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Gecko May Drop the Blink Tag 138

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-notice-we-eschew-it dept.
AmiMoJo writes "It looks like Mozilla are finally going to remove the much hated blink tag from the Gecko rendering engine that powers Firefox. Work to remove support for the tag, which was always non-standard and is not supported by the most popular HTML layout engines WebKit and Blink (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Android), is progressing and should show up in a future version of the browser." A comment attached to the discussion of this (not completed) move points out the odd possibility that Google's new Blink rendering engine may feature the blink tag via CSS animation, which would be "hilarious/awesome."
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Gecko May Drop the Blink Tag

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So your hosts file troll will blinked to death!

  • no problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:52AM (#43401359)

    HTML5 allows blink functionality to be done via CSS3 animations, so they can never take the away from us!

    • Re:no problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AvitarX (172628) <me.brandywinehundred@org> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:26AM (#43401825) Journal

      But It's appropriate for it to be in CSS, It's a style of display that has to syntax. I wish they'd remove bold and italic too.

      • by ByOhTek (1181381)
        sure, but at least that makes it more difficult. However, for the unfortunate souls that are using blink-tag enabled browsers... blink was much easier for me to use. Suckers.
      • by Ash Vince (602485) *

        But It's appropriate for it to be in CSS, It's a style of display that has to syntax. I wish they'd remove bold and italic too.

        They already have. They have replaced the bold with strong and italic with em as the replacements are also relevant to if the text is being read allowed by a screen reader too by changing the tone or inflection.

    • by hackula (2596247)
      And last I checked a few months ago (don't ask), IE still allows the 'marquee' tag, which might be even "better" than 'blink'. (In case anyone does not remember it, 'marquee' is the one that scrolls all child DOM elements across the screen horizontally like a carnival ride.)
      • by markzip (1313025) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @12:21PM (#43402579)
        Somewhere in the Wayback Machine there is a page I coded in 1997. It featured

        marquee

        nested inside

        blink

        . And I did it because the client's kid thought it was cool. I bet he's sorry to see it go, I know I am. ;-)

        • Man, that brings me back... I remember back in the mid 90s putting small sprite animated gifs of running characters into marquee tags so it would look like one character was chasing the other in forum sigs...

        • by nametaken (610866)

          Oh god, those things you did to GeoCities and MySpace... you owe us all an apology!

          • by markzip (1313025)

            Tripod, mate, Tripod

            And yes, I apologize.

            Unreservedly.

            But it was a long time ago. And besides, the bitch is dead.

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        And last I checked a few months ago (don't ask), IE still allows the 'marquee' tag, which might be even "better" than 'blink'. (In case anyone does not remember it, 'marquee' is the one that scrolls all child DOM elements across the screen horizontally like a carnival ride.)

        Marquee is also supported by WebKit and Blink.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Marquee always baffled BE speakers. In the UK, a marquee is a big tent. The sideways-scrolling effect is known as a "marching display".

  • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:53AM (#43401395)

    How is Blink one of the most popular HTML layout engines?

    Is being used yet?

    • No, but it will be for Chrome 28. Even if only 10% of Chrome users upgrade right away, that will still be over 3 million people using the Blink renderer.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It will auto update every user.

      • Sorry, that should be over 30 million people (Google claims over 300 million people are using Chrome).
    • by guttentag (313541) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:45AM (#43402113) Journal

      How is Blink one of the most popular HTML layout engines?

      I think what they meant is that people who have no concept of HTML layout have a tendency to overcompensate for this shortcoming by using the BLINK tag as a replacement for all other more-subtle and more-refined embellishments (B, I, U, P, BR, etc.), and they use it with such gusto that use of the tag indicates a subscription to the Blink "School" of layout theory ("more blink equals more better" and so forth) which is treated as a layout engine unto itself, however crude it may be. Many adherents of the Blink School evolved to the Flash school during the AOLic period, but as Blink is so much simpler to implement, it serves as a common denominator and suggests that these simplest developers outnumber all other developers combined. This makes their "layout engine" the most popular, in much the same way that people who do not know how to drive set the popular rules of the road through their ignorance of the actual rules simply by outnumbering everyone else.

      I feel there has been a great disturbance in the Blink School, as though millions of dancing animated hamsters suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly stationary but not silenced.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:54AM (#43401399)

    How ironic.

    • by tepples (727027)
      And Chrome had less chrome (window decorations, controls, and everything else other than the page content) than other browsers had when it came out. Only after Chrome came out did other major browser publishers think to hide the menu bar and overlap the title bar with tabs by default. Is Google trying to shoot for an irony streak?
      • IE7 hid menus by default 2 years before Chrome existed. You just mean Firefox started playing "me too!" after Chrome did it.

        • hide the menu bar and overlap the title bar with tabs

          IE7 hid menus by default 2 years before Chrome existed.

          But did either IE or Firefox take advantage of the space in the title bar before Chrome came out? Chrome's innovation was not only no menu bar (which IE had already done, as you point out) but also no title bar.

          • Under window managers like DWM, no window has a title bar. Ever. Rendering decorations to windows is the window managers job, not the application's job. Otherwise you get inconsistency.
            • Under window managers like DWM

              This window manager appears to be ported only to X11, not to the native window system of Windows or the native window system of Mac OS X. And even in an environment that uses X11, the proper way I can see for to overlap the "title bar" would be for the application to specify through a hint that a non-rectangular client area is preferred, and then the window manager would tell the application where the window manager is placing decorations, so that the application can place its controls in the part of the cl

      • by PRMan (959735)
        Well, let's hope they don't name their next feature "page".
  • by TWX (665546) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:56AM (#43401425)
    How are we supposed to now write Erwin Schrödinger's famous thought experiment in only one line now?
  • Use CSS (Score:4, Informative)

    by DERoss (1919496) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:02AM (#43401503)

    Since CSS 1 and still in CSS 2.1, blink has been a recognized value of the text-decoration property. For accessibility, browsers should blink slowly so as not to trigger epilepsy events in susceptible individuals.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For accessibility, browsers should blink slowly so as not to trigger epilepsy events in susceptible individuals.

      <script src="epilepsy_party.js"></script>

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This. How can people not know this has existed since forever as a CSS property?
      It is madness I tell you.

      No wonder the web tech is sitting in the 1500s, nobody knows what the hell the features are.

      Might as well post this and destroy the sites speed further, a very useful thing in CSS that gets rid of the need for ID Abuse.
      http://css-tricks.com/how-nth-child-works/
      Actually, I won't link it since the site is slow as hell already, only the worthy will copy and paste or bother to right click and go.
      Good luck,

      • I knew about this when I was still building websites and that was something like... ten years ago. Jesus.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Mostly because it has became as big of a mess as Perl Regular Expressions. HTML is well on it's way to becoming line noise.

      • Those of us who have done web tech since the 1990s know full well that knowing the CSS properties has had damn little value.

        Until fairly recently, what had value was knowing which of the CSS standards actually worked in the real world. Which meant keeping an eye on the blighted Microsoft browser versions, and waiting until the ones that were not standards compliant dropped below the level of significance for a web site's intended audience.

        For the most part, now we can all use the standard CSS and those we

    • Re:Use CSS (Score:4, Informative)

      by Carewolf (581105) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:29PM (#43404215) Homepage

      It is an optional part of CSS, and not supported by WebKit or Blink.

  • Geocities (Score:5, Funny)

    by symes (835608) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:04AM (#43401523) Journal

    In the blink of an eye all that old Geocities goodness will be wiped away from the eyes of the unsuspecting.

  • Since Blink will add the blink tab, Gecko will change the blink tab to a gecko tab.

  • by fire4ever (630478) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:06AM (#43401553) Homepage

    In older versions when typing "about:mozilla" we can read:

    "And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance. The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days."

    • by kav2k (1545689)

      Mod parent up! Actually true [wikipedia.org].

      • If you didn't know about this little Easter egg, you're a clueless newb.
        • Agreed.

          I like the new verse:

          The twins of Mammon quarrelled. Their warring plunged the world into a new darkness, and the beast
          abhorred the darkness. So it began to move swiftly, and grew more powerful, and went forth and multiplied.
          And the beasts brought fire and light to the darkness.

          from The Book of Mozilla, 15:1

          • Ok, I did not know about the the Book of Ice (about:Iceweasel in Debian Iceweasel):

            And thus the beast grew powerful, and fire and thunder swept the land. But Mammon stirred in their hearts, and the beast Foundered, and its Corpse arose, and commanded "thou shalt not fly in my name." And the blazes shall freeze cold, and the souls of the followers of Mammon shall learn to tremble in the face of ice as they did before the fire.

            from The Book of Ice, 10:13

            ahahahaha!

        • by kav2k (1545689)

          There is a difference between knowing and remembering. Especially remembering the first version of it.
          And my comment was due to the fact that the original comment was at -1 and I had no mod points.

  • It's a sad day for web developer all around the world.

  • by dackroyd (468778) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @11:11AM (#43401613) Homepage

    Fiddle is here http://jsfiddle.net/Danack/3pFUS/ [jsfiddle.net]

    @-webkit-keyframes blink {
                    from { opacity: 1.0; }
                    to { opacity: 0.0; }
                    0% { opacity: 1.0; }
                    50% { opacity: 0.0; }
                    100% { opacity: 1.0; }
            } .blink {
            -webkit-animation-name: blink;
            -webkit-animation-iteration-count: infinite;
            -webkit-animation-timing-function: steps(1);
            -webkit-animation-duration: 1s;
            }

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hope it doesn't make my engshaming picture of Lou Montulli, the inventory, less valuable! :) http://engshaming.tumblr.com/image/30050495135

  • You've been able to disable the blink tag for ages anyway.

  • Gif's that animate in less than a second are the modern blink tag and just as bloody annoying. I'm looking at you Gawker properties with your obsession with Gif's that animate in less than and are /very/ distracting. It's the same bloody problem in a different bloody package, and it's pretty bloody annoying. Thankfully I can block them when I see them with ad block plus...

  • Is this just a tribute or leftover from Firefox's previous life as Netscape Navigator? It seems they were the first browser to include blink.

    • by frisket (149522)
      It was first announced for Mosaic 2.5b2 and Netscape B09 in October 1994 [heanet.ie] (thread "HTML"). I criticised it for putting cuteness above all else, and Marc Andreesen justified it by claiming "professional" content providers wanted it, which I disputed, and then it got messy.
  • I suppose I should be happy they aren't removing support for rendering tasteless backgrounds and crappy fonts... My ugly MySpace page is safe. For now.

  • It looks like Mozilla are finally going to remove the much hated blink tag

    I do not hate the blink tag. I hate the web developers.

    Otherwise, I think the blink tag spurred the whole generation of web developers. Just look at all the so-called "Web 2.0" crap. Whether it is <blink> or jQuery's animations for every however tiny P.O.S., the end result is the same: unusable mess.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @01:19PM (#43403317) Homepage

    In one web application a form has to be completed within 10 minutes. I have a bit of javascript that puts a message the top of the screen when there are 90 seconds to go, and then makes it blink when there are only 30 seconds left. I don't pretend that it is pretty, but it can bring the user back to a task that they got part way through before being distracted.

    Just because something can be used to create monstrosities does not mean that it should be banned. If that were the case, then ban .jpg on the grounds of what used to be found at goatse.cx

    • by reSonans (732669)

      I have a bit of javascript that puts a message the top of the screen when there are 90 seconds to go, and then makes it blink when there are only 30 seconds left.

      Why not use a countdown timer? I would argue this is more useful to someone who has to submit a form within a certain timeframe. The real-world equivalent of blink in this situation is someone standing next to you yelling, "Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!"

      • Why not use a countdown timer?

        There is a countdown timer, discrete in a corner somewhere. It gets bigger + more words and in a red font at 90 seconds, flashes at 30. The users say that it is useful. If they don't allow javascript it just tells them the time by which they have to be done.

    • by Maow (620678)

      In one web application a form has to be completed within 10 minutes. I have a bit of javascript that puts a message the top of the screen when there are 90 seconds to go, and then makes it blink when there are only 30 seconds left. I don't pretend that it is pretty, but it can bring the user back to a task that they got part way through before being distracted.

      Just because something can be used to create monstrosities does not mean that it should be banned. If that were the case, then ban .jpg on the grounds of what used to be found at goatse.cx

      I'll have to agree 100%. Yours seems like an entirely reasonable usage case for the blink tag. I would hope they'd keep it in the rendering engine and we can just leave pages that abuse the feature, as we do for so many other abused features.

      I have a page that simulates a Bash terminal [maow.net] in which the client watches as commands are typed into a Bash terminal and the results are fetched via AJAX.

      The cursor blinks slowly, just as it would in a real terminal.

      It was a PITA to get characters "typed" slowly with s

  • As part of my workflow, I have to induce seizures in people who approach my desk for help instead of submitting a request ticket. Without the blink tag, I will have to show them youtube clips of pokemon. [youtube.com]
  • by gblues (90260) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @02:07PM (#43403949)
    Don't <blink></blink>.
    <blink></blink> and you're dead.

    (I am so, so sorry)
  • What on earth does it mean to say that "work is progressing" to remove the tag? I've never looked at the code, but I would think that you could disable it with a simple change in one place: either remove the keyword from the parser so it is never recognized, or make it a no-op once it is. Why would getting rid of the tag be complicated enough to take a while and exhibit "progress"?
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      that probably means gecko is just as much spaghetti code as the netscape code base they discarded back in the days for being too complicated to work on.

  • As the originator of the blink experiment I am happy to announce that after 19 years the time has finally come. We are officially stopping the blinking and will announce the result of the experiment after fully analyzing all the data. We thank all of you who have participated and especially those of you who have left comments and feedback. I don't want to spoil the final announcement, but early results point to a generally negative reception. (As well as several deaths) I am happy to announce th
  • Simple, it's a form of animation, so blink as CSS make sense.

    for example:

    // enable default foreground background blink div {
    blink: true;
    color: white;
    background-color: black;
    }

    or set the color of blink as a list

    div {
    blink: orange, green, blue
    }

    or not only you set the list, but you give them transition proportion (blink speed, larger number = longer stay in that color)
    div {
    blink: orange, 1, green 2, blue: 1
    }

    or
    blink: url(image1), 10, url(image2), 20
    This is where you use images to bli
  • Secret plans for incursion epinova alien energy device for thought control hidden in cosmic background static of FM broadcast, later in vertical blanking interval of analog television broadcast. Digital realm unaffected until development of Mosaic when secret browser code inserted to extend all color palettes +1 past base two boundaries to create an subvisible 'hyngry hyppo' color (the 17th, 257th, 65537th and 16777217th palette index) whose boundary is perceivable by the subconscious mind. Diagrams and sim

  • So the Blink engine has no blink support?

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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