MozillaZine

Mozilla's New 'Almost Standards' Rendering Mode

Tuesday July 9th, 2002

evolt.org has an article about Mozilla's new 'almost standards' mode. This new rendering mode joins the existing standards compliance and quirks modes and should mean that more pages work correctly in Mozilla. The article describes the differences between 'almost standards' and standards compliance mode and lists the DOCTYPEs that trigger the new rendering method.

Thanks to Blogzilla for the link.


#1 Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 2:36 PM

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They should get it to handle <marquee> too.

#2 Re: Good

by techn9ne

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 2:50 PM

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<marquee> is a 100% proprietary annoying microsoft quirk.

#6 Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 11:51 PM

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At <http://home.netscape.com> the AOL people used multiple javascript files and multiple cascading style sheets to do the same thing they could have done in a single line with the marquee tag, and they still got it wrong. Scrolling text is good for tickers and other things. It should not be so difficult. The marquee tag is good. The AOL people probably would have used it if they were not forced to support Netscape.

#10 Re: Re: Re: Good

by KaiRo <KaiRo@KaiRo.at>

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 4:00 AM

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The problem is not that they were forced to support Netscape but the wanted (and were forced to) support W3C standards. And <marquee> isn't supported there and will never be supported. The only chance this could get a standard is by getting it into some CSS3 standard. CSS is for formatting these days, not HTML.

#26 Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 12th, 2002 12:09 AM

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I know the W3C is a problem. The Mozilla project would be more successful if it were not bound to the W3C. Maybe the marquee tag could be added to the quirks mode without any excommunication from the W3C.

#11 Re: Good

by Rytsarsky

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 6:15 AM

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marquee is an html tag. Html was never meant to make a document LOOK a certain way, or ACT a certain way. Html was meant to describe the structure of the content. How would a marquee look on a cell phone? To a blind person? Think about those things when you're writing pages. Marquee has no place in html.

#27 Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 12th, 2002 12:19 AM

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"Html was never meant to make a document LOOK a certain way, or ACT a certain way."

I think the use of HTML is more important than its intended use.

"How would a marquee look on a cell phone?"

I think it would look like black text scrolling across a gray screen.

"To a blind person?"

I tried to determine why you would ask me how something would look to a blind person and I failed. I finally determined that you must think marquee should not exist because blind people cannot see scrolling text. Does this mean pictures and words should also be removed from webpages?

"Marquee has no place in html."

Maybe it does not have a place to a blind person but there are people with vision. Some of them use the Internet too.

#33 Re: Re: Re: Good

by jsebrech

Saturday July 13th, 2002 5:12 AM

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"I think the use of HTML is more important than its intended use."

Are you saying that there is a competitor to HTML which will be overcome by adding the marquee tag to the official standard? I think not. The problem with HTML is that the years of competition has reduced it into crap. And now people are trying to clean it up (in the 4.x versions, and with xhtml). They're trying to provide some kind of order. Imho, we should all be jumping for joy that this is happening instead of trying to run away from it.

"Does this mean pictures and words should also be removed from webpages?"

No, you should provide ALT arguments to images, so blind people know what the image is showing (not enough people do this, not even me), and obviously blind people can read words through adapted equipment, but not when they're scrolling.

"Maybe it does not have a place to a blind person but there are people with vision. Some of them use the Internet too."

Yes, well, let's only make roads for the most popular 5 companies of cars, since they cover most of the market. Those people who have an unpopular car won't be able to travel (to some places), but hey, tough luck.

If only I was a more evil person, then I could want you to know what it is to be blind... The web should be what binds humanity together, not yet another way to divide us.

#34 Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday July 14th, 2002 12:17 AM

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"Are you saying that there is a competitor to HTML which will be overcome by adding the marquee tag to the official standard?"

No.

"I think not. The problem with HTML is that the years of competition has reduced it into crap."

The W3C is another element of that competition.

"...you should provide ALT arguments to images, so blind people know what the image is showing (not enough people do this, not even me)"

I do use ALT tags in images. You should use ALT tags in images. I like the way Internet Explorer displays the text of the ALT tags. Mozilla does not do that because the W3C did not dictate that.

"and obviously blind people can read words through adapted equipment, but not when they're scrolling."

This is the only thing you typed that does not seem utterly stupid to me.

"Yes, well, let's only make roads for the most popular 5 companies of cars, since they cover most of the market. Those people who have an unpopular car won't be able to travel (to some places), but hey, tough luck."

I have a better idea. Let us make a car that will not travel on any road at all. Then let us make laws that cause every car and road except our own to suddenly become illegal. I will not share the rest of this idea because it is meant to illustrate how stupid you are rather than attack physically afflicted people.

"If only I was a more evil person, then I could want you to know what it is to be blind... The web should be what binds humanity together, not yet another way to divide us."

You probably still want that. Are you accusing me of attacking blind people because I like the marquee tag? Do you not understand why this seems stupid to me? If we should ban anything that can only be enjoyed by people with vision then we should ban lamps, traffic lights, video games, X-Windows, DirectX, and graphics cards too. Maybe we should ban monitors and just listen to our computers. I realize some people, like the one I was reading to yesterday, have to do this but depriving people with vision is just as evil as ignoring people without vision.

#36 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

by Dobbins

Sunday July 14th, 2002 5:47 PM

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"I do use ALT tags in images. You should use ALT tags in images. I like the way Internet Explorer displays the text of the ALT tags. Mozilla does not do that because the W3C did not dictate that."

What? IE displays alt text when images are used? No wonder there are some many sites that don't use the tags if IE is horking the look of sites by displaying text at the wrong time.

alt is short for alternative text. It's susposed to be displayed as an alternative when a text only browser is being used or by access tools used by handicapped people. Displaying the image and the alternative to the image at the same time has to be one of Mickysofts dumber ideas, far worse than marquee, and one that is sure to cut down on the number of sites that are accessable.

Marquee is junk, but it's junk that is just ignored by text based browsers, browsers in text mode and accessability devices. It's transparent to anything but IE. Discouraging use of alt tags by having it show up when they aren't needed or desired will have a bad effect on non IE products including accessability devices.

#37 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday July 14th, 2002 7:00 PM

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Sometimes I am convinced that people are just pretending to be as unaware as they seem. The ALT tags are displayed when the mouse is moved over the images or when the user chooses not to display the images. Why is marquee junk?

#5 Re: Good

by Hendikins

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 5:34 PM

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...and we should belt you with a clue stick. You don't see that happening either, do you?

#7 Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 12:16 AM

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Even if you carried out all of your sadistic fantasies of beating me with mythical sticks, I would still be right. Mozilla guys probably would not hit me with a clue-stick unless the W3C told them they were allowed to do this. That would require a "standard" to be produced for clue-sticks. Then they would say there must be a general rule to apply to general sticks in the future. After forming Stick Markup Language, they would have to find a way to handle sticks that do not have a stick type definition. They would also have to create accessibility rules for people unable to handle normal clues, and extendable stick language for people using new forms of clues. After drafting StML and XStML, all of this would result in a "standard" that makes all current sticks unusable. I think I would be safe.

#8 Re: Re: Re: Good

by PC1

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 12:39 AM

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I think this is becoming a sticky subject.

I think that we should all stick together for a better Mozilla...

#15 Re: Re: Re: Re: Good

by tny

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 9:19 AM

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I think you don't know Tanyel. She is usually a troll (the internet kind). Once in a while she contributes something useful. This is not one of those ocassions.

"The World Wide Web" is best defined as all information which is transmitted using W3C's free HTTP and related hypertext protocols. That's what it started out as, that's what it should stay.

Please feel free to read into that statement a comment on the resurgence of the RAND issue at W3C as well.

#18 Re: Good

by tseng_mike <tseng_mike@yahoo.com>

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 1:13 PM

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You can put this [1] xbl extension at your site if you want to use the marquee tag. It emulate it in mozilla.

[1] <http://webfx.eae.net/dhtm…blmarquee/xblmarquee.html>

#30 Re: Good

by royalrodent

Friday July 12th, 2002 12:11 PM

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Come on, people. Don't you recognize a troll when you see one? Let's keep the discussion constructive and not feed into this.

#31 Re: Re: Good

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 12th, 2002 8:12 PM

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I think that means, "call her a troll and ignore her before people realize she is right."

#3 I'm surprised they didn't call it...

by rkl

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 3:21 PM

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..."sub standard mode" :-) It sounds a slightly dubious compromise to me and one I'd actually like to see a user pref in Mozilla for instead:

[x] Completely obey DOCTYPE [ ] Obey DOCTYPE with some exceptions [ ] Always in quirks mode (ignore DOCTYPE)

It seems to me that if a document has a DOCTYPE at the top, then it is stating *categorically* that it is following the appropriate DTD/W3C spec. We're now saying that Mozilla is relaxing this stance and saying it's OK for Webmasters to put a DOCTYPE in and then put in HTML that doesn't conform to that DOCTYPE ? Hmmm....

#4 Re: I'm surprised they didn't call it...

by techn9ne

Tuesday July 9th, 2002 3:30 PM

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It is only for transitional modes not strict.

#9 mozillazine - quirks mode

by leafdigital

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 3:13 AM

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I just did page info on mozillazine. Ho hum. Good to see we're supporting the production of a standards-compliant browser here... :>

(See also numerous validation errors in both HTML - which doesn't validate to the 4.01 transitional doctype it claims - and a couple in the CSS...)

--sam

#12 Hmmmm......

by volkris

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 7:21 AM

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Perhaps if Mozilla had some sort of unobtrusive but noticable notification somewhere that the page abounds with errors the real sites would begin to feel a little more pressure.

I mean, render the thing fine, but make the user think to himself, "Wait... here I am doing my banking online and my bank can't even seem to get its website in order..."

Or at least make the web authors consider users possibly thinking that.

#13 Re: Hmmmm......

by MXN

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 8:58 AM

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That would be Bug 47108: <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=47108> . I've been following it for quite some time now.

- MXN

#16 Re: Hmmmm......

by i5mast

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 9:54 AM

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i really like IE feature when it tells you there's something wrong with the script. u know, it displays /!\ icon.

this kinda feedback from the browser is really helpful. i think if this browser reported about broken scripts (in addition to printing errors to javacript console) and broken html in a similar way, it would be a big step towards forcing people to write html pages that comply to w3c standards. don't you think so? by showing these icons, mozilla would be showing clearly that this html/javascript is bad.

it would also save time for web developers. you wouldn't need to validate your html that often. i'm sure the majority of web developer don't validate their htmls at all.

#17 Re: I'm surprised they didn't call it...

by techn9ne

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 10:47 AM

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Quite often you can make standards compliant web sites that work in NS4 you just can't rely heavily on CSS.

#29 Re: Hmmmm......

by mmarquee

Friday July 12th, 2002 6:55 AM

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I believe that iCab does this (so I've heard).

#14 Re: Hmmmm......

by aganguli

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 8:59 AM

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I'm in the process of redoing the layout for my company's website and let me tell you, it's not as easy as you think. We started out with a nice standards-complient design from the design company that worked well in current Mozilla and IE, but didn't quite work in Opera and absolutely fell to pieces under Netscape 4.x.

I wanted to let the silly Netscape 4.x users suffer, but it turns out _our_ corporate standard is Netscape 4.x (I've only been here a few weeks and I use Mozilla, so I didn't notice this). IE is banned because of security issues and Netscape 6.x is a mess, so until Netscape 7 is officially released it's NS4 all the way.

The result? I'm stuck working my way through the design trying to find something that renders well everywhere and trying to avoid actually having different layouts for different browsers. So far, so good, but I wasted most of yesterday trying to figure out why an image migrated to the opposite side of the page under NS4 and not under any other browser.

Anyway, I'm just venting at this point, but this whole thing sucks. Until we can get rid of the last holdout NS4 users, any sort of backwards compatibility is greatly appreciated. I like to think that NS7 will help. There are probably a lot of users who don't want to use IE, but can't stand NS6.

#21 Re: Re: Hmmmm......

by jsebrech

Thursday July 11th, 2002 3:32 AM

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It may be a dumb question, but, why can't they use mozilla instead of NS4?

#23 Re: Re: Re: Hmmmm......

by fuzzygorilla

Thursday July 11th, 2002 12:07 PM

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It is not a dumb question, but it is not a question with a singular or simple answer. It could be for any one of the 4xp bugs in bugzilla <http://bugzilla.mozilla.o…doit&order=Bug+Number> . Or it could be because they don't have time to qualify Mozilla for use. Trying to support multiple Mozilla versions while Mozilla was coming out every six weeks (0.x.x schedule) would be a big resource drag in a large company. With 1.0.0 that might change, but in big companies it can take weeks to qualify software for use in the enterprise. Or it could be because they want a "product" such as Netscape or Beonex rather than Mozilla, and did not like the previous Netscape 6.x versions. With the Netscape release, that might change.

#24 Re: Re: Hard bug? Why?

by aganguli

Thursday July 11th, 2002 12:50 PM

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As 'fuzzygorilla' said, it's not so simple, although we probably could use Mozilla at this point. But considering that NS7 on it's way (and looks to be pretty good), we might as well wait for that. The priorities for mass deployment are stability and low hassle. Presumably NS7 will deliver that.

With any luck, the next time we change our layout we can ignore NS4 completely. Or maybe just deliver a text only page to NS4 & Lynx.

#35 Re: Interesting...

by vcs2600 <vcs2600@yahoo.com>

Sunday July 14th, 2002 11:00 AM

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Note that some large companies maintain standard desktop configurations which they roll-over very slowly. A few years ago, Netscape 4 absolutely dominated in that market.

So the short answer is that lots of people use NS4 because it's the only thing installed on their machine.

What's happening now is that companies are replacing their Win 95 / Office 97 / Netscape 4 configurations with Win 2000 / Office 2000 / IE 6 configs. The net result is Netscape's marketshare bleeding slowly over to IE (and not Mozilla/NS6). Netscape effectively missed the last upgrade round and will have to wait 2-3 years for the next one.

There's also a hardcore NS4 fanbase out there who don't like Mozilla for being too slow/buggy/etc. The few folks I know in this category are Mail users and just can't stand the new mail component.

#19 Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by chillspace <lists@liquid-evol.net>

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 9:41 PM

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Why don't developers force IE to compliant-mode instead of Mozilla giving in to "almost compliant" mode. This sounds so ridiculous. Every single site out there can built using standards. Are developers getting lazy nowadays? Just a thought.

#20 Re: Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by bzbarsky

Wednesday July 10th, 2002 10:13 PM

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"getting lazy"? "nowadays"? They always have been, and always will be...

#22 Re: Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by TheK <kl@3dots.de>

Thursday July 11th, 2002 6:21 AM

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Website developers? They are more lazy then MS is! MSIE's Standards mode doesn't act that much stricter then their sloppy mode, but it should be enough to break around 90% of the pages out there (esp. as is requires a given unit in CSS lenght values then). There are also still way to less people using Mozilla out there, before everybody will make their pages compatible without presure from AOL/Netscape. Get all your friends to use Mozilla (or anything based upon it), then we won't be ignored any more.

#25 Re: Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Friday July 12th, 2002 12:02 AM

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Maybe they are not stupid enough to make their site (shut out 99% of their constituents) to please the three visitors to their sites using Mozilla.

#28 Re: Re: Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by bzbarsky

Friday July 12th, 2002 5:30 AM

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Agreed, except for one thing. They could make it work fine with IE's standards more with very little effort. Then it would work with any other browser's standards mode as well (for all browsers that have such a concept). Then they could stop worrying about the fact that more than one browser exists.

#32 Re: Why not force IE to compliant-mode?

by rdebay

Friday July 12th, 2002 11:47 PM

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Most (90% - see Sturgeon's law) software developers suffer from two of the seven deadly sins: Sloth - It takes another five minutes to make a site compliant with standards (or to write decent code). Pride - If somone wants to use MY software or buy MY products, they damn well better have version X of this OS and version Y of that app and version Z of that plugin!

Web developers (I hate to call them that, most are a bunch of monkeys in front of typewriters) could spend an afternoon learning what they need to know, and build sites that work much better. They spend more time whinging than it would take to learn their craft.

This is not ment as a tiraid against the "unwashed masses," it is pointed towards those that should know better.

#38 'Nearly Standards Mode'

by cdn

Monday July 15th, 2002 1:32 PM

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How exactly is 'Almost Standards' stated for Ctrl-I ?

I know that there are supposed to be particular Doctype triggers for it; what I don't know is whether I've actually seen such a rendering.

Does anyone have links to definitive Standards Compliant, 'Almost Standards' and Quirks rendered pages to illustrate this difference ?

thanks

cdn