[whatwg] Chipset support is a good argument

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jul 6 15:24:40 PDT 2009

On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Kartikaya Gupta wrote:
> Seriously? If I were to declare that I, as a browser vendor, will not 
> support anything in HTML5 that wasn't in HTML4, would you actually 
> remove all the new additions from the HTML5 spec?

Not immediately, but if you had notable market share and we could not 
convince you to implement these new features, then yes, I'd remove them 
and then work with you (and everyone else) to try to come up with 
solutions that you _would_ agree to.

Even if you did not have notable market share, I would work with you to 
understand your objections, and try to resolve them. (Naturally if your 
goals are substantially different than the WHATWG's goals, then this might 
not go anywhere. For example, if Microsoft said that we should abandon 
HTML in favour of Silverlight, without making Silverlight backwards- 
compatible with HTML, then this would be somewhat of a non-starter, since 
backwards-compatibility is an underpinning of our work.)

> I'm not talking about the direction of the Web. I'm talking about the 
> text that resides at http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/. 
> The two are not the same thing.

If they're not one and the same, then I'm not doing my job.

> So let me re-ask my question: if a browser vendor has an installed base 
> of greater than "a percent or so", and they flat-out state they will not 
> implement, e.g. all the new <input> types in HTML5, will you take them 
> out of the spec?


> If the answer is yes, I would like specifics as to where that "percent 
> or so" number comes from. There's lots of different ways people use to 
> measure market share, which one are you using?

I haven't needed to exclude a browser vendor before, so this hasn't come 
up. In practice, it's any browser vendor that has enough influence that if 
they fail to implement something, it'll affect broad deployment of the 
feature. Generally speaking, that would be the browsers that are important 
enough for sites like Wikipedia to include in their reports, e.g. on:


...but again, so far I've not had to decline the feedback of any browser 
vendor, including a number that were much smaller than those on that page.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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