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Microsoft Complains That WebKit Breaks Web Standards 373

Posted by timothy
from the this-pot-is-extra-black dept.
Billly Gates writes "In a bizarre, yet funny and ironic move, Microsoft warned web developers that using WebKit stagnates open standards and innovation on the Web. According to the call to action in its Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft is especially concerned about the mobile market, where many mobile sites only work with Android or iOS with WebKit-specific extensions. Their examples include W3C code such as radius-border, which is being written as -WebKit-radius-border instead on websites. In the mobile market WebKit has a 90% marketshare, while website masters feel it is not worth the development effort to test against browsers such as IE. Microsoft's solution to the problem of course is to use IE 10 for standard compliance and not use the proprietary (yet open source) WebKit."
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Microsoft Complains That WebKit Breaks Web Standards

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  • Microsoft is right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoogleFan1 (2776445) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:21AM (#42018975)
    WebKit is doing exactly what Microsoft accuses it of. They are developing their own extensions and putting them out as webkit- prefixed. Of course Microsoft shouldn't try to implement these non-standard extensions but use the standard ones. This is why I see nothing "funny" or "bizarre" about it, other than for the fact that WebKit is now doing exactly what everyone hated IE doing years ago.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:24AM (#42018989)

    The funny and bizarre part is that this is exactly what Microsoft did for a long, long time. It's only with IE7 they made the first steps towards standardization (thus why so many apps are stuck using IE6) and later versions of IE have made standardization even more of a priority. It's toeing a thin line of hypocrisy and the only thing keeping them from crossing is it the fact that they stopped doing exactly this just a few years ago.

  • Open Platform (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:26AM (#42019021)

    Don't blame Android as a platform, it actually allows non-WebKit browsers.

  • by dingen (958134) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:33AM (#42019061)

    The webkit-prefixes is exactly what Microsoft never did. By prefixing attributes, it is clear for everyone these are platform-specific features in need of a cross-platform solution. Microsoft instead always tried to obfuscate what is standard and what is IE-specific by interpreting standard code intentionally different and adding their own attributes and elements without providing any clues to developers that this stuff was not actually part of any standard specification.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with prefixing attributes. Mozilla does it, Opera does it, Webkit does it and it makes it perfectly clear to the world which features are standard and which features are not.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:37AM (#42019091)

    Why don't they use Linux for Linux? Why doesn't Ford use GM designs?

    Diversity is a good thing. Everything-webkit is nearly as bas as everything-IE

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:39AM (#42019111) Journal

    hahahaha "googlefan1". Nice name.

    The reality is webkit is using standard extensions and simply adding their own prefix to identify them, and Microsoft is not. Microsoft breaks the naming conventions entirely. The way IE handles naming conventions is so broken no other browser does so - and it's consistently not well documented. That's not a good thing. So microsoft is accusing them of not following standard extensions? That's beyond hilarious. That's not a pot meet kettle scenario, it's IE complaining that they can't subvert web standards like they have been and continue to attempt to do for years. AKA this is basically them complaining about silverlight not being able to fuck the web more than it has already.

    wah wah the world functions without IE, wah wah. That's what this is.

    If IE was going to focus on actual standards compliance you'd see their HTML5 compliance higher than webkit browsers offer, and it's not.

    Also, why the fuck is this article linking to the comment sections? Slashdot has their own, but usually you'd link to the full article: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/microsoft-begs-web-devs-not-to-make-webkit-the-new-ie6/ [arstechnica.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:42AM (#42019145)

    Best part I like about these same-minute-first-post-MS-rules-Google-sucks trolls is how they're still modded up despite being blatantly obvious.

    Hint: webkit- prefixed extensions are not breaking standards (just as well as moz- and ms- prefixed).

  • Biased much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Redbaran (918344) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:49AM (#42019185)
    It shouldn't come as a surprise that a summary written by "Billy Gates" would be this slanted... I read the MS blog and I didn't see anything that ruffled my feathers. Don't get me wrong, I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the IE6 days, but all the blog post is doing is saying is "don't make your site webkit specific". This is good advice not because of IE, but because there are still other browsers out there such as Opera Mobile.

    In fact, MS blog post specifically states: "Now, it’s very easy to adapt a WebKit-optimized site to also support IE10." See that keyword I emphasized, it means they aren't telling people to abandon webkit. The examples they provide back that up as they leave webkit support in place and add either the non-prefixed standards compliant property or when that's not available, add the IE specific property alongside the webkit one.

    As a side note, I take a site like this much less seriously when it stoops to the same level of bipartisan drivel and mud slinging that we all had to endure for the last six months with the US elections.
  • by LordThyGod (1465887) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:00PM (#42019261)
    Informative? GMAFB. They are not "developing their own extensions", they coming out ahead of the curve in implementing new features that MS can't be bothered with most of the time. The vendor extensions are an established method of doing this. In fact, MS has the ms- extension they use for just the same situations (its just they don't have as many opportunities to use it since they continually lag so far behind all the competition). And MS never did anything like this years ago. Never. What they did was either outright ignore standards, create their own standards, and implement deliberately buggy implementations that saddled their ignorant user base with for years. What MS was doing was deliberately disrupting web tehchologies in a negative way to slow the adaption of new technologies since their income was all tied to desktops. And deliberately so. What -webkit is doing, is advancing technology. Two ends of the spectrum.
  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:02PM (#42019273)

    Diversity is a good thing. Everything-webkit is nearly as bas as everything-IE

    I have seen this desperate post, a few times from Microsoft Shills unfortunately, your arguing against using a open standards complement browser...and one Microsoft can actively contribute to, to ensure standards vs changing to proprietary vendor who routinely uses lock-in. That seems so smart.

    The bottom line in advocating locking yourself into a proprietary standard over a open standard going forward is exactly the opposite of diversity.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:03PM (#42019279)

    They should never be able to comment on when other do it?

    That is a rather silly line of thinking. That is the same kind of BS as when people say "US citizens shouldn't be able to criticize China for human rights because the US doesn't have a perfect human rights record!"

    MS has been getting pretty good with regards to standards and the like. As such I don't think there is anything wrong with them pointing out when others are not. Even if they weren't it wouldn't make their criticism less valid, it would just mean they should turn it inward as well.

  • IE is IrrElevant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:04PM (#42019293) Homepage

    I stopped testing against IE six years ago. Microsoft breaks too many rules to bother trying to be compatible with them. When users hit problems with IE on my web sites I tell them to get a different browser like Safari, FireFox or Opera. After over a decade of dealing with Microsoft's arrogance I decided it wasn't worth it. If users want my content they either need to get a real browser or put up with the problems IE delivers to them.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:00PM (#42019787) Homepage

    No, this isn't exactly what Microsoft did. The meaning and purpose behind putting "webkit-" in there is to prevent it from being misunderstood as a standard.

    Unfortunately, as developers did with Microsoft, was that they deployed techniques which were not standards. In Microsoft's case, they did not announce in any way that "this is Microsoft only." In the case of Webkit, it's pretty darned obvious.

    Webkit did what they could while also allowing developers to test and play with the added features. It is the developers who broke the rules by using the Webkit extensions.

    Of course, the irony is delicious. This is a reversal of something which Microsoft took heavy advantage for many, many years. It doesn't make it right, but the blame isn't on Webkit for implementing those things. It did, in my opinion, the best thing to ensure that developers were aware that the things they were doing were webkit specific. Additionally, if there were any web development tools which deployed webkit specific functions without informing the developer in some way (such as "enable webkit specific functions? (y/n)") then they share some of the blame.

    Microsoft did the same, but worse. Webkit remains obvious and open. Once a feature becomes a standard, the webkit- is removed and simply given the name. I have seen this already. But the process is really, really slow. And that's a big part of the problem. Developers don't want really really slow adoption of standards. They want to make the best, most eye-popping and exciting pages for their clients and for users to experience.

  • Re:NEVER TRUST MS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FyberOptic (813904) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:30PM (#42020031)

    What some people saw as Microsoft trying to monopolize the web, the rest of us saw as them finding solutions to problems that nobody else offered.

    The DirectX filter I mentioned? That was the only way to rotate web page content for a decade. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of its capabilities.

  • Glacial pace (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:16PM (#42020449) Homepage Journal

    And webkit prefix is supposed to be either not yet ratified in the standard features

    But for how many years should one reasonably expect web developers to include -webkit-, -moz-, -o-, and -ms- in all their pages while they wait for W3C to operate at its glacial pace? Some browser makers have even threatened to implement other browsers' prefixes (compatibly, I hope).

  • by Alex Zepeda (10955) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @04:01PM (#42021365)

    That's not a bug, that's a feature. CentOS is saving you from that god awful interface redesign featured prominently in GIMP 2.8.

  • Re:Glacial pace (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexus[ ]org ['uk.' in gap]> on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:27AM (#42024967) Homepage

    And that goes to show that while prefixes might have been a cute idea, they can't work.
    Because a lot of web developers will opt to use only one set of prefixes (say -webkit- or -ms-) and omit the others (and rightly so, because they're on a schedule too) and that in turn will force browsers to support each other's prefixes, making the prefixes useless.

    Well, not really. If your browser includes support for a "-webkit-*" property, that just means that it behaves like Webkit's nonstandard one does, it doesn't mean you *are* webkit. Also, these properties are generally cosmetic things where it just doesn't matter if they aren't implemented - if your boxes render with square corners instead of rounded ones then your website will still be perfectly usable, just not quite as pretty; this is completely different to what MS used to do, which was implement ratified standards *wrong*, which meant that the standard feature now couldn't be used anywhere (without IE comment hacks) since your choice came down to: use it in a way that works in IE but breaks badly in anything else, or use it in a way that works in everything else but breaks badly in IE.

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