Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Have you listened to the WaSP Round Table: IE8′s Default Version Targeting Behaviour? It’s also available as an mp3 and as a transcript. Its an interesting discussion between Web Standards Project Members Faruk Ates, Aaron Gustafson, and Porter Glendinning with Chris Wilson, Platform Architect for Internet Explorer.
Some of the conversation will come as no surprise at all. But right at the end the WaSP guys asked whether it would be worth exploring the requirement of a Strict Doctype as a switch for indicating standards mode? They discussed the investigation of market penetration of Strict Doctypes and the use of a full URL after it. This sounds like a much more interesting proposal than the opt-in meta tag solution being put forward at the moment. I see that Roger Johansson has also posted his support for using Strict Doctypes to signal standards mode.
Doctypes generated by DreamWeaver and other applications tend to auto-generate as Transitional. These could be treated very differently to those pages specifically saying they want to be treated in standards mode – which you’re generally saying when you go to Strict anyway. It makes a logical sense I don’t think is there with the proposed meta tag opt-in solution. And, without anything to back this statement up, how many of the Internet Explorer Only intranets that seem to be the economic concern of Microsoft actually use Strict Doctypes anyway?
Logically, maybe even naively, if they did happen to have a (probably very invalid) Strict Doctype when IE8 came out wouldn’t this solution simply require them to change to a Transitional Doctype?
Originally I wrote my initial negative response to the proposed meta tag solution and then my pragmatic acceptance only several days ago. That being said I’m very interested in this proposition put forward at the WaSP Round Table. Why not Strict Doctypes instead of Meta? And I’m sure standaristas will accept the marketing much better?