Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Both are opinions on the version targeting issue that has blown up on the Web recently.
Version targeting is not a bad idea. The choice of delivery mechanismsâ€”meta element or server headerâ€”is inspired. As an optional feature, this could prove to be a real lifesaver in some development environments. As a mandatory millstone however, it strikes a blow against progressive enhancement.
The proposed default behavior for version targeting in Internet Explorer solves the problem of â€œbreaking the webâ€ in much the same way that decapitation solves the problem of headaches. In its current state, version targeting is a cure that will kill the patient. Version targeting could have been an opportunity for Microsoft to demonstrate innovation. Instead, the proposed default behavior demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the World Wide Web, a place that according to its creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, will always be â€œa little bit broken.â€
Version targeting is a mind-bender. It shakes our browser-agnostic faith. Its default behavior, although beneficial to skilled and unskilled developers alike, runs counter to our expectations, and seems wrong. And it presents at least one Sphinxian riddle: namely, how can IE8 pass Acid 2 if IE8 behaves as IE7 by default? You can spend weeks on that one and not come up with a logical answer. Call me Lewis Carroll, but Iâ€™m okay with it.
But while the opt-in protects old-fashioned coders from a major change in the scripting environment, it also offers unique benefits to even the most die-hard standardista.
The opinions keep on coming!
Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:41 am