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Sunsetting Quirks Mode

“Steve”: Are there any doctypes that do not require this new meta tag to render with the IE8 rendering engine?

Chris Wilson: @Steve - sure.  Any unknown (i.e. not widely deployed) DOCTYPE.  HTML5, for example.

And, with that, there is no longer any need for me to have to opt-in in order to opt-out of IE8’s new super deluxe bistro quirks mode.

In 2005, we learned that IE7 will not support XHTML.  As of 2006, it appeared that IE8 will not either.  Time will tell, but what a pity.  I have found XHTML handy as a tool to track down security and encoding issues with my implementation, and outright “oopses” like this one.  Like Jacques Distler, I’d be grateful to hear of any other ways Philip Taylor — any anyone else who is so inclined — can find to introduce illformed content into my weblog.

Like Mike Davies, I have come to appreciate Shelley Power’s statement that as of January 1, 2010 she will tolerate nothing less than full spec compliance.  I’m reminded of Molly E. Holzschlag’s “Elsewhere” links: Bye bye Netscape. We’ve loved you, we’ve hated you, we’ve pretty much forgotten you by now.  It may be time for history to repeat itself.  Chris Wilson recently said: We realized that the model for web development was really “write to the standard, then test against and fix problems in the most popular browsers.”

It is time to start the planning process for eliminating that last step.

Thanks go out to Franklin Tse for calling my attention to Chris Wilson’s statement about the HTML5 doctype, and to Sunny ‘Negatif’ Ripert for the icon used above.


It’s worth noting that “the IE8 rendering engine” != “the latest IE rendering engine”. Chris has, I believe, stated in the past that they would not use the HTML 5 doctype as a “always the latest rendering mode” switch and his statement there doesn’t explicitly contradict that position. I would imagine that what will happen in practice is that, around the time of IE 9, they’ll assess how much extant <!DOCTYPE html> content IE 8 will break with the new release, and use that to decide what the new default for HTML 5 content will be.

Optimistically, we can hope that IE 8 is sufficiently close to Mozilla/Opera/Safari in terms of standards support that authors send essentially the same content to all browsers and the IE 8 - IE 9 is like a Firefox 2 - Firefox 3 transition, with only minor compatibility issues between the versions. In that case Microsoft might be happy to leave <!DOCTYPE html> as a flag to use the latest rendering mode.

Posted by jgraham at

I don’t understand the implications of Internet Explorer not supporting XHTML. On the RSS Advisory Board site and others when I have the time, I make sure all pages are valid XHTML. Search engines like this better, and I figured the pages would render better in more browsers — which is as far as I want to go with browser compatibility.

Is my decision to create these pages in XHTML hosing them in IE, or is this about IE not parsing these pages as XML and thus missing the boat?

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at

Does

-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1 plus MathML 2.0 plus SVG 1.1//EN

count as “unknown (i.e. not widely deployed)” ?

Just askin' ...

Posted by Jacques Distler at

Sunsetting Quirks Mode . Apparently proper standards support in IE (or at least the IE8 renderer) will be triggered by the HTML5 doctype, providing an alternative to those who don’t wish to pollute their markup with an IE-specific meta tag....

Excerpt from Simon Willison's Weblog at

Simon Willison : Sunsetting Quirks Mode - Sunsetting Quirks Mode. Apparently proper standards support in IE (or at least the IE8 renderer) will be triggered by the HTML5 doctype, providing an alternative to those who don’t wish to pollute their...

Excerpt from HotLinks - Level 1 at

Optimistically, we can hope that IE 8 is sufficiently close to Mozilla/Opera/Safari in terms of standards support that authors send essentially the same content to all browsers

Optimistically, as more people demand pages that work on mobile platforms, the percentage of time that people concern themselves with continuing to work on legacy browsers will dwindle.  IE 9 may very find itself to be in the opposite position that IE 7 was in, with people demanding that the browser by default render pages correctly.

I make sure all pages are valid XHTML. Search engines like this better, and I figured the pages would render better in more browsers

Lots of myths wrapped up in that one statement there.  For starters, as long as you don’t serve those pages using the application/xhtml+xml MIME type, then no browser will render those pages as XHTML.  And you will need to be aware of these differences.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

HTML5 DOCTYPE

Remember the whole crazy Internet Explorer 8 meta http-equiv hub-bub, yesterday? There was one post in all of that mess that was really, really, important. To sum it up: Internet Explorer 8 will support DOCTYPE switching for new DOCTYPEs (like...

Excerpt from John Resig at

Hang on, I thought Microsoft and its sycophants were saying "The DOCTYPE switch is broken" but here we have another doctype switch.

Posted by James at

The implications of IE8

Microsoft’s Monday announcement of the new browser compatibility features in Internet Explorer 8 has set of a torrent of commentary. They described their new approach to markup versioning in an article at A List Apart and on the Internet Explorer...

Excerpt from rc3.org at

<blockquote>
<p>Lots of myths wrapped up in that one statement there. For starters, as long as you don’t serve those pages using the application/xhtml+xml MIME type, then no browser will render those pages as XHTML. And you will need to be aware of these differences.</i>
</blockquote>

Thanks for the pointer. It's interesting that the W3C's Markup Validation Service doesn't care I'm serving these pages as text/html.

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at

The great Internet Explorer 8 controversy

So, the Internet Explorer team has proposed that as of IE8, if you want the latest and greatest features you’ll have to opt-in. You can do this by way of an http-header, or using a meta-tag: <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible"...

Excerpt from Think Drastic at

I’ve already started my full spec compliance at RealTech, though I need to work on the CSS. Rogers, I’ve not found that the W3C validator is happy when you serve your pages as text/html but your DOCTYPE is XHTML. I usually have to indicate to the application to override the mime type.

I agree with you, Sam, in that it seems unlikely IE8 will have support for XHTML. Frankly, if IE8 doesn’t I think we can assume IE never will have support for XHTML, and we’re at a permanent fork in the road.

Regardless, if one serves one pages up as application/xhtml+xml, we don’t have to worry about using ‘bistro quirks mode’.

Posted by Shelley at

Why do I get the feeling that I have been successfully trolled?

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Version Two

So yesterday was interesting. In a whole lot of ways. As I expected, there were some widely varied reactions (there’s a good list over at Digital Web, if you’d like to taste the rainbow) and many of them were in opposition to the whole idea. The...

Excerpt from Thoughts From Eric at

Does -//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1 plus MathML 2.0 plus SVG 1.1//EN count as “unknown (i.e. not widely deployed)” ?

I think it’s pretty unknown, but that may not save you. IE’s current quirks algorithm just looks for substrings ("DTD HTML 4", “DOCTYPE NETSC”, etc), so it’s quite possible that IE8 will extend the same approach. If so, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect that anything containing the strings “DTD HTML 4.0” or “DTD XHTML 1.” will be treated as IE7-bug-compatibility mode.

Whatever doctype sniffing method is used, hopefully it will at least be documented better than IE6/7’s method...

Posted by Philip Taylor at

“Why do I get the feeling that I have been successfully trolled?”

Sheesh.

Check the RSS 2.0, RSS 0.9 and RSS 0.91 specs and many other static documents and you’ll find they pass. I don’t check these pages automatically — I get around to them when I get around to them.

Do you want to discuss this subject or just find pedantic ways to be dismissive?

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at

I don’t check these pages automatically — I get around to them when I get around to them.

I think that’s the point, Roger.

No one cares whether the page in question was valid. The fact that it wasn’t well-formed means that it could not be served as XHTML.

“When I get around to them” is not a viable mechanism for publishing XML.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

Do you want to discuss this subject or just find pedantic ways to be dismissive?

That actually is a credible start.  The only substantive issue I found was the use of &nbsp; which would prevent this document from being parsed in standalone mode by XML parsers.  This is also an issue when serving such documents as application/xhtml+xml to Opera.  &#160; is a replacement.

The next issue may be of more importance to you.  If you were to serve that document up as application/xhtml+xml the Google analytics scripts would likely not work.  I’m not sure of that as I don’t run GA myself, but I do know that adsense doesn’t work in true XHTML.  If that turns out to be of interest to you, I can explore further and make recommendations.

Beyond that, there is an upper bound placed on the usefulness of the W3C validators based on the quality of the relevant specs.  A few things in HTML4 and XHTML1 represent wishful thinking, a few things are not implemented by anybody, and the state of the art has progressed since those documents have been written.  IMO, the html5 validator, even in its initial experimental status, is based on a much more solid specification, and as such can provide more useful feedback.

Take a look at this example.  I changed the doctype, replaced all occurences of &nbsp; with &#160;, adjusted the CRLF line terminators, and replaced the one tab in the file with spaces.  Other than that, the file is as it was when I downloaded it from your server.

Most of the issues flagged are of the best practices category, in particular: use CSS whenever possible.  Some of the issues flagged are more pedantic, and won’t cause issues with most high volume browsers.  Whether you care to pursue these recommendations or not is up to you.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Whatever doctype sniffing method is used, hopefully it will at least be documented better than IE6/7’s method...

But “not widely deployed” is, surely, a time-dependent measure. Perhaps IE8 will treat an HTML5 Doctype as “not widely deployed” (and hence exempt from the IE7 bugs-mode). But how will IE11 treat it?

I’m wondering whether it wouldn’t be the most stable long-term strategy to set

X-UA-Compatible: IE=edge

in the HTTP headers (sent to all browsers, as it’s safe to assume that  every other browser will ignore this header) and forget about the whole misbegotten idea.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

For Google AdSense, this is what I’ve been doing for awhile now in case I one day move to true XHTML:

<object type="text/html" width="468" height="60" data="gads.html" />

Where the referenced gads.html is a HTML document with the appropriate google script elements...  seems to work i.e. ads are still contextual to the surrounding page which could be XHTML, right?

Posted by Jeff Schiller at

IE8: webbläsarsniffning 2.0

Intressant lank ar ocksa [link] - skriv HTML5, och du slipper bry dig....

Excerpt from Blinkenlights - Nya poster at

IE8: webbläsarsniffning 2.0

Intressant lank ar ocksa [link] - skriv HTML5, och du slipper bry dig....

Excerpt from Blinkenlights - Nya poster at

Jaxer; Ameliorating IE8

John Resig writes very positively about Jaxer. It runs Javascript on the server while serving documents to the client, with seamless communication between JS on the client and JS on the server. Jaxer provides: Full DOM on the server Shared code...

Excerpt from LeoTech at

<blockquote class="quote">

No one cares whether the page in question was valid. The fact that it wasn’t well-formed means that it could not be served as XHTML. “When I get around to them” is not a viable mechanism for publishing XML.

</blockquote>

I see the point now. I wandered into XHTML for SEO purposes and decided it would help me avoid writing browser workarounds. I haven’t considered all the implications of that move yet.

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at

Sorry about all the misformatted comments. Yikes!

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at

[from ffg] Sunsetting Quirks Mode

As people continue to digest the announcement of IE8’s “compatibility modes”, it becomes clear that the only clear way forward is to opt out....

Excerpt from del.icio.us/network/revgeorge at

I agree with Jacques, for a internet-facing website the best strategy is just to set the header to IE=edge in the webserver config and keep doing what you used to do.
I don’t understand why MS people seem to discourage this sort of behaviour, because (to me) it looks this is what would keep everyone happy: vendors and intranet-devs would use the switch and be happy, the rest of the web would set it to “edge” and be happy as well.

Posted by GiacomoL at

웹 표준, 나쁜 뉴스와 좋은 뉴스

이번 한 주는 웹 표준(Web Standards)에 좋은 뉴스와 나쁜 뉴스가 한꺼번에 쏟아져 나왔습니다. 나쁜 뉴스! Microsoft의 Chris Willson은 새로운 웹 브라우저 버전인 IE8에서 기존 표준 DOCTYPE인 Strict 모드에서도 Acid2를 통과한 렌더링 엔진을 이용하지 않겠다 고 밝혔습니다. 즉, X/HTML Strict 모드에서도 기존 IE7의 렌더링 모드를 그대로 이용하게 됩니다. 따라서 IE8에서도 기존...

Excerpt from Channy's Blog at

links for 2008-01-24

YouTube - Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King’s Church Adding to the swarm. I can say without a doubt I’ve never been inspired by a leader as much as I am by Obama. (tags: obama politics mlk speech) Sunsetting Quirks Mode +1 (tags: browsers...

Excerpt from occident.us at

@GiacomoL: If “keep doing what you used to do” means just following the specs, and not including any special workarounds for IE, then that’s fine. What Chris Wilson fears, however, is that the practice will be taken up by people who will then also include workarounds for IE bugs, and do that in such a way that those workarounds expect the bug to remain present forever (same as too many people use conditional comments that just say “if IE” rather than “if LTE IE 7"). If that practice combined with IE=edge becomes too widespread, then Microsoft says they’ll have no choice but to freeze things once again, making "edge” mean the same as “8” or “9” or whatever version they’d be on when that’d happen. (Which’d probably lose them any remaining shred of credibility in the world of web standards, but obviously the needs of the less-clueful intranet-developers weigh more heavily with Microsoft than the needs of those who follow the web standards.)

Posted by Sander at

links for 2008-01-24

Sunsetting Quirks Mode (tags: Feeds Tech) Versioning, Compatibility and Standards Safari won’t implement browser version targeting right now. (tags: Feeds Tech webdevelopment) Big Questions On IE8’s Big Progress (tags: Javascript Programming...

Excerpt from Lazycoder at

IE8 Meta Declaration Not Required For HTML5

In the whole backlash of the IE8 announcement, an important piece of information got overshadowed. If you use HTML5, you can skip the effort for version targeting. So, use HTML5 and then you can forget about coding for browsers. I am glad that at...

Excerpt from iface thoughts at

IE8: render modes (links)

IE8: render modes (links)...

Excerpt from IMfO.ru - News at

The Deadline

Or just yet another post about the future of webstandards after th dark IE8 news . I understand their point that they will broke the web if they follow standards, but following standards is the right thing to do. Luckily this seems a temporary...

Excerpt from Alcides Fonseca BLOG at

Alcides Fonseca: The Deadline

Or just yet another post about the future of webstandards after th dark IE8 news . I understand their point that they will broke the web if they follow standards, but following standards is the right thing to do. Luckily this seems a temporary...

Excerpt from PrintScreen - Capturing the buzz at

Contribuyendo a la polémica del mes: don’t break the web

Pues sí. Vaya por delante que estoy con Eric Meyer y con el discurso de Microsoft: no rompamos la web. No, no y no. Y lo dije en su momento. Me cito a mi mismo, de FW2006: IE: 7 and Beyond - Chris Wilson: La verdad es que me gusta mucho el tono que...

Excerpt from torresburriel.com at

IE8 Meta Declaration Not Required For HTML5

In the whole backlash of the IE8 announcement, an important piece of information got overshadowed. If you use HTML5, you can skip the effort for version targeting. So, use HTML5 and then you can forget about coding for browsers. I am glad that at...

Excerpt from iface thoughts at

Sam,
  If no developers tweaked their content for various browser (including and especially IE6/7), we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Posted by Chris Wilson at

Firefox is not in this mess.  WebKit is not in this mess.  Opera is not in this mess.

What did they do differently?

What could IE do to asymptotically approach the state that these browsers are in?

One thing it could do it to pick a DOCTYPE (or, alternatively, pick a mime type) and emulate the behavior (in particular, the setting of expectations) that these other browser vendors have done for this specific doc/mime type(s).

Posted by Sam Ruby at

IE 8 Something; Web Indigestion Ensued

C’mon, I can’t believe I am the first person to go with the “8"→"Ate” pun. It seems IE8 will......

Excerpt from Jeremy Smith's blog at

I presume the DOCTYPE being proposed is <!DOCTYPE html>, and the MIME type, application/xhtml+xml.

Alternatively, if Chris felt that he and his team could deliver a Standards-compliant browser on a shorter timescale, they could always follow Henri’s suggestion.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

I presume the DOCTYPE being proposed is <!DOCTYPE html>, and the MIME type, application/xhtml+xml.

Those would work for me.

Alternatively, if Chris felt that he and his team could deliver a Standards-compliant browser on a shorter timescale

I believe that standards compliance is a process not a destination.  No browser vendor will be able to deliver a bug free standards compliant release — ever.  The best they can endeavor to do is manage expectations.

Microsoft’s position since 2005 of not wanting to deliver support for xhtml until it can be “done right” effectively means that we should assume that they will never support this mode.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

No browser vendor will be able to deliver a bug free standards compliant release — ever.  The best they can endeavor to do is manage expectations.

True enough.

I meant a level of Standards compliance comparable to that of the other browsers mentioned, and an expectation that further improvements in its Standards compliance would come at a pace comparable to that of the aforementioned other browsers.

If that doesn’t deserve an entirely new version string, I don’t know what would.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

[from zopemaven] Sam Ruby: Sunsetting Quirks Mode

[link]...

Excerpt from del.icio.us/network/dorismith at

IE8, Version Targeting, and the Ruckus it’s Causing

Last week was quite enlightening for Web developers the world over. With the release of A List Apart No. 251, including Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8 by Aaron Gustafson and From Switches to Targets: A Standardista’s...

Excerpt from Monday By Noon at

Communication, clarity, commitment

As I posted yesterday, hell, as dozens and dozens of people posted yesterday, IE8 newly proposed header to trigger standards mode is an abysmal aberration. I still stand by my points that the people proposing this are trying to fool us, and that we...

Excerpt from cyril.doussin.name: Thoughts at

Saved By: Daniel Morrison | View Details | Give Thanks Tags: browsers , ie8 , wasp , meta , X-UA-Compatible , html5...

Excerpt from Ma.gnolia: Daniel Morrison's Bookmarks Tagged With "X-UA-Compatible" at

The X-UA-Compatible Situation

Just when I was excited about the fact that Microsoft is starting to talk about IE8, this happens. At the same time, A List Apart published 2 articles, Aaron Gustafson talks at length about why this was done and Eric Meyer talks about why he thinks...

Excerpt from Kempwire.com at

X-UA-Compatible

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=8;FF=3;OtherUA=4″ /> Ah now there’s the rub. This whole thing with the X-UA-Compatible HTTP header has been basically portrayed as how the web creation community...

Excerpt from Dwelling at

January 2008 Recap

I’ve had a policy against posting on big news that’s likely to be common knowledge in the Microsoft development community, since nobody needs another post saying “Big News, Visual Studio 2008 is out today!” But I think I’m going to break that...

Excerpt from Jon Galloway at

The Deadline

Or just yet another post about the future of webstandards after th dark IE8 news . I understand their point that they will broke the web if they follow standards, but following standards is the right thing to do. Luckily this seems a temporary...

Excerpt from Alcides Fonseca BLOG at

Taking Advantage of HTML5 Today

I was asked in a formal situation recently, “If you were to build a new web site from scratch, which doctype would you use?”. Me: “Commercial site for a customer?” “Just a site for the open web” “Well, then...

Excerpt from My Tech World at

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