Standards mode is the new quirks mode

Just in case you haven't already read the companion articles Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8 and From Switches to Targets: A Standardista's Journey at A List Apart, I suggest you do so now.

Back? Good. If you didn't read the articles, here is an executive summary: Because of their immense fear of making broken websites that should be fixed look broken in Internet Explorer, Microsoft are going to make developers add a particular meta element to any page that IE 8 should use its "really, really standards mode, and we really mean it this time" to render.

Now, this is one of those subjects that if you have an opinion on it, it doesn't matter what that opinion is. It will be the wrong opinion to a lot of people anyway, and people will become rude and call you names. Come to think of it, most web related subjects seem to be of that kind these days.

When I first read the articles I just mentioned I shrugged, finished my breakfast, and drove to work. Yawn. Big deal. But after several people have asked me what I think about it, I re-read the articles and the comments posted on them as well as a lot of other people's opinions. And now I have an opinion which will be the wrong opinion to many people. What else is new...

I'm not convinced enough that I can say my opinion will never change, but for the most part I think introducing this switch is a bad idea. If other browser vendors than Microsoft also introduce it I think it's a really bad idea. As do others – read The Internet Explorer lock-in and <META HTTP-EQUIV="X-BALL-CHAIN"> for starters.

So, please tell me why those of us who think this is not a good idea are wrong.

Posted on January 23, 2008 in Web Standards, Browsers