[whatwg] Fakepath revisited

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Mon Sep 7 11:56:10 PDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Alex Henrie <alexhenrie24 at gmail.com> wrote:
> CSS2 demanded incompatibility with IE6 and IE7's previous
> implementations.  IE8 resolved these problems and IE8 users haven't
> taken to the streets of Redmond with pitchforks yet.

IE6 and 7 weren't even compatible with CSS1 in many ways.  On the
other hand, all other browsers overwhelmingly were.  It would have
been impossible to do anything that didn't either break IE, or break
everyone else, *dramatically* (as in "everyone has to rewrite all
their pages" dramatically).  Since the behavior of everyone else was
already specced, and IE's wasn't, and IE was the one that implemented
the spec incorrectly to start with, the decision there was to stick
with the already-specced stuff, and IE changed to accommodate it.

I don't know why you think there wasn't massive backlash against
Microsoft for their incompatible changes, either.  IE7 adoption was
very slow, and one reason I've often seen given is lack of
compatibility with intranet sites.  You might want to read this post
by Chris Wilson:


One quote that stood out for me:

"IE7 did cause widespread disruption, as a case in point.  I
championed making those widespread changes to improve our standards
compliance.  In all seriousness, I've managed to hang on to my job,
but sometimes I think only just.  I cannot go to my team and say 'hey,
we're gonna break the web again (and again and again), but it's okay
because it's for a good cause.'  The world doesn't work that way.   I
wouldn't be responsibly doing my job - that one where half a billion
web users rely on my team to not hose compatibility with their banking
web site, even if their bank doesn't know how to properly use CSS

In other words, Microsoft realizes it messed up with IE7 and wants to
avoid a repeat experience if at all possible.  Notice what elaborate
compatibility measures they've added to IE8, making it behave almost
exactly like IE7 in many cases.

> I'm asking the
> same thing: take good behavior from Firefox, Safari, and Chrome and
> get it working in IE and Opera too. It's not impossible, and it's well
> worth it in the long term.

That's a fine position, but in the end, if the implementors won't
implement it, it's not going to go anywhere.

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