Undetectable document.all

My view, for anyone who isn’t following the bug: the “undetectable” part removes some of the major objections in “Proprietary Features Bad” but still, the negative part of the message this sends out outweighs any evidence I’ve seen of a technical benefit. Even bclary, Tech Evangelist extraordinaire, admits that it doesn’t make all that many document.all-using sites he’s looked at work.

But, if we must have it based on an argument of “legacy pages that no-one is around to update”, we should have it only in quirks mode, and not in standards mode. Other compromises we’ve had to make in the past notwithstanding, we should do our best to support only standards in standards mode, and keep backwards-compatibility behaviour restricted to quirks mode. This would also have the significant advantage of making it much less likely that anyone would code new pages using document.all.

Followup to the DOM newsgroup.

5 thoughts on “Undetectable document.all

  1. I’m totally with You about “quirks mode only”. If there will be any petition – sign me in !
    Otherwise we just made Evangelizators work useless

  2. I agree too, it makes no sense having it in standards support mode, furthermore a webdesigner using a correct DTD is highly unlikely to use IE4 javascript methods…

  3. Personally, I hate quirks mode, but I can understand it has to be here, because of MS compatibility.
    But I don’t think they should put quirks only dom properties in Mozilla. Simply because they have never done that before and they should not start it now.

    I personally like this new undetectable document.all support. I don’t think this sends a negative message, nowadays. Any sensitive person nowadays would use document.getElementsByTagName because of it’s wider support (also in IE).
    I agree however, would they have done this 3 years ago, I think it would have sent a bad message.

  4. I can’t think of any other proprietary feature that Mozilla supports except in standards mode. We keep the number of differences between quirks mode and standards mode small, and I think that’s a good thing. Quirks mode is for resolving differences between standard rendering of standards-compliant documents and legacy rendering of the same documents, not for forcing people who use standards-mode-inducing doctypes to write code that only uses features present in standards.