Embrace and extend

Dave Hyatt has been blogging about the way that Dashboard will require some new HTML elements.

‘Some new HTML elements’… there’s a phrase that’ll sound a note of dread in the hearts of any developers who lived through the browser wars. Let’s face it: adding new HTML elements like <canvas> is no different than adding elements like <marquee> or <blink>.

Tim Bray and Eric Meyer, two people I admire immensely, made their voices heard. They both made basically the same point which is that, when you want to extend HTML, you should really be using XHTML and simply adding a namespace.

It’s extremely reassuring to see that Dave Hyatt has listened to these suggestions. He’s not only listening, he’s also acting on them.

I’m still nervous about the idea of adding non-standard elements to HTML, as is Ian Hixie, but the transparency that Dave is maintaining is very encouraging. The overall consensus is that, thanks to this debate, things are going in the right direction.

The same can’t be said for the future development of Internet Explorer. Despite holding a chat, ostensibly to listen to developers’ wishes, it sounds like Microsoft are just going to ignore the pleas for better standards support and security.

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