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“The Vendor Prefix Predicament” at ALA

Published this morning in A List Apart #344: an interview I conducted with Tantek Çelik, web standards lead at Mozilla, on the subject of Mozilla’s plan to honor -webkit- prefixes on some properties in their mobile browser.  Even better: Lea Verou’s Every Time You Call a Proprietary Feature ‘CSS3,’ a Kitten Dies.  Please—think of the kittens!

My hope is that the interview brings clarity to a situation that has suffered from a number of misconceptions.  I do not necessarily hope that you agree with Tantek, nor for that matter do I hope you disagree.  While I did press him on certain points, my goal for the interview was to provide him a chance to supply information, and insight into his position.  If that job was done, then the reader can fairly evaluate the claims and plans presented.  What conclusion they reach is, as ever, up to them.

We’ve learned a lot over the past 15-20 years, but I’m not convinced the lessons have settled in deeply enough.  At any rate, there are interesting times ahead.  If you care at all about the course we chart through them, be involved now.  Discuss.  Deliberate.  Make your own case, or support someone else’s case if they’ve captured your thoughts.  Debate with someone who has a different case to make.  Don’t just sit back and assume everything will work out—for while things usually do work out, they don’t always work out for the best.  Push for the best.

And fix your browser-specific sites already!

Two Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Tue 21 Feb 2012
    • 2203
    James Weaver wrote in to say...

    I guess I’m confused about the process. So, I’ve always assumed the
    -moz, -webkit, and other prefixes were a good thing? Does the use of prefixes keep the standards from being implemented at a later time? I guess I don’t fully understand the argument against the use of prefixes?

    I do fully agree with “fix your browser-specific sites already!”

    Thanks,
    James

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Thu 23 Feb 2012
    • 0117
    Suhini Rathnayake wrote in to say...

    The article got me a bit confused as to what i should be using and what not? What is the standard version and what will affect the PR?

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