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grantm (164)

grantm
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http://www.mclean.net.nz/

Just a simple [cpan.org] guy, hacking Perl for fun and profit since way back in the last millenium. You may find me hanging around in the monestary [perlmonks.org].

What am I working on right now? Probably the Sprog project [sourceforge.net].

GnuPG key Fingerprint:
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Journal of grantm (164)

Thursday February 07, 2008
03:09 AM

IE8 to Take us Beyond DOCTYPEs

[ #35598 ]

I find this mind-bogglingly stupid.

To summarise...

The 'problem' we're faced with is that when people declared their HTML pages to be compliant with the HTML 4.01 Strict (or whatever) DTD they didn't really mean that. Apparently what people really meant was that they were happy with the way that the page was rendered by the current version of Internet Explorer at that time. The upshot being that if Microsoft were to release a new browser that actually was standards compliant and rendered the same HTML as intended by the spec, then the page would appear 'broken' in that new browser.

Apparently the 'solution' is to subvert the http-equiv meta tag to introduce a whole new declaration (in addition to the DOCTYPE) something like this:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=5.5;FF=2" />

Then the hypothetical new browser will be able to degrade it's behaviour and magically render the page as it would have looked in IE6.

I am utterly stunned that anyone who actually understood the 'problem' could consider that a good solution.

Of course the real problem is that having won the browser wars, Microsoft put all meaningful development of IE on hold for 5 years.

We can't 'fix' that problem. It happened. It's history. Get over it. If that means that the next version of IE displays broken HTML as broken then so be it. Realistically what we're talking about here is that some page margins will be different, some divs will be a few pixels out of alignment and some fonts will be a slightly different size. Oh noes the end of the interwebs!

More on this theme.

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