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The Internet Internet Explorer Microsoft

Microsoft Finally Joins HTML 5 Standard Efforts 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the fashionably-late dept.
bonch writes "On Friday, Microsoft posted to a mailing list that IE developers are reviewing the HTML 5 standard for future versions of Internet Explorer. They've given some feedback on the current editor's draft, saying that they 'have more questions than answers' and criticizing many of HTML 5's new tags, like <header>, <footer> and <aside>, calling them 'arbitrary' or unnecessary. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft waited too long to try to influence basic parts of the spec that most of their competitors have already adopted."
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Microsoft Finally Joins HTML 5 Standard Efforts

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  • Lol wut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:22AM (#28995499) Journal

    "It remains to be seen whether Microsoft waited too long to try to influence basic parts of the spec that most of their competitors have already adopted."

    Whatever Microsoft decides to implement is going to become a defacto standard.
    It's the sad but true result of still significant share of the browser market.

    • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:32AM (#28995531)

      Whatever Microsoft decides to implement is going to become a defacto standard.
      It's the sad but true result of still significant share of the browser market.

      Their market share is crumbling away year upon year, and this is despite new PCs coming with IE pre-installed and the default option. People are choosing to get an alternative. Factor in most browsing stats are from slackers on their work PCs, not home machines. HTML5 will not be targeted to people avoiding doing work at the office.

      MS are about to be forced to offer a choice of browsers in other world markets, you can bet IE is going to take a hammering from that.

      Most web devs don't give a hoot about IE specifics unless they're a doze only shop, few even bother with IE6 support any more unless contractually obliged to do so. If MS want to keep relevant, they are going to have to adhere to published specs. Their silly games of subtly breaking things to make devs code to IE is slowly coming to an end.

      • Re:Lol wut? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:49AM (#28995607)

        Factor in most browsing stats are from slackers on their work PCs, not home machines.

        http://gs.statcounter.com/

        Usage patterns vary a lot among countries, but the general trend is: IE usage drops on weekends, Fx usage climbs on weekends.

        • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:56AM (#28995649) Journal

          This is something Opera could actually push quite much via other countries. Opera has 40-60% marketshare in CIS countries [opera.com], better than both FF and IE. They push the support for HTML5 and its new tags there and CIS websites adopt it (cyrillic language differences make it so that most people use local websites instead of US ones). IE and FF also has to start supporting the same to get marketshare there, and bam: you have the support elsewhere too. And they can also start supporting it on Wii, Mobile Phones and other accessories they make web browsers too. People usually underestimate the power of Opera because of their smaller marketshare (in US home PC's).

          • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:37AM (#28995827) Homepage

            Funny that supporting Opera is nothing more than supporting W3C standards and give up 1990s lame tricks like browser sniffing. Same goes for Apple Safari (Webkit), Firefox.

            It is not extra work, it is what they (webmasters) should be doing at first place.

            • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @10:07AM (#28995951) Homepage
              The amount of code that can be removed from a web app if you give the condition (!msie) is incredible. This is why more libraries do a check at initialization to determine if they're dealing with IE or "anything else", and then dynamically load the code for that environment.
              I've started implementing a third condition to that: Is the browser non-IE && FF3+ || webkit (some chrome/safari feature sniffing) || Opera (again, some feature sniffing to see if it's from the past ~year). In these cases, the amount of code that's needed to be brought in, and the amount of bureaucracy that needs to be handled at runtime drops like a stone. The latest batch of browsers are amazingly fast and compliant.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by dryeo (100693)

                You should sniff for the Gecko version rather then Firefox. I run Seamonkey (Build identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (OS/2; U; Warp 4.5; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3pre) Gecko/20090802 SeaMonkey/2.0b2pre) which uses the same browser code as Firefox.
                I hate it when a site doesn't display or use features because I'm not running Firefox or tells me to update to Firefox.

            • by Lennie (16154)

              As much as I hate people browser sniffing, I do however think Opera has the easiest way to do so: if (window.opera) {}; I guess they needed to add it, as it came with a browser-string-selection-menu-item.

            • by mwvdlee (775178)

              It's what every decent webmaster has already done, right before starting to make their new site backwards compatible with the latest IE.

        • Factor in most browsing stats are from slackers on their work PCs, not home machines.

          http://gs.statcounter.com/

          Usage patterns vary a lot among countries, but the general trend is: IE usage drops on weekends, Fx usage climbs on weekends.

          Wow! That's a fascinating site.

          Try looking at each country. Opera has a large usage share in places like Russia and Zimbabwe and in China IE is actually climbing. Some countries are almost exclusively MS shops such as Greenland.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sopssa (1498795) *

            Opera actually has major marketshare in Russia and CIS countries [opera.com]. They're the major player there, and IE and FF strugling behind. The usual marketshare statistics almost always just count US or major EU countries, ignoring everything else and it gives false statistics because they ignore almost half of the world's people.

            What I find quite interesting is that those CIS countries have found the best alternative browser, even in general population. Maybe theres some intelligence to catch up in usa? :)

            • Re:Lol wut? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @11:01PM (#29000465) Journal

              I do not know why Opera is so popular in Russia (and CIS / ex-USSR / Eastern Europe), but let me make a guess.

              Computers came to Eastern Europe much later than in the West, and PCs later still. When they did appear, they triggered the same effect that was previously seen in the West, however - the birth and spread of the "hacker" culture among those susceptible to it. People tinkered with machines, found interesting hacks and ways around limitations, and so on.

              The difference was that all this happened on PCs. There were no PDPs or similar machines (they were there earlier, but not in sufficient quantities, and never as accessible as in Western universities). Thus, the first generation raised on DOS, and the second saw the migration to Windows.

              This resulted in an unusually high concentration of DOS/Win power users in those countries. And when Internet, and later the browser wars, came, that situation still persisted - most computer users in Russia were still mostly in the "power user" category by Western standards. Because of that, animosity towards IE was a very early phenomenon, and predated the appearance of today's common alternatives such as Mozilla or Firefox (some people have stubbornly stuck to NN, but it was clearly inferior). So, at that time, Opera was the only reasonable alternative. It actually worked, it was fast, and it had lots of nifty features that IE wouldn't see for years to come (such as MDI, which was a precursor to tab browsing).

              One minor thing there was that Opera isn't free. But in Russia in particular, the software culture had long been centered around using pirated software, often distributed from friend to friend. In fact, you could get odd looks by using licensed software at home ("Where does this guy get so much money to waste it on stuff that everyone else gets for free?"), and many people didn't even understand the concept of licensed commercial software and pirating - as far as they were concerned, if you could copy it, then surely it is okay to do so. And so, the price of Opera simply never entered into equation.

          • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Dustie (1253268) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @02:08PM (#28997491)
            That's because it is part of Denmark. Unfortunately our government loves everything Microsoft. When Bill Gates was here he got the same reception as a President does. He also met with our government heads.
        • Not quite. What happens is IE usage drops on weekends, and Firefox usage drops a little less on weekends. The net effect is that graphs of usage *share* behave as you described.

      • People are choosing to get an alternative

        True, but I think they'll always be a large set of users who will never move away from what is installed be default - you need to target PC manufacturers to get these people off IE.

        Still, it's going to be a long time yet before IE6 *finally* dies

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mad Merlin (837387)

          Still, it's going to be a long time yet before IE6 *finally* dies

          Far too long... We'll still be dealing with IE6 when IE7 is dead. (Look at the stats, IE8 is very quickly supplanting IE7, but IE6 is still only slowly dropping.)

      • by azrider (918631)

        Most web devs don't give a hoot about IE specifics unless they're a doze only shop, few even bother with IE6 support any more unless contractually obliged to do so.

        Now, if we can get the webdev software developers to pay attention to strict specifications (Dreamweaver, I'm looking at you), we can see the browser makers paying attention to standards.

    • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by moogsynth (1264404) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:36AM (#28995545)

      Whatever Microsoft decides to implement is going to become a defacto standard.

      No, the real standards will be used properly. They'll just be surrounded by ugly hacks to make sure the page renders properly in Internet Explorer.

      • Re:Lol wut? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @10:15AM (#28995993) Homepage Journal

        And, that is exactly where the REST of the world is screwing up. We (meaning all the world outside of Redmond) need to set the standard, then comply with it. If/when pages don't render in IE, we need to shrug, and say, "So what?" IT IS NOT THE WORLD'S PROBLEM when MS chooses to break things. Ballmer wants to throw a chair, few of us notices, and even fewer give a damn. Ballmer wants to break IE, I don't notice, and I don't give a damn. Why does anyone else?

        The correct procedure for website design, would be to test the site in FF, Opera, Safari, and/or any other standards compliant browser, and say you're done. Don't even TRY to load it in IE. If it loads, fine, if not, tough. If/when someone complains, just tell that individual that the page renders perfectly in any standards compliant browser, and that they should get one.

        It is not the rest of the world's responsibility to "fix" MS screw ups.

        • No, it's not the rest of the world's responsibility to fix IE.

          It is a web developer's job to ensure that a website works for its users. I agree it'd be nice to give IE users the finger, but for the vast majority of business cases, it's nowhere near realistic.

          • You can either have software quality or you can have pointer arithmetic, but you cannot have both at the same time

            You know, it is funny how pointer arithmetic always gets the blame. I have debugged tons of C++ code, and the pointer errors are nearly always one of null pointer derefence or access through invalid (now deleted or otherwise outdated) pointers/iterators. I have seen errors with pointer arithmetic, but they have been rare. Which is probably why checked pointer arithmetic (possible within the stand ard) has never caught on. I wonder why that bit is blamed? Because it is poorly understood, perhaps?

            • Re: Pointer bugs (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hedronist (233240) *

              Indeed. As a former debugger developer I used to highlight this particular issue -- we even had a trade show cut-out figure named Bugsy Malone who was wanted for assaulting a global with a deadly pointer. (Hey, it gave the geeks a smile and the suits didn't know what it meant.)

              However, as a developer I would say that bad pointers were at most 1% or 2% of our problems, if that. Non-thread-safe threaded code and leaked memory were much bigger issues at the time (1980's).

    • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zenetik (750376) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:48AM (#28995599)
      In the past, I would have agreed but now I'm not so sure. Microsoft may still hold the largest chunk of the OS pie, but I think it has lost considerable credibility with consumers. Failing to play by the rules has worked for Microsoft in the past, but I don't think that is going to work much longer. I think consumers are growing tired of spending money on inferior software and this discontentment will probably extend to Internet Explorer if it can't play by the rules. HTML 5 is supposed to eliminate competing standards so that everything can work off the same set of rules. For a developer, this is a godsend. No more developing standards compliant code and then having to write bad code in order to appease Internet Explorer. I expect we'll see a developer backlash against browsers that aren't compatible with the standards and this will translate to either Microsoft playing by the rules or watching its browser market share plummet.
    • Re:Lol wut? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:00AM (#28995665) Homepage

      The MSIE market share has been failing in big numbers lately. I wouldn't be so certain that the old truth is the same as the new truth.

      That said, it is undeniable that MS will embrace and extend in ways that will break everyone else's implementation. One expectation is that they will implement the video functionality that, while officially removed from the HTML5 standard, will be implemented by everyone anyway. With that said, they will implement one of THEIR codecs that will not work "without a license." There is plenty of room for typical MS shenanigans when implementing HTML5, but you can bet they will not score any higher than 30 on the HTML5 acid test and that will be by design.

      But if Microsoft's browser dominance falls below 50% any time soon, all bets are off -- they will not be able to afford to pull off a non-standard browser too well because the perception will then be "still broken" as web developers are increasingly free to build web sites using standards instead of MSIE idiosyncrasies in mind.

      The fact is, it is getting increasingly popular to "rebel" against Microsoft right now. My prediction is that Microsoft will try and will fail in playing their "old game" and are in less of a position to change the rules as they have in the past.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by derGoldstein (1494129)
        To me the really interesting question is this:
        Suppose that the "good guys" win. There's a big bump in FF/Webkit usage and developers begin to drop support for IE (in its current, "this is how we do things here" incarnation). Does Microsoft have a plan B? Do they have a fast, competent, compliant, cross-platform browser stashed in the garage? They certainly have the manpower to pull it off (Visual Studio .NET is considered a miracle, even by FOSS advocates), but have they been working on something like that
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amiga3D (567632)
          I don't think Microsoft is capable of competing without cheating. Their whole purpose with IE is to tie people to the OS. If they have to build a standards compliant browser then it defeats their purpose in having a browser in the first place. The entire point of "joining" the HTML5 process is to find a way to do the 3 E's. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.
        • More likely, they will just drop it. Why should they deliver a standards compliant browser? Might as well use Gecko, KHTML or one of its forks.

      • Re:Lol wut? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lennie (16154) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @10:54AM (#28996187) Homepage

        The video/audio tags have NOT been removed, their just wasn't a consensus on what codecs should be used, thus their is nothing specified about the codecs in the specs. You know what, that's exactly the same as for example the image-tag.

      • ... the video functionality that, while officially removed from the HTML5 standard, will be implemented by everyone anyway...

        I really don't know where this urban legend started and why people believe it, since it's trivial to verify that <video> has never been removed from HTML5 [whatwg.org].

        What has been (hopefully temporary) removed is the mention of Ogg Theora as baseline format since Apple and Microsoft haven't yet accepted to implement it (Safari supports it anyway with the XiphQT component [xiph.org] installed). OTOH, Mozilla, Google and Opera all support Ogg Theora (and Vorbis for audio) in their browsers (current of future versions), so ap

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      Microsoft is on their way to miss the train. If they hadn't been catching up at all the web would have been running away from them and out of their control. They think that Silverlight is the solution to everything, but in reality it isn't.

      That they finally takes interest means that they have started to worry about losing their advantage. And things can go extremely fast if someone succeeds in a solution that is the next killer app.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Unless the established internet starts to roll against them. Youtube has already publicly dropped support for IE6. If the video tag of HTML5 is 25% more efficient than flash and can save them a bundle on bandwidth, I imagine they'd drop flash.

      All it takes is a few big sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Gmail to say "We want HTML5, and we want it to work right." And anyone that comes along with a non-compliant browser gets pointed towards Safari, Chrome, Opera, or Firefox. IE9 will either adapt or die.

  • MS HTML5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sskinnider (1069312) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:26AM (#28995511)
    It doesn't matter how long MS waited. They will just "extend" the standard and call all other implementations broken.
    • Re:MS HTML5 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ErkDemon (1202789) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:33AM (#28995533) Homepage
      Well, if they implement parts of it, drop other parts, add a few bits of their own and call the result "HTML 5.2", then I hope that the standards group sue them for misrepresentation.
      • The result will be called "OOHTML5", and the standards groups will be able to do nothing, apart from what they normally do: Let Microsoft sit in and influence (drag-and-delay) the standards meetings/discussions, and then when the conclusion is released, look at it and go "Huh? We never saw any of this... We must have been out with the flu that day or something. What's this 'addEventListener()' nonsense?' And all of these CSS se-lec-tors? Screw ya'll, we're going home".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by linhares (1241614)

      They will just "extend" the standard and call all other implementations broken.

      That's not so easy anymore; they have a fight against Google, Apple, the EU, Mozilla's momentum, etc.

      For evidence, just look at their silverlight [youtube.com] adoption rates.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ilgaz (86384)

      They already call XHTML 1.0 strict sites broken under IE 8. They cite "errors on the page" with yellow "!".

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They cite "errors on the page" with yellow "!".

        Ah Microsoft, with their silent/invisible "rendering by this browser" after the word "page".

  • For this one, RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by bruce_the_loon (856617) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:33AM (#28995535) Homepage

    The usual journalistic nightmare of a summary.

    They did not call header and footer arbitrary or unnecessary. They questioned the implementation as to validity for printing.

    They did call aside arbitrary as well as section.

    From reading the post, I see a lot of good insights into what might be an overly-cluttered and, in places, badly written standard. While there is always an element of Microsoft playing their own games, this does raise valid questions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      Indeed, I completely agree with the comment about security risks of the bb tag, and indeed consider the suggested alternative better.

    • by FranTaylor (164577)

      They could have raised these complaints a long time ago. There is a process for this and they chose to ignore it.

      • They would propose Windows only VC-1 to Video element, they would ask for "Windows style" development support, they would give up (!) some patents to W3C and give "community promise" or some junk when asked if they really mean it...

        They aren't fun to watch anymore, we learned all their tricks thanks to their puppets/trojan coders in open source community.

      • by Your.Master (1088569) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @11:32AM (#28996395)

        This *is* the process for this. The HTML 5 spec is not even remotely close to being done. "Too late" does not apply.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by julesh (229690)

          This *is* the process for this. The HTML 5 spec is not even remotely close to being done. "Too late" does not apply.

          Yes, it is. We're _already_ past the original target date for the release of the candidate specification (which was slated for June 09, according to the HTML working group's home page). AFAICT the latest plan was to have development of the spec wrapped up within the next month or two. Development began over 2 years ago. So I'd say "close to being done" is a fairly accurate assessment. Subst

    • These could be valid complaints, Microsoft was always concerned about printing. So many people still print their Emails *shrugs* It it is true and Microsoft is really interested in implementing HTML5 then I am certain they do not see it as thread to their core business: windows and office. If so I guess their bets are on silverlight. -S
    • by tenco (773732)

      They did call aside arbitrary as well as section.

      I don't see what's supposed to be arbitrary about section and aside. They add structure and accessibility.

    • by julesh (229690) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @03:30PM (#28998111)

      The summary seems reasonable to me, if a little brief. Addressing your specific comments:

      They did not call header and footer arbitrary or unnecessary. They questioned the implementation as to validity for printing.

      About these tags (among others), they said: "It's not clear why these new elements in particular are necessary." This implies that they see them as unnecessary, and question why the particular set was chosen (i.e. that they consider the set arbitrary). "Arbitrary and unnecessary" is a perfectly reasonable summary of the sentiment of this sentence.

      The printing issue is probably secondary; they are no better or worse for printing than the div/span tags that MS appear to prefer.

      Basically the point MS seem to be making is that they see little value in standardizing the semantic markup of these (and other) elements. They appear to be approaching it from a rather limited perspective of browser implementation (whether traditional or of the screen-reader type), without considering that there may be other ways of processing the documents in question where the new tags make a lot more sense.

      From reading the post, I see a lot of good insights into what might be an overly-cluttered and, in places, badly written standard. While there is always an element of Microsoft playing their own games, this does raise valid questions.

      I don't see that. WHATWG had good reasons for including the tags they chose as semantic markup that extend beyond browser implementation concerns, and MS seem to be ignoring those reasons (which are well documented in the mailing list archives). There are one or two comments that make some sense (the date/time input field concern, that the format of date specifications passed as attributes to the tag does not allow specification of a timezone, is somewhat serious, and a lot of what they're saying about the application installation feature makes sense), but overall the impression I get is that they've failed to see the bigger picture.

  • by Manip (656104) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:37AM (#28995549)

    While everyone should keep an eye on Microsoft (*was always) this is generally a good thing for the Internet as a whole. We as consumers, and we as web-developers, alike will be a lot happier if all the major players can create a consistent experience.

    If Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, and Apple are all on board before the spec' is even in the final stages we have a fairly good shot of similar behavour no matter the platform or browser.

    A lot of Microsoft's "notes" on the HTML 5 spec are either - "This isn't detailed enough to implement concistently" or "Do we need this?" Both of which are fair questions to ask and something that others will want to answer before HTML 5 goes live.
     

    • by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:47AM (#28995595)

      Actually, the "lol wut" was the first post. You didn't quite make it.

      That said, I've read the mailing list comments from the MS guy, and none of it seemed like unreasonable moaning. I agree that it's an excellent thing that MS is getting involved - IE's market share may be declining, but it's still the dominant browser, and I think MS is still capable of doing tremendous amounts of damage to emerging web standards if they refuse to support them.

    • by schon (31600) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:53AM (#28995625)

      Microsoft's "notes" on the HTML 5 spec are [...] "This isn't detailed enough to implement concistently"

      Wow, I wonder [forums.scc.ca] where they got that from?

    • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @10:42PM (#29000375) Homepage
      Suppose that you have a long-established bi-weekly blog about tractors, and you write and post one article about traction engines. It's called "Traction Engines are Cool". You haven't mentioned traction engines anywhere in the other 300-plus posts.

      Someone now does a websearch for the keyword term "traction engine" using Bing, and they find that your blog seems to have >300 posts mentioning that very subject. Then they get quite pissed off with you, because they keep visiting pages on your site and finding that the blog entries referenced don't have anything at all to say about their favourite subject. What's happened is that when you posted the article, the title got copied into the auto-maintained "recent posts" list widget on your blog's sidebar, and the Google and Bing search engines don't know how to distinguish between the linked text in your blog widgets and the contents of the main article. And not only does Google now think that you have 300 separate pages on traction engines, but since you included that cute little widget that lists the current top ten stories on CNN, Google and Bing also thinks that you have 300 blog postings about Michael Jackson, and also about a bunch of unsavoury keyword stuff that's currently in the news.

      So if someone's seriously asking, do we really need HTML5 to support a way of allowing authors and blogging engines to voluntarily tag sections as belonging to an article or just to a nav bar, then the answer is "hell yes", we certainly do if we want search engines to continue to work properly.

      The "MS team" studying the HTML5 draft spec is supposed to already =know= stuff like this. They're representing a company that actually owns a major search engine, for crying out loud.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:40AM (#28995557)

    MSHTML 5 is coming.....

    "We didnt like the standard so we improved on it"

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @08:45AM (#28995579) Homepage

    Seriously, does anyone other than a first time Windows user actaully use IE for serious/prolonged web sessions?

    Between Firefox, Opera and Safari, is IE still being used to any great extent?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tiles (993306)
      Depends on who you want to believe. [hitslink.com]

      A recent Digg poll [digg.com] showed that many people are incapable of escaping using Internet Explorer i.e. on closed systems or at work, so it's no surprise IE still has as lingering percentage of marketshare.
    • by bcmm (768152)
      Yes, most people are using IE, but as a general rule, no one actually knows any IE users (workplace use aside).
    • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:25AM (#28995779)
      Still account for at least more than 60% of users, no matter what source of statistics you use. I know for a fact, as a web developer, that if anything is wrong in a page when rendered on IE, our clients would notice instantly and file that as a bug in my code, not IE's code.
      • Still account for at least more than 60% of users, no matter what source of statistics you use.

        Wrong. This depends heavily on the site focus. User location makes a difference as well. Go check W3Schools stats and see for yourself: their numbers for IE are below 40% (a single number might not be impressive or usable for just about anything, but the change certainly is: IE fell from 90% to 40% in six years).

        The rest of your comment still stands of course.

        • W3schools having 40% IE visitors? What a surprise! Now try a site that average users go to, like youtube or facebook.

      • [MSIE] Still account for at least more than 60% of users, no matter what source of statistics you use.

        That is an invalid statistic when discussing new technology web sites. It includes the 25% - 30% that are still using MSIE v6. Some of these users are

        1. never going to be interested in new technology web sites and will stay with MSIEv6, or
        2. will upgrade in the near future, and recent trends indicate a large number of those upgrading will go to non-MS browsers, or
        3. are already using a non-MS browser to supplement MSIEv6 (use MSIEv6 only with legacy intranet sites, etc).

        Discounting these MSIEv6 users, market sh [hitslink.com]

    • by argent (18001)

      Seriously, does anyone other than a first time Windows user actaully use IE for serious/prolonged web sessions?

      Sure, when you're using intranet web pages that only support IE because they're hosted on Microsoft's pseudo-wiki.

    • by Phroggy (441)

      I just got a new job and we have some internal stuff that apparently doesn't fully support other browsers yet, so I'm trying IE just to see what it's like. So far it's mostly usable, but I've encountered some pretty strange bugs. If I can get it to work reliably, I intend to keep using it.

  • As Microsoft will be one of the foremost implementers of HTML5 (with IE still having a majority of the market share, unfortunately) it's a very good thing that Microsoft has decided to become involved in the spec rather than leaving it up to its competitors, giving it some notion of responsibility in how the spec turns out.

    It seems some of the comments are looking for simple justification (such as why the >aside< tag exists, use cases, etc.) as well as more clear definitions of other new features (
    • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:39AM (#28995835) Homepage

      The latest numbers I saw show MSIE of all versions combined at 66% where Firefox is over 25%. While Microsoft is still "the majority" by large amounts, this is not an election where only one winner is selected. Microsoft's position at the top isn't as significant at the size of the minority remainder which is about 34%. Long ago, when Microsoft commanded over 95%, nearly everything else was negligible. When it fell to 90%, developers started to take notice and to design for that 10% as well as for MSIE while some still remained MSIE only. But now the minority is too large to ignore. If you were running a business, would you feel comfortable alienating 5% of your customers? Maybe... but 10%? What about 33%? Ah, so you can see why MSIE's lead isn't as important a the size of the minority.

    • by tenco (773732)

      As Microsoft will be one of the foremost implementers of HTML5

      Prove me wrong, but weren't other browser vendors already faster in implementing support for HTML5?

  • Who knew there was a <keygen> tag? And that MS has a better one? Apparently IE has supported <keygen> all along, based on Netscape's invention, but will drop it in Windows 7.
  • by Junta (36770) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:05AM (#28995689)

    MS definitely did a poor job of tracking the standards effort. Getting changes they want is unlikely. There is definitely the appearance and likelihood of MS just trying to impede the standard because every other major browser producer is way ahead of them on HTML5, and the features contained therein are a huge threat to IE. If Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari all support HTML5 and can give better video and interactive without Flash (and notably Silverlight), then Web devs may find it worth it to leave IE out of their support efforts to get out of having to use proprietary technologies with more cumbersome licensing circumstances.

    That said, generally they have some points. Many of these tags to me seem analogous to ,, and similar tags from HTML that are widely regarded as a poor idea to use in the age of style sheets. The philosophy widely espoused with regard to modern web development is to separate content from presentation (much like much GUI application design philosophies). Many of the tags MS mentions seem to go against that design philosophy.

    Some other criticisms are not along those lines (i.e. they don't question the validity of some tags, just if they are 'as valid' as other tags that could have been added with it. These criticisms seem a little more hollow at times without much substance.

    • Web devs may find it worth it to leave IE out of their support efforts to get out of having to use proprietary technologies with more cumbersome licensing circumstances.

      Unfortunately, this isn't likely to happen.

      A small website is likely to want all the traffic they can get, so they'll have to support IE in some form. The best they could do is progressive degradation -- a <video> tag that gets replaced with a Flash object if the browser doesn't support html5. But a small website isn't likely to have resources to burn creating and supporting an entirely separate player. I know, I was part of one -- html5 was always something I wanted to do, but we ended up going with

    • I don't agree with the assertion that tags like <section> or <dialog> are a step backward from CSS. These are finer grained semantic equivalents to existing tags (<div class="chapter">, <dl class="dialog">) that make the intent of the author more clear and can make maintenance of content and style sheets a lot easier. They cut down on the clutter of CSS classes, for one thing.

  • Embrace, check

    Extend, pending

    Extinguish. soon

  • Microsoft is the last one standing when it comes to the browser musical chairs... how exactly is their browser relevant anymore? Who uses it? WTF? Why?

    Video and Audio tags are very cool. Get OGGed and Theora'd out Msie.

    Get with HTML5 Msie!

  • Point of HTML (Score:5, Informative)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3NO@SPAMjustconnected.net> on Saturday August 08, 2009 @09:45AM (#28995851)

    HTML is a markup language. It tells the browser "this is a paragraph" or "this is important".

    Telling the browser that the top section of a website (Slashdot's tab bar) or the bottom (the search bar, quote, copyright, and links at the bottom) is exactly the sort of thing the browser should know. Screen readers would, in particular, benefit from this; most people don't need to hear the header or footer on every page.

    Unnecessary? Sure - websites do fine without it. But telling the browser more about the page is a Good Thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tonycheese (921278)
      The summary part about header and footer seems to be wrong. When the Microsoft employee was criticizing these tags, he said

      "header"/"footer" don't appear to indicate anything about printing that might reasonably be expected from those terms.

      The word "arbitrary" seems to come from this line:

      "aside" seems very arbitrary.

  • mindset ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Big Jojo (50231) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @11:04AM (#28996251)

    We're not sure this is the right design to be encouraging given that it wasn't in HTML 4.01.

    I'm not sure that is the right thought process to be applying, given that HTML 5 is supposed to extend HTML 4.01 ... regardless of the specific feature in question. One hopes that's just a really rushed/broken edit artifact, not a real reflection of what they think.

    I could believe many of their comments are appropriate, but it's worrisome to see one like that escaping orbit.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @11:20AM (#28996321) Homepage Journal

    Adrian Bateman did himself and his team a disservice by putting so many unrelated comments into a single post. Yes they are all related to HTML 5 but then again the mailing list itself is about HTML 5 so the context is set and individual posts should be scoped more narrowly. The end result is that the list lacks priority and appears that each of the comments/feedback sections have the same priority when they really do not.

    They bring up some interesting thoughts about a few of the tags/implementations but these are lost in the general negativity of the post.

    Additionally some of their comments seem to be focused on unrelated topics such as how the header and footer elements should be handled when printing... ??? as if they are expecting the header and footer to be placed at the top of each printed page in a multi-page print out of a web page. While interesting as a topic of discussion this should not be lumped in with other comments as it is obviously a very low priority for a specification dealing with digital media primarily.

    Add to this that they had previously stated that the header and footer elements appear to be unnecessary and I as a reader am left wondering which statement is more important - either they are unnecessary or they are useful but not as useful unless they implement something to do with printing the document... pick a stance Adrian. You can't state conflicting opinions like this and hope to be taken seriously.

    So my suggestion for Adrian Bateman is to break up your feedback into more narrowly scoped questions so that they can be responded to in the priority they deserve. I can only think that your intent was to force others to do this work for you and thereby discover what others felt were the priority items to discuss or to set off a generally chaotic discussion of issues and thereby create dissension within the group, bringing up old concerns that have been discussed at length long ago and resolved or agreed to already.

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