, Garrett Smith wrote:
> > If I understand this correctly, given a FORM with an INPUT 
> > named 'b', if I change the name of that INPUT to 'a', then 
> > form.b should return the element with name="a".
> > 
> > <snip>
> > 
> > What is the reason for introducing the "past names map" 
> > behavior to the form?
> Compatibility with a legacy IE bug required (acording to 
> Safari and Firefox devs) by legacy content.

I'm impressed with the level of detail that you strive for in
documenting real-world HTML :-)

> The idea of HTML5 is to make sure that a browser that 
> implements all of HTML5 is compatible with legacy content. 
> This is one of the things that legacy content requires, so 
> the spec has to require it too.
> The idea is to make it so that browsers don't feel forced to 
> add _any_ non-standard behavior (other than experimental
> innovations using vendor-prefixed names and stuff).

That's a good thing. Still, seeing this quite non-trivial
"feature-bug" being standardized, I see the potential for 
making the standard unnecessary complicated if including a lot
of these legacy quirks. So I wonder what is your process for
determining if a "quirk" should be included in HTML5 or not?
Is there any listing of other quirks together with a yes/no 
decision whether to include them in HTML5?

Also, what is the general ambition for compatibility with
legacy content? Until reading this thread I personally thought
HTML5's legacy compatibility revolved mainly around rendering 
and document validity, but now I realize it has a lot to do with
script compatibility as well?

And please do not take this message as criticism, these are 
just interesting (to me) questions that I couldn't find the 
answer to on the whatwg FAQ.

Best regards
Mike Wilson

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