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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.

      • by ewanm89 (1052822) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:32AM (#42019053) Homepage

        And webkit prefix is supposed to be either not yet ratified in the standard features, or for internal rendering, opera and firefox have similar prefixed extensions. What Microsoft did in the past is even more heinous and used already ratified statements in ways contrary to the specifications, requiring IE comment hacks so other browsers don't see corrections needed to get IE to display properly.

        Oh, and before anything gets ratified by W3C there needs to be a reference implementation, this is why prefixes are a good thing, now web developers using them without understanding the repercussions, that needs to stop.

        • Glacial pace (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> 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 ewanm89 (1052822)

            Quite a few of them have been standardised (border-radius), web developers aren't updating their sites and opera do parse the WebKit ones that they understand.

          • by allo (1728082)

            they could use a common prefix. like "-border-radius" is the new "-moz-border-radius + -webkit-border-radius + -ms-border-radius". Of course, this prefix would guarantee nothing about reference rendering just like any other prefix implementation, but just as the current -webkit properties it would just work for most people.

          • Re:Glacial pace (Score:5, Informative)

            by theedgeofoblivious (2474916) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @03:16PM (#42020997)

            Mod parent way up.

            CSS3 prefixes are something that's added to a CSS property if support for the final standard isn't complete, so you end up with things like

            border-radius: 15px;
            -moz-border-radius: 15px;
            -ms-border-radius: 15px;
            -o-border-radius: 15px;
            -webkit-border-radius: 15px;

            Vendor prefixes are something that's done by every vendor [about.com] for testing. That includes Microsoft. Here's a page from MSDN with a Microsoft representative explaining that: [msdn.com]

            As you may know, all browsers have a set of CSS features that are either considered a vendor extension (e.g. -ms-interpolation-mode), are partial implementations of properties that are fully defined in the CSS specifications, or are implementation of properties that exist in the CSS specifications, but aren’t completely defined. According to the CSS 2.1 Specification, any of the properties that fall under the categories listed previously must have a vendor specific prefix, such as '-ms-' for Microsoft, '-moz-' for Mozilla, '-o-' for Opera, and so on.

            As part of our plan to reach full CSS 2.1 compliance with Internet Explorer 8, we have decided to place all properties that fulfill one of the following conditions behind the '-ms-' prefix:

            If the property is a Microsoft extension (not defined in a CSS specification/module)
            If the property is part of a CSS specification or module that hasn’t received Candidate Recommendation status from the W3C
            If the property is a partial implementation of a property that is defined in a CSS specification or module
            This change applies to the following properties, and therefore they should all be prefixed with '-ms-' when writing pages for Internet Explorer 8 (please note that if Internet Explorer 8 users are viewing your site in Compatibility View, they will see your page exactly as it would have been rendered in Internet Explorer 7, and in that case the prefix is neither needed nor acknowledged by the parser):

            If a site designer doesn't code things correctly by also including the CSS property *without* vendor-specific prefixes that's a problem with the quality of the site designer and not with Safari.

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

            by roca (43122) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @05:45PM (#42022009) Homepage

            The W3C has few resources of its own; the pace of the W3C is largely a function of the efforts of its contributors, who for CSS are mostly browser vendors. In fact, the main reason CSS transitions, animations and transforms progressed very slowly was because the editors of those specs, Apple employees, did not work on them. One of them writes here:
            http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2012Feb/0356.html [w3.org]
            "Despite having billions in the bank, we don't have the luxury of full-time W3C editors like Hixie and Tab."
            I.e., Apple chose not to invest in standardizing their inventions.

            There are other cases, for example -webkit-text-size-adjust, where Apple has shown no interested in standardizing the property at all.

            It was a good thing to introduce innovative -webkit-prefixed features. It was a bad thing to not prioritize their standardization.

            Note that for various reasons, policy consensus is shifting towards the view that we should try to ship experimental features unprefixed but disabled by default, so Web developers can experiment with them but not use them in production sites. This creates pressure for every vendor to assist in standardization --- a very good thing.

        • by allo (1728082)

          webkit should just stop rendering -webkit properties, except in debug-mode (which is NOT default).

        • by Carewolf (581105) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @03:30PM (#42021115) Homepage

          What Microsoft did in the past is even more heinous and used already ratified statements in ways contrary to the specifications, requiring IE comment hacks so other browsers don't see corrections needed to get IE to display properly.

          Actually some of the early and major differences started because Microsoft was the first to implement certain standards (CSS1, IE4 days), but Netscape being bigger at the time implemented the standard differently, and had W3C clarify the standard effectively making the original Microsoft implementation incorrect (the NS shenanigans is why width and height in CSS now specifies the content size and not the border-box which would be more useful)

          Later things reversed and MS really did what you accuse them of, but this stuff goes back longer, and with the bad guy changing more times than you think.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            What amazes me is how many refuse to learn their history, back in the NS VS IE days they BOTH were dirty as hell when it came to proprietary crap...remember the "blink" tag that made Geocities a nightmare? That was NS that came up with that.

            So we need to get rid of ALL proprietary extensions and if the W3C is too damned slow at implementing new tech then kick their asses to the curb and start a new org, seeing as how we've ended up with this mess because W3C is too damned slow.

          • by Solandri (704621)
            To be fair, MS and NS also dragged W3C kicking and screaming into implementing features a lot of web developers wanted. Early on, W3C seemed to want the web to be a purely hyperlinked infosphere - a informational nirvana with just text and pictures, but no layout or design. Many commercial developers wanted to tools to make their sites pretty like sales brochures. W3C didn't want that, and dragged their feet implementing a lot of the features needed to implement that. (The age-old debate between should
      • by dingen (958134)

        Even though Microsoft has entered a road towards standardization from IE7 on, their browser remains the weakest one in that regard. No version of Internet Explorer implements HTML5 and CSS3 to the extend the competition does and their rendering engine still includes non-standard behavior in many situations. They might be lagging behind less far than they used to, but IE is still solid in last place when it comes to standard compliance.

        • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:20PM (#42019943) Homepage

          Let's also remind ourselves how Microsoft continues to hurt itself. It continues to have the web browser integrated with its OS and UI.

          Here's a similar complaint I have about GNOME.

          Many here love and use GNOME2 because GNOME3 with its GNOME Shell just draws anger and rage from users. In order to stay with GNOME2, I elected to go with CentOS because it is stable and mature. But that's when I was faced with a huge problem with GNOME that I couldn't believe. The utter stupidity and betrayal I felt when I came to realize what happened made me lose what little respect for GNOME developers I had at the time. "What's he talking about?!" This:

          GNOME2 on CentOS 6.3 cannot run GiMP 2.8.x or above. Why not? Well, it turns out that GTK (Gimp toolkit) was used as part of GNOME2's dependencies. So no matter what a person does to compiled and reconfigure GiMP, he will never get a good user experience under GiMP while using CentOS 6.x. And the fault lies with GNOME2. The application toolkit which was put together and maintained by another project (GIMP in this case) was being used to support a desktop user interface. This means the desktop environment can only support GNOME apps which are 'compatible' with its selection of GTK libraries. This, of course, doesn't happen under Windows or other DEs under Linux or under Mac OS X. Thank you SO frikken much GNOME developers for your little timebomb that was GNOME2. You shat in the corner of the room and moved away to develop GNOME3. People moved away from GNOME3 only to find that they just stepped in the GNOME2 turd you left behind.

          Okay, so what does that have to do with Microsoft and HTML and all that? Well, it turns out that by integrating an application (and all its dependent libraries) in the with desktop environment, they have blurred the lines between OS and Application even further and they maintain this behavior even with their new OSes. Why? Well, it served them well in the past though they knew it was anticompetitive. But when they are starting out at the bottom, they need to realize they aren't doing themselves any favors. They need to pull the browser out of the OS to enable people to use multiple versions of Microsoft's own browsers.

          The rule which I don't think has ever been stated, where OS and User Interface development is concerned is "DO NOT USE APPLICATIONS LIBRARIES IN YOUR USER INTERFACE CODE!!!" This inherently limits the applications which can run in your OS/UI. The two ways to fix the CentOS/GNOME2 problem is for GiMP to change their code or for CentOS (and Redhat) to update their GNOME2. Neither party is interested in this large task and even if they did, the problem is the same. Microsoft can update their browsers all day long but the problem remains the same so long as you can only have one.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:05PM (#42020355) Homepage

            Let's also remind ourselves how Microsoft continues to hurt itself. It continues to have the web browser integrated with its OS and UI.

            Actually that hasn't been true since Vista. The OS does include a HTML rendering component but it is separate from IE and only supports a subset of the full HTML standard. Partly it was for security reasons, partly because trying to keep the two together would have held IE back. It is that engine that other applications can access and that the OS uses for things like displaying .chm help files. Windows Update no long uses it at all.

            MS Office hasn't used the IE renderer for a long time either. There is a separate one that was developed for Word's HTML support and that is now used in Outlook and other apps as well.

            So integrated isn't quite the right word. Bundled might be better.

          • 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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft has been pushing for standards compliance for a while now. IE7 came out over 6 years ago. I know slashdot loves to hate Microsoft, but just because you made a mistake in the past and changed course doesn't make you hypocrite. They'd be a hypocrite if IE10 was pushing non-standard compliant extensions and they were calling someone else out for the same thing. That's not the case. Microsoft is in the right here.

        • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357)

          How does IE10 do with the acid tests? Never mind - I'll look for myself . . . .

          This link seems to be a little dated, with FF3 and IE8:
          http://devseo.co.uk/blog/view/the-acid-3-test-the-latest-browser-results [devseo.co.uk]

          Another dated comparison:
          http://cybernetnews.com/browser-comparison-internet-explorer-firefox-chrome-safari-opera/ [cybernetnews.com]

          Some dude on Youtube claims that IE10 passes with a score of 100 - I'd rather see a review from a reputable source. The video shows him RELOADING a page with the score of 100 - that's not ex

          • by Gadget27 (1931378) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:50PM (#42019681)
            For what its worth, I'm on Windows 8, thus I have IE10. I ran acidtest3, and believe it or not, it did score 100. I may not be the reputable source you are looking for... but I was just as surprised as you may be with the result. IE's been off my radar for too long for me to care either way though.
          • by erroneus (253617)

            It just goes to show that web developers don't care to write code that is ACID test compliant. (I know, there is no such thing) If web developers didn't use webkit- specific extensions, Microsoft wouldn't be complaining. Developers need to care about that stuff but they don't. This is a fact that Microsoft depended upon while it was rolling over their competition at every turn.

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            IE10 does pass the acid 3 test:

            https://dl.dropbox.com/u/48490966/webhost/ie10acid3.png [dropbox.com]

            IE9 was getting 95/100 two and a half years ago. IE started getting 100/100 with rendering errors over a year ago. IE10 started getting 100/100 with no rendering errors half a year ago.

            It's been a long time since anybody could legitimately blame Microsoft for standards compliance in IE.

            • It's been a long time since anybody could legitimately blame Microsoft for standards compliance in IE.

              I'm not sure how you're able to say that with a straight face. I'm pretty sure you don't do any form of web development otherwise you'd be aware of the coddling IE requires to achieve what many other browsers do "out of the box [quirksmode.org]".

              In no particular order here are some things that are encountered in the real world, and not "edge cases":
              IE9 border radius + gradient hack [jjis.me].
              Having to use a filter (directx!) to achieve effects like other browsers.
              Up until IE10 limited or no support of CSS [stackoverflow.com] transitions and animati

          • by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:57PM (#42020821)

            Acid 3 was remade a few months ago so that all then modern browsers (Specifically FF and IE9 which "only" got 96 or so) would get 100%. So until Acid 4, all browsers pass all Acid tests.

        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          You're right; IE7 is no longer the relevant version of Internet Explorer. IE8 is.

          IE is coupled to Windows releases. Companies usually don't upgrade their Windows version unless absolutely neccessary, which means "when the hardware dies and we can't get an identical replacement". Also, many people and companies use IE because it comes with the operating system. The result is that until a particular version of Windows has a negligible marketshare, the highest version of IE compatible eith that Windows versi
        • by whoever57 (658626)

          I know slashdot loves to hate Microsoft, but just because you made a mistake in the past and changed course doesn't make you hypocrite

          But it wasn't a "mistake" -- it was a deliberate policy ("Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"). Perhaps it doesn't make Microsoft a hypocrite, but also, Microsoft deserves no sympathy for any problems it might encounter from its competition doing what it did before.

      • 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

    • 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.

      • No to mention the fact that if you want to experiment with new features for the inclusion in future versions of the standard, it's kind of hard to do that without implementing them *somehow*, which usually means choosing *some* non-standard (for the time being) selectors. It certainly doesn't mean that web site authors are encouraged them to use these on production web sites.
        • by ewanm89 (1052822)

          I believe W3C requires a reference implementation before ratifying it for the standard anyway?

          • HTML5 has been finished when W3C got it... And on the table for ratification 3-4 years at least.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        They are supposed to drop the prefixed features once the features are a standard. Using them before they are a standard, is, as you say, fine (and even expected and by design). The real problem is, as it always is, the lazy web developers. Back when sites were "best viewed in Internet Explorer" this wasn't because Internet Explorer was better (far from it). It was because it was near ubiquitous and developers either had too small a budget or were too lazy to implement for other browsers. This is the same th
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Developers are only developing sites for Webkit.

          Bullshit. What we are doing is making use of the webkit extensions and then gracefully degrading for IE. Like we have always done. Webkit is huge in mobile but not on the desktop so there is no way we are only developing for it. That's the stupidest thing I've read all day. The system is working correctly as is and MS are just running their mouths to be doing it. Fucking hypocrites with idiots like you believing their shit.

      • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:22PM (#42019955) Homepage

        And nothing says that Microsoft can't translate -webkit- specific prefixes in a compatible manner. Just because it's -webkit-something doesn't mean only Webkit is allowed to use it, but rather that it should be compatible with the Webkit implementation.

        A lot of these -webkit- prefixes exist because these are CSS 2 or CSS 3 properties that predated finalization of these standards, and most of them are largely compatible with the final standard if the prefix is removed. Webkit was complying with standards by adding features not yet finalized and prefixing them so there would be no conflict with the final standard. MS is essentially upset that Webkit's presence is sufficiently strong that developers for the first time in many years, don't feel the need to test against Microsoft's platform.

        • by Lennie (16154)

          When other browsers start to support -webkit-prefixes, then we are doing it wrong. That way we can never get rid of them every again.

          What a stupid idea.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:36AM (#42019085)

      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.

      No that is not what webkit is doing. The dominance of webkit AND the reluctance of web developers to include and update the various STANDARD extensions on their websites is what is causing the situation Microsoft is complaining about. And to be clear, it isn't only Microsoft complaining, Opera complained about the exact situation months ago. And there is no web company more standards compliant than Opera. The situation is so bad that Opera has gone to include in its own renderer support for webkit-options because the web developers are too fucking lazy to include the -o- prefix and later update the prefix. So in this battle Microsoft is correct, regardless of what they have done in the past.
      Saying "just code to webkit" is preposterous and it negates the benefit of have a standard at all. Having and supporting a standard means you can have different implementations that support that standard. And it doesn't really matter wether the standard is open or closed. Standard means standard. So fucking lazy web developers start updating your websites to respect the STANDARD.

      • the web developers are too fucking lazy to include the -o- prefix and later update the prefix

        Everybody is implementing both Webkit and Gecko prefixes, because developers won't bother to support ninche browsers. And why would they? It is plenty of work adding specific support for IE, you want them to adapt to several other specificities?

        But, once things become standard, developpers should drop the prefix. If they weren't doing that, you could blame them... What, of course isn't happening a lot, because W3C i

        • But it's very difficult for the developers to know when a "de-facto" standard can be used and then droppped.
          For example, I use -moz-border-radius, -webkit-border-radius. Given that this is purely cosmetic, I'd like to know at what point I can move to just border-radius and have it work in most browsers (by which I mean anything released in the last 2 years; cosmetic support in older ones doesn't matter). For example, there was a time when firefox supported "-moz-border-radius" but didn't support the unprefi

      • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:30PM (#42020573)

        We should just really be glad Apple and Google agree on SOMETHING!!! WebKit covers iOS and Android... What other browsers are relevant?

        Microsoft has no market position (WP7 is dead. WP8 is not released in sufficient numbers) they should just pay Apple to implement Safari on WP8... That's how it was done in the early browsers???

    • 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]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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).

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:49AM (#42019177)

      For all of our very valid gripes about IE breaking standards back in the day, their proprietary tags did not directly lead to a stagnation of innovation (the stagnation came from their overwhelming market share), which is what Microsoft has claimed here. Standards weren't moving fast enough, and the back-and-forth between IE and Netscape in the early days led to a lot of innovation and forward movement. The standards just had to catch up afterwards, but it really was better for everyone that the standards were dragged forward, rather than being allowed to hold up progress.

      A similar issue is at play here today. The standards aren't moving fast enough to adapt to the growing needs of web developers, so browser developers are being forced to put in ways to do those things as they work together to create a standard. But as most of us who have used -webkit- prefixed CSS know, the prefixed attributes should be treated as betas, since they are designed to be obsolesced after a standard implementation of that feature exists. That's why any developer worth their salt who wanted to use these features has been writing code like...

      -webkit-border-radius: 4px;
      -moz-border-radius: 4px;
      -o-border-radius: 4px;
      border-radius: 4px;

      ...for the last few years, such that they could enjoy the border-radius feature immediately in the browsers where it was available, but their code would gracefully upgrade to newer browsers that implemented the standard version later (quick note: I intentionally chose a simple example, but there are more complicated examples where not all of them would use "4px" or whatever, but that doesn't change the point).

      Microsoft is complaining about the lazy developers who only ever wrote -webkit-prefixed code, or else they're complaining about the fact that they never got around to implementing a stand-in feature like this in the meantime, meaning that it's only with their most recent versions that they're finally starting to support features that have been in the other major browsers for a number of years.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft is not quite right, or at least Microsoft is not right to lay the blame for this at webkit's feet. And webkit is not doing the same as what Microsoft used to do at all. The fact that web developers are using the "-webkit-" prefixed CSS directives rather than the W3C standardised equivalents, etc., is down to the web developers, not webkit. Prefixing a non-standard CSS directive with "-webkit-" or "-moz-" or "-khtml-" in your browser's CSS engine is absolutely the correct thing to do: it marks out

    • They are developing their own extensions and putting them out as webkit- prefixed (...) WebKit is now doing exactly what everyone hated IE doing years ago

      Using prefixes would have been less of a problem: Microsoft implemented wrongly standard css rules (compared to the w3c recommendations). Would they have used prefixes, we could have avoided them, but when basic rules ("margin", "padding", "border") are buggy, that's another story.

    • 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 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.

    • Webkit really has a 90% share? I thought that was Opera, which even works on a number of non-"smart" phones. However ...

      People have complained that Opera felt it was necessary to support the -webkit- prefixed attributes in their browsers (desktop, mobile and "mini"). To be fair they also support -gecko- prefixed attributes and un-prefixed, the complaint was that Opera supporting -webkit- attributes left developers with little reason to fix their sites. Unfortunately Opera doesn't have that much clout.

      In tha

    • No, every single browser has it's own prefixed extension for their current implementation of some functionality. Webkit uses webkit-, firefox is moz-, IE is ms- and opera is o-.

      The issue is only that developers know full well that webkit, thanks to it being open source, has become the largest rendered around. Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome all use it so if the developer is lazy they will only use the webkit- extension. But many use both moz and webkit. No one really cares about IE because it is stil behind
    • Web standards are becoming too complicated to reliably support across a range of operating systems and devices. And this is just another symptom of that.

      In fact, the probability that a program written now actually works when the user opens it is much lower now than it was before the web era. Is that progress?
      I'm not sure.

      Actually, I think we should ditch these complicated standards for a much more simple and concise standard. Because as we all know, one can build complicated things using only a few simple p

    • Actually.using extensions in this manner is specifically the W3C method of implementing elements that are not officially approved. The idea that each company implements their own until all the versions have time to sync.

      What is SUPPOSED to happen is that the most popular implementation gets "cloned" then the browser tag goes away. Obviously Microsoft isn't doing "what's everybody else is" so the specific tag stays.

      This is the game. Microsoft has very bright people that sit on these "standards" committees ba

  • 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.

  • I have an idea... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:30AM (#42019037) Homepage Journal

    Why don't they use webkit themselves? Then they can spend their time, money, and energy on putting their crappy microsoft experience on top of it?

    Sorry... using logic again.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      I like competing browsers, but I like also like standards. The trick is that the standards communities need to realize that they have to move faster. Really, as long as the WebKit community doesn't start patenting any of the extensions and other browser's developers pick them up (and vice-versa), we should be okay for a while.

    • What exactly is the point of a standard then, if everyone is forced to use the same rendering engine?
    • Why don't they use webkit themselves? Then they can spend their time, money, and energy on putting their crappy microsoft experience on top of it?

      Apart from the snarkyness at the end, this is actually a very good question. Webkit source is available as open source in a form that can be used by proprietary applications, and since Safari runs on Windows I suppose there is already a version out there that could be put directly into a Microsoft-created browser. The only "disadvantage" is that any improvements by Microsoft could be picked up by Apple to improve Safari. And since Webkit works already on iOS and Android, I suppose it is quite portable and m

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:31AM (#42019045) Homepage

    Because if there is one company that really stands up for standards, it's Microsoft.

    In fact, sometimes they pay millions to get them through the ISO.

  • ...wow. That is all I can say. "Wow."
  • The real question is, how does IE10 still score so poorly on html5test.com...a sad 320 (+6 bonus) vs. Firefox's 372 (+10 bonus).

    It seems insane to me that MS is still this far behind.

    • by msauve (701917)
      Then the question becomes, how does Firefox do so poorly - a disappointing 372+10 vs. Opera's 419+9 or Chrome's 448+13.

      Wasn't Firefox really popular once?
      • by Rossman (593924)

        While this is a fair point, I chose to compare IE to FF because Microsoft is a massive corporation with nearly unlimited funds to solve this problem, and Mozilla is not.

        With their resources they should be able to match or even outdo a browser like Chrome (another browser with a boatload of dough behind it). There's really no excuse at this point.

  • For some stuff this is no different than what Microsoft did with IE, but that doesn't mean this should be the appoach taken. Microsoft could also be less of a drag when it comes to embracing the web specifications.

    The web specifications need to flow a little better and ease the rate of implementation. At the same time we should be discouraging the use of prefixed extensions and encourage the use of their non-prefixed equivalents, if they are part of that year's spécification.

    As for the idea of simply u

  • 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 Murdoch5 (1563847) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:54AM (#42019213)
    This coming from the same company which make a browser that doesn't adopt proper CSS or HTML? How about they fix IE to work correctly with CSS and then come back and say this.
  • by gaspyy (514539) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @11:59AM (#42019245)

    Man, I don't know why I even bother to visit Slashdot these days. Everything is so much misinformation that you're wiser not reading anything.

    If anything, this post is like the one from yesterday about rooting the Nexus 4 phone.

    Here's the deal: Some CSS properties, before becoming standard, have vendor-specific prefixes, like -moz, -webkit, -ms and -o. Sometimes their syntax is different (for example with gradients), or things like border-radius-top-left vs border-top-left-radius. As they become standardized. the prefix is dropped.

    Now, MS is advising developers to include the W3C-standard property name instead of (or in addition to) the vendor-specific one.

    To give a simple example, MS supports the W3C standard border-radius, but if the developer only targets -webkit-border-radius, it will work only in webkit. BTW, webkit also supports W3C border-radius, so there's currently no reason to use the prefix, at least on this property.

  • IE is IrrElevant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pubwvj (1045960)

    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 wvmarle (1070040)

      I did the same, also around six years ago, but the result was that in IE the page didn't render. At all. It got an empty page, instead. I was using some CSS to layout the page, which was supposed to do the job, but it didn't. It rendered in all browsers, not IE. So not testing for IE is apparently risky.

      The cross-browser solution for an amateur developer like me that just wants to get stuff to work: drop the CSS layout and go for good-old tables. That did the job.

      Maybe nowadays it works with CSS, too. Too m

  • Well, it only works with IE9 and higher anyway and the -moz-radius-border doesn't work on newer Firefox distros any more. So now I have three border-radius entries plus the pre-IE9 hack.

    border-radius: 10px;
    -moz-border-radius: 10px;
    -webkit-border-radius:10px;

    [John]

  • You contradict yourself.

  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:25PM (#42019433) Homepage Journal
    So, how much does this effect things overall? There has often been specific tags that can cause a problem. For instance, there is HTML editing interfaces that only work fully in firefox, but works ok on everything else.

    The funny thing is that MS pushed this type of non standard HTML by convincing web developers that it was more important to HTML to create consistant application interfaces rather than flexible content delivery and sales interface technology. So they pushed the idea of fixed screen sizes, fixed elements, and the like that only IE could, at the time, deliver. CSS and HTML5 depreciated the IE technology, but the damage was done. A generation of web developers were trained to look at web pages as fixed entities, not flexible markups. Even today I have to use some web pages that will only on IE because MS has convinced the MBAs that this is the most efficient way to do things.

    So now we are at a place where Webkit and Gecko rule the world. Designers are writing web pages to work well on Chrome, Firefox, and Android, which fortunately for apple will make it work on Mac and iOS as well. MS, being the entitled rich kid, is whining that consumers are ignoring IE. Of course IE is being ignored. It is doesn't run on anything that consumers choose to use. The only people who use IE are corporate types that are forced to use IE. If I have a new social app, am I going to cate that it does not run on IE. No, I am going to care that it does not run Android. If MS wants it to run on IE, they have the resources to add the functionality to IE. Otherwise who cares?

  • by FyberOptic (813904) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:48PM (#42019667)

    I wish people would stop offering the "well Microsoft used to do this so who are they to complain" excuse. Not only is the internet a different place, but so is Microsoft. They tried very hard to become as standards-compliant as they are now, and it took the risk of breaking existing websites along the way, despite the compatibility mode they offered. But the fact is, they made that decision. I still don't care about using IE, but I still give credit where credit is due.

    Where the problem lies is mostly with the W3C. This is who we should be blaming. This is 2012, and all that ever happens with these people is bickering and squabbling, while the web still stagnates with a technology level of five years ago, and couldn't even decide on a standard for something as basic as rounded corners. This is the Achilles' Heel of the free software world, where everything is treated far too much as a democracy, so every nerd with an over-inflated ego has an idea for how something should be done and they're absolutely certain that theirs is the best way to do it. It not only results in the dozens and dozens of forks of major pieces of software in the free software community, but also results in any kind of standards decisions being delayed for literally years while everyone acts like babies instead of ratifying something already.

    I can remember almost ten years ago when I was developing a very graphics-oriented website, and part of what I was being asked to do was to rotate a section of the page by 90 degrees. Except the content on this area was dynamic, containing an avatar and the user's name and stuff. There was no web standard for doing something like this at all, and my only option was going to be using Flash. But since Flash was prone to not line up perfectly among every browser (and I needed pixel-perfect alignment), not to mention was overkill for what I needed, even that was a problem. So eventually, after looking at our statistics, a good 98+% of the users used IE. The rest was Opera or Safari. So I made the decision to implement IE's proprietary DirectX filter extension, which allowed rotation of any HTML object in the page, and would apply this to any content normally inside of this object as well. The resulting effect was excellent.

    Over time, I wasn't entirely satisfied with this single-browser solution (which had something to do with the fact that I'd switched to Opera myself!). But web technology still never caught up. So my way around this was to generate this section of the website on the server itself, using Perl and the GD library. I cached the resulting image for every user, only regenerating it when they changed their icon or any of their information. I was able to recreate the original DirectX filter version with 99% accuracy this way. But this was all only because our web host had been kind enough to install GD for me to begin with, since this was before we were running our own server.

    The point of this story is, the ability to rotate components in a DOM tree has only recently become possible in HTML5. And HTML5 is still unfinished! Expect to see plenty more browser-dependent extensions over the decade, just like what happened last decade, all because the organization we rely on to give us these standards is dragging its heels and arguing every detail along the way.

    • MS used IE to harm the web, on purpose to protect their monopoly. Their only interest is their monopoly power. I don't care if they woke up and are investing millions to catch back up again and I don't care if IE 11 is the best browser in history.

      MS will embrace and extend to attack the web as it threatens their interests; if they ever end up in a dominant position again they will resume the attack.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by FyberOptic (813904)

        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.

    • (and I needed pixel-perfect alignment)

      That. Why do web developers need pixel-perfect alignment so often? I've never seen a web user needing it.

      Do the clients demand it? Is it because the clients come from the printed world? Is it because they don't understand usability? Or is it a problem that the development community created themselves?

      • Do the clients demand it? Is it because the clients come from the printed world? Is it because they don't understand usability?

        Yes. Usually. Yes.

  • "We're the only ones who get to do that!"

  • Yes, Microsoft, that is how it feels.

  • Look, if Microsoft didn't like people using "non-standard" filter code, they shouldn't have come up with the whole idea in the first place. Even IE 10 (especially IE 10) has it's own equivalent filter markup for CSS. If they didn't LOVE THIS, why are they doing exactly the same thing themselves? Christ. Get me some coffee.
  • the issue is the popularity of webkit on the mobile platform. Both iOS and android both supported it from the start, then blackberry and PS Vita adopted it because they were to lazy to fix there own engines. Now you want IE to do the same?! These extensions were prefixed BECAUSE they are non-standard and now that they are standardized both iOS and android have used the standard syntax for at least the last 4 releases. There is diversity on the desktop which is why these prefixes are ok on the desktop - ever
  • If yo9u sue a function that is labeled as %toolkit%-function then it flags a possible difference between that and the "normal" function

    besides MS at one point had a whole RUNTIME of special extensions (active X) and required folks to use at least 3 of them on every page if you wanted to be a Microsoft "Partner" which as an OEM meant you didn't have to wait until example Windows 95 was in stores to be able to get the code and stuff for drivers.

  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:34PM (#42020603) Homepage Journal

    Bwahahaha! Microsof Bwahaha ! Bwahahaha! Bwaha ! Bwahahaha! Bwahahaha! Microsoft Bwahahaha! Bwahahaha! Bwahahaha! Standards Bwahahaha! Bwahahaha!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @04:13PM (#42021455)

    http://leaverou.github.com/prefixfree/

    Break free from CSS prefix hell!
    Only 2KB gzipped
    -prefix-free lets you use only unprefixed CSS properties everywhere. It works behind the scenes, adding the current browser’s prefix to any CSS code, only when it’s needed.

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