back to article Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility

Plans are afoot for Firefox to work with pre-complete web standards as implemented in rivals’ browsers. Mozilla developers have revealed a plan to implement support for a subset of non-standard CSS prefixes used in WebKit, –webkit. Changes are planned for either Firefox 46 or 47, set to be released around April and May. …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Noooooooooooooooooo

    Just No!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Noooooooooooooooooo

      Your wife is dead, better come to the Dark Side.

    2. Richard 22

      Re: Noooooooooooooooooo

      Thanks for the informed comment and reasoned argument.

      This appears to be a very sensible and pragmatic move for firefox. Presumably for a bunch of already agreed and finalised standards all that would be required is for firefox to support the -webkit and non-webkit prefixed versions of the CSS, presumably bringing it into line with webkit browsers which I'm guessing don't remove support for -webkit prefix as soon as the standard is finalised.

      Short of getting every website author to go and clean up all their sites to ensure only standards compliant tags are used, and to ensure that they keep these up-to-date while also ensuring backward compatibility of their sites on older browsers, this appears to be the best way of ensuring Firefox remains relevant as an alternative rendering engine. This is important to ensure that webkit-based browsers don't completely dominate and thus begin to ignore standards altogether (as happened with IE back in the day)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Noooooooooooooooooo

        I agree, and in a few years the whole issue will start to become moot anyway, with standardized css properties replacing prefixes in live code. At least for this particular batch of spec additions...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Noooooooooooooooooo

        "Short of getting every website author to go and clean up all their sites "

        It might be an idea for browsers to flag up sites which are "broken" as a default setting which the user has to decide to turn off.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. KenBW2

    One day we'll look back and see

    WebKit is the new IE6

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: One day we'll look back and see

      I'm more worried that there will be a new IE6 that wont be WebKit compatible. Goose, Gander etc

    3. Maventi

      Re: One day we'll look back and see

      "WebKit is the new IE6"

      Almost; the critical difference being that WebKit isn't stuck on one platform.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Almost; the critical difference being that WebKit isn't stuck on one platform.

        The problem with IE6 sites wasn't that they only worked on Windows, it was that they only worked on IE6. Your critical difference actually makes this worse, there's even less reason for the move to standards.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One day we'll look back and see

        Webkit IS the platform.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: One day we'll look back and see

      Yes! On reading the article the very first thing that came to mind was "This website works best with <insert browser of page authors choice here>

      1. captain veg

        Re: One day we'll look back and see

        Astonishingly enough, this kind of thing still exists, and on a web site created by an agency of the French state!

        -A.

  3. No Quarter

    Stop fucking about...

    with prefixes, the lot of you.

    1. captain veg

      Re: Stop fucking about...

      Vendor-specific prefixes are all well and good for vendor-specific features, but annoying and inappropriate for stuff which is intended to be standard but just not finalised yet. Why not have a non-vendor-specific prefix for that? Like, I dunno, just -x-.

      -A.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stop fucking about...

        This FF move goes halfway to making -webkit- an alias for -x-.

  4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Dammit El Reg, when will you learn it's not a fox - it's a Red Panda!

  5. Greg J Preece

    Prefixes have a value, but the entire point of them is that they're supposed to be vendor specific! Why not just implement these things with a -mozilla prefix?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      They do, but they've decided not to ignore non-standard webkit- prefixes on badly-done websites.

      Can't wait to find out what the next Google-appeasing feature they're dropping/including is, probably announced sometime next week.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        It would be far better if they added such support *conditionally* on the browsing machine's DNS suffix *not* matching the website under view (at least to some level in the hierarchy).

        Real end-users get the support they need for broken sites. The authors of those sites get a slap in the face. Everyone's happy.

      2. Greg J Preece

        They do, but they've decided not to ignore non-standard webkit- prefixes on badly-done websites.

        Smells like IE6....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much for standards.

    Not that I'm expecting much common sense from the overall web / web-app / html5 / browser community. There's too much self serving self interest for any one of the large players to actually want to make it possible for code or web pages to be truly write once display/run anywhere.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh what the hell. If it reduces the pain of web development in the web's dying years, go for it.

    Now, Microsoft/Apple/Google, how about you guys add support for the new/experimental/convenience Javascript features (String.trim, String.startsWith...) that Firefox so "thoughtfully" added without an opt-in compatibility switch...?

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge

      String.trim

      Now, Microsoft/Apple/Google, how about you guys add support for the new/experimental/convenience Javascript features (String.trim, String.startsWith...)

      Sure those are still missing? developer.mozilla.org lists String.trim() as being supported by Chrome, Firefox since version 3.5, IE since 9, Opera since 10.5, Safari since 5. The String.startsWith() needs a bit newer browser, but is supported by Chrome 41, IE 12, Opera 41, Safari 9. You cannot expect Microsoft/Apple/Google to do anything about their older browser versions.

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The Problem?

    The moronic webpage "so called" designers using these webkit prefixes in the first place.

    I bet the same morons using pale grey text on white, dark grey text on black, and totally flat designs where you guess if something has a link or is a button.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: The moronic webpage "so called" designers

      And if the customer insists that you support feature X on an iPhone and on Chrome and the only way to get paid is to use a webkit prefix? Even after you've explained how much of a bad idea that is? You'd close your business rather than implement something browser specific?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The moronic webpage "so called" designers

        Pardon me but it seems to me there's a heck of these "bet the business" decisions of late involving incipient standards.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: The moronic webpage "so called" designers

        And if the customer insists that you support feature X on an iPhone and on Chrome and the only way to get paid is to use a webkit prefix?

        Care to name such a "feature"?

        I've looked at the list on the WHATWG site, and I don't think any of it is compelling. Hell, I don't think any of it is even interesting. It's just a bunch more stupid shine.

        I think it'd be better if we just started hitting WebKit developers with sticks until they cut this crap out.

    2. Mark 65

      Re: The Problem?

      Those same morons are likely only just moving away from websites loaded with Flash. Yep, Dreamweaver drag-drop pros that call themselves website designers.

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Move along nothing to see

    As Peter-Paul Koch pointed out a while back: vendor prefixes are a solution looking for a problem. Working with them without some magic CSS automation which knew when to use which prefixes, added considerably to the overhead for the developer with little obvious benefit: testing them is also a real pain.

    The idea behind prefixes was sound enough: allow development in practice rather than in committee but the implementation sucked. A simple switch in the browser "support experimental features" would have sufficed. This would have encouraged gradual enhancement and prevented developers targeting experimental features. Fortunately, Google and Opera decided to stop creating new prefixes for Blink in 2013 and this approach is gradually being adopted by the other browser makers. Except Apple.

  10. TeeCee Gold badge
    Mushroom

    I'm sorry.....

    .....but if you're using stuff from a standard yet to be finalised in your website, please fuck off and die horribly.

    You are the problem.

    1. deadcow

      Re: I'm sorry.....

      If you're using a vendor prefix to perform graceful enhancement to a site with browsers that support those features, without a reduction in the experience to users with browsers that don't, then what's the problem Mr. Keyboard Warrior?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm sorry.....

        Dev/design shops don't have the resources to do everything properly. Sites need to be built in a timely fashion, and updated to meet rapidly shifting requirements from all sides... which requires developing primarily in one browser (latest Firefox or Chrome), relying on a lot of 3rd-party code, and then debugging other browsers as an afterthought. There's a ton of outdated, preliminary, erroneous, and obfuscated documentation to sift through as well. And experienced devs and designers tend to burn out, so even big-budget projects are understaffed. And that, in a nutshell, is why we're in this mess.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: I'm sorry.....

          Dev/design shops don't have the resources to do everything properly. Sites need to be built in a timely fashion, and updated to meet rapidly shifting requirements from all sides... which requires developing primarily in one browser (latest Firefox or Chrome), relying on a lot of 3rd-party code, and then debugging other browsers as an afterthought.

          So what you're saying is that web developers are the new VBA record macro -> edit monkeys? There's not doing shit properly because you don't have time and then there's just writing shit. Web development is starting to seem very much like the latter.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm sorry.....

            Some of both. But with the shit that browser makers are throwing at us, even good programmers are bound to fumble quite a bit.

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