"The entire idea of standards is so that applications last for years and are easy to maintain and update."
Shinin, I very much understand your effort to promote something, but you are dismissing our concerns and you almost want us to worship W3C. If you care to listen to my concerns and stop worshipping W3C, then we can all mutually move forward and make progress.
If there is no standard way of doing things, there will be no way to address your concerns while ensuring a bright future. And I do not want anyone to worship the W3C but there must be something that creates a standard way of doing things since if there isn't,
nothing would ever get done. I know that people don't always like how things must be done but if they were done 10 years ago, you wouldn't be complaining about backwards compatibility now and the web would be less of a mess. If something is done now, 10 years
from now, the web will be less of a mess and backwards compatibility wouldn't be an issue. If nothing is done now, the web will exponentially get worse and backwards compatibility will continue to be an issue.
Your site is one of the sites that use quirks mode, am I correct? Well if that is so, you have no guarentee whether or not your site will work well in tomorrow's browser (as there is no spec to code according to) although I'm sure every effort will be made
to ensure that quirks mode stays the same.
First of all, "the entire idea of standards is so that applications last for years" is not meaningful. When someone publishes a specification, all it means is that programmers will try their best to implement it as correctly as possible. As you know, IE
was the first browser that implemented the W3C's specifications. All other browsers played a catch up with IE, only very recently Mozilla fully caught up with IE, from almost every angle. So what happened is that, some people still didn't even migrate to IE
6 where developers can use better standard complaince techniques, yet people still bash Microsoft for IE 5.5. You can write pretty much complaint pages with IE 6, sure there are bugs but it is stupid to bash Microsoft for those bugs. Mozilla supposedely tried
to implement specification as best as it can, but whenever it fixes its own bugs, it breaks apps. So there is no such thing as , if you try to implement standards fully, you will be automatically immune to these problems. I think what you are talking about
is probably, if you write to the specification, because people stick to the specifications, you will not have a problem, but what you miss is that browsers are not pefect, they have bugs. When you design something, you try to make it work. I have enough experience
to know many mozilla bugs, and what I do is work around them. If Mozilla fixes those bugs in the future, I dont want my app to stop working. So they have to be careful whenever they fix bugs. I can't go to the source code every time I mozilla release a new
browser. In some cases, the code is spit out by bunch of classes, I don't even remember which class spits out which code. There are so many number of solutions like that which are complex.
I don't see how coding your site according to a specification will cause it to become broken when x browser's developers fix a flaw it their browser's support of that specification.
But, if you attack Microsoft on the point that they didn't update their browser to fix some of these problems, I am with you. I think the defense that IE is tied to Windows thus they can't update is totally BS. I don't buy it. I don't think Microsoft listens
to customers here. I think Microsoft probably doesn't update IE because of different priority issues. Because now they are going to support XAML in the future version of IE, they probably don't want to divide developers' effort there. I definitely want to
write web apps that are easier to design, maintain etc.. I think if Microsoft makes a little effort, not much, they can create an IE which will make it much easier for us to worry about differences between browsers and much easier to design. I like IE a lot,
it is a fantastic browser, but I think there are some untouched issues that I believe IE team can easily implement. If we stick to the real issues, which I believe you do in most of the cases, except this near-worship love to W3C, we can achieve better results.
If Microsoft did update their browser, right now I wouldn't be in this thread regarding its standards support. Infact, the reason why I'm not talking about Windows XP's security is because they are doing something.
I agree with you regarding everything in that paragraph except for the last sentence because the W3C is supposed to resolve these issues.
Remember that, many people bash Microsoft anyway, and frankly I can easily say that 99 out of 100 Microsoft bashings are plain stupid. I don't think you are a Microsoft basher, it seems to me you are very much sincere in your effort, and good for you,
because I also want many of the features you want. But I disagree with you on the point that I should be following W3C all the time even though they screw things up and never ever criticize them because they are immune to that.
You're right, many of the people that attack Microsoft make groundless claims.
Also, I never said that you should follow them all the time and never criticize them. Personally, I really dislike CSS 2.1 and think that it should have never been made. It lowers the amount of tools that developers will have in the future. I also partially
blame Microsoft (but not as much as I blame the W3C) for CSS 2.1 as it was made because certain browsers did not support CSS2. I find breaking backwards compatibility in a specification that was supposed to always be backwards compatible unacceptable.
" By the way, you shot yourself in the foot. You can't expect the web to be at a standstill for years and even then, after those years are finished, what about the people that just coded with the coding practices a browser from the previous decade created
by ruining the spec? "
I think you are missing the issues here. First of all, we are pretty much still now. Most of the sites still use HTML 4 and higher. Even browser makers didn't upgrade to XHTML fully. Check out what David Hyatt says on extending HTML
. He essentially says that, XHTML support is still not there. He mentions real world standards and calls people who don't want such standards to be supported in Safari as people that are
out of touch with reality. He extended HTML for their proprietary Dashboard application and submitted the changes to WHAT-WG. He says that, he can't implement SVG quickly, but that they need 2 years to properly implement Dashboard support with XHTML and SVG.
This is the guy who is working for another browser. He clearly says that backward compatibility is more important than forward compatibility. You don't sacrifice old things for the new things. Ok, because I assume you don't like Microsoft example, check out
what Apple has done when it moved forward with MacOS X. They introduced a nesty layer for MacOS 9 apps. If they said what you are telling us, customers would show Apple their middle fingers. This is how life works. I think you have never implemented a software
product and supported it successfully in your life. People don't want to listen to your ideals, they don't care, I don't care. It has to work. We don't have time to fix our code everytime you think we should move forward and as I mentioned you can't write
a browser that gets everything right the first time you implement it. You are going to make bugs the first time you release it and you have to think about those bugs for your second release. When Microsoft released IE first, they specifically duplicated the
bugs in Netscape. Think about that. This is what software engineering is about.
I didn't say that you should sacrafice old things for new things when you can have both but I also didn't say that new things should be sacraficed for old things when you can't have both.
I know that XHTML support isn't there. That is why I'm restricting myself to what is in both XHTML 1.1 and HTML 4.01 when I code my site.
I know that you don't have time to fix your code everytime someone thinks you should move forward. That is why you must fix your code because if you do, you will be able to continue to code according to the specifications that you chose to code according to
for a very long time (as long as both browsers exist and browser makers keep support for those specifications). If you don't code according to a specification like much of the web does, every time a browser update comes out with changes to the parser, chances
are that it will break something as there is no feasible way to ensure that everything will be rendered the same without some specification that both parties could ensure compliance with.
I know that Microsoft will make every effort to keep the quirks mode the same and I appaud them for that effort but it is not wise to rely on the fact that they are trying to keep a specificationless way of coding alive. This is why I tell them that they must
fix standards mode even if sites that rely on an incompliance with x specification will be broken by fixing standards mode.
Alistapart and csszengarden are cool and helpful sites, but these people are only one of the hundrends of HTML, XHTML, CSS sites on the net. They made a name for themselves by virtually doing nothing much but saying the obvious thing. They say they are
doing something, but so far I haven't seen any specific action taken because of these guys. Furthermore, they are completely out of touch with reality. Initially Zeldman started that site, he is an intelligent guy, and at the time it was about moving away
from Netscape 4. Later on so many Microsoft bashers joined that, it virtually lost its core message. It become an attraction for Microsoft bashers. Zeldman also stopped participating in Alistapart later. They don't do anything in particular, lots of them are
promoting themselves, Zeldman published a book using the word "standard" in the title of the book. That's really lame, because almost all HTML, XHTML books are about standards. There is no separate thing as standard. Even though technically the book doesn't
offer much, people intentionally praise the book because they think it is like a religion, something you have to approve by heart even if it doesn't make sense. Later on their message turned into, hey don't use anything except what we think is standard. For
example they think using tables are not standard, even though it is in the standard. They are part of this culture who thinks that it is cool to put a link to creative commons web site. They link to sites like cnet, eweek, wired etc... They will have a heart
attack if their little web page doesn't validate. They threaten to stop supporting IE in their sites, they rant all day long. Most of them like macs, they use macs, they bash Microsoft, etc... What I am trying to say is that, that culture doesn't represent
where the world stands today. They are noisy, but they are not the world. You can find a similar situation with respect to operating system choice. Go to the web, similar sites, you will find out that macs are better in every respect, but people don't switch
to Macs and certainly it is not better.
You say that you haven't seen a specific action taken because of people such as Zeldman. Where were you when Mozilla/Netscape and Opera were fixing their compliance with the specification in standards mode? Where were you when I was writing my site from scratch
so it complied with HTML 4.01 and made use of external CSS1 stylesheets? Where were you when thousands hundreds of thousands of sites fixed their code to comply with a specification because of these people?
The real decision makers are people using these technologies. That means millions of people around the world. You got to listen to what they say, and even though I can easily bash Microsoft here, I am reasonable enough to know that the minute they break
my apps I am going to be upset about them, because I don't have time to deal with those old programs now. I am also giving you the proof that this is not about Microsoft, but all software producers, because they don't get it right the first time. Check out
bugzilla, mozilla still has many bugs to fix, including about standards support.
If you don't vote on election day and you don't like the results of an election, you have no right to complain. If you don't comply with a specification and your site breaks in a new version of x browser, you have no right to complain. If you vote on election
day and you don't like the results of an election, you have every right to complain. If you comply with a specification and your site breaks in a new version of x browser, you have every right to complain.