No XHTML, No SVG in Longhorn 15

At the recent W3C workshop covering Web Applications and Compound Documents, Microsoft said that there will be no support for XHTML and SVG in Longhorn. Ian Hixie, who works for Opera, is a member of the CSS and XBL work group at W3C and who also is a major contributor to Mozilla (used to work for AOL I think), was presenting the views of Mozilla and Opera at the workshop. He wrote:

Another point that came out of the discussions is that, in case there was any doubt, Internet Explorer in Longhorn will not support XHTML or SVG. (Microsoft suggested they would need some significantly more comprehensive test suites before they started working on standards compliance again.)

Not that this comes as a big surprise. It is evident that Microsoft has no interest in improving the web. In fact, the more complicated the web gets the better it suits their plan to release Longhorn propriatery technologies to solve this mess. The goal from MS has always seemed to be to replace the internet with MSN. Avalon and Longhorn fits this plan very well.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Avalon and XAML and I believe that if you read thorugh all the documents from the workshop for Web Applications and Compound Documents and knows what Avalon is all about you’ll probably see that the concept of Avalon is a really good one. The main issue with Avalon is that it is starting from scratch and that there will never, ever be an open standard with competing players.

My own view on this whole topic is more along the line of Mozilla and Opera. Add the XUL box model to CSS3 (KHTML supports it). Add a basic XUL like language and make the rendering engine support XHTML, SVG, XUL2(?), XBL2, DOM and some simple binary behavior standard and we have a lot simpler playform where we already have most of the parts available today made by several different vendors.

The most likely to succeed in this area is a collaboration between Mozilla, Opera and Safari/KHTML due to the tight connections these players have (and they make up 99% of the browser market).

  • foO

    hmmmmmmm….. no, as in, absolutely “NO!” XHTML support?!??? shit. what does that mean on the CSS front, i wonder?

    /seems to look pretty bleak

    still has me wondering what this all means…. *chuckle*

  • Erik Arvidsson

    It means:

    A. That they have another product that will handle XHTML + SVG + CSS2 (Tasman maybe?)

    B. That they hope to separate the web into HTML for static, second grade web and XAML/Avalon for all the Longhorn tie-in goodies.

    Remember that XAML/Avalon has no support for CSS, XHTML, DOM nor SVG. XAML is just a serialization format for .NET classes. You can’t even use DOM on the XAML doc!

  • yn

    They may make 99% (more like 70% imho, much less than that if you count “browsers” that use trident as the rendering engine) of the browser market, but together they don’t even hold 10% of the market SHARE, which makes them almost irrelevant at the moment.

  • foO

    great point…. for some reason, it suddenly reminds me of when i first started to hear buzz about this new crazy tech called “XML”, and how it was gonna replace HTML and drive the web to new plateau’s of kewlness. no wonder i was so confused by it for awhile *blink*

    think ppl who might read a blogger talk about XAML/Avalon and Longhorn might quickly jump to some pretty wrong conclusions, y’know? just a thought…. *shrugs*

    ……….10% of “market” SHARE?!???? sorry, but what the hell does that mean, exactly?

  • yn

    Market share has a simple definition, let Google help:

    “Market share refers to a brand’s share of the total sales of all products within the product category in which the brand competes. Market share is determined by dividing a brand’s sales volume by the total category sales volume.”

    To put it simply, 99% of the browser market owns less than 10% of the market users. While the 1% (IE, by Erik) owns over 90% of them.

  • Erik Arvidsson

    “99%”: I was referrring to “browsers” and since IE is a product that Microsoft are not planning to maintain to support the web as it evolves I’m excluding it from “browsers”.

  • Daniel

    I wasn’t expecting bullshit from Erik, but obviously Erik chose to be one of those Microsoft bashers. Too bad, since his work seem to support IE, maybe it doesn’t support it properly or intentionally, I don’t know but clearly Erik wants us to move away from IE for religious reasons.

    Also I don’t understand why Erik gets his Microsoft news from an Opera employee. Obviously Hixie is lying here. XHTML is already supported in IE, and IE team already said they are going to support XHTML in Longhorn, just check out channel 9. For SVG, even mozilla doesn’t support it, so what is this FUD about?

    Finally, let’s not be stupid here and compare Avalon, XAML to the web technologies directly. Avalon is the next graphics api for Windows, telling Microsoft to stop working on is something like telling Microsoft to stop working its products and die. Microsoft has every right to improve its Windows, just because Avalon can be used by web apps doesn’t mean that you can ask Microsoft to stop developing it. There are tons of applications you can’t write using any extension of HTML whereas you can with XAML/C# etc… I guess the logic is to bash Microsoft as much as possible and stop it from innovating its products. Bashing Microsoft only destroys your own credibility.

  • Erik Arvidsson

    Daniel: I think you should read my post again.

    I wasn’t expecting someone to say that they were not “expecting bullshit from Erik” ;-)

    Did I tell Microsoft to stop working on Avalon? I love Avalon. I think it is great. I just wish that there was some viable option that did not require the Windows lockin.

    It does not matter that Mozilla does not enable SVG in the default builds. I want SVG in IE even if no one else supports it.

    IE does not support XHTML. Just try to send it using application/xhtml+xml and you’ll see. Another option is to make the XHTML file non well-formed and you should get an error.

    Finally I’d like to apologize for the noIE popup. I only intended to have this for a short while to promote Dean Edwards. I just forgot that I had it there.

    IE is dead. Microsoft don’t want IE to support the standards that everyone else is supporting because then developing for the web might be a threat to Windows. See Joel on Software.

    One of the main reason I want people to move away from IE is so that I can use CSS2, DOM2 and other goodies.

  • Hakan Bilgin

    What is stopping you?
    You wrote scripts for new releases of IE when majority of web users surfed on older version. As you are doing now; the majority of web uses IE but you are promoting non-IE browsers. Show us what can be done… What do you want to do, that can’t be done in IE? Or even, why don’t you use the goodies you’re talking about from now on, and abandon IE and this complaining.

    If the results are that great as you’re promising, I will follow. But so far, I am not impressed.

  • Erik Arvidsson

    Hakan, one of the reasons I still support IE is because users want it and IE will stick for a long time. Netscape 4 was free falling and inferior. Most things can be done in IE as well but they just require more and harder work.

  • Hakan Bilgin

    With all due respect, I claim the opposite. Take for instance Emils SpellChecker, what needs to be done can be made much more easily for IE. And since the IE withholds “true” text range tools, this can be done correctly. The corresponding tools in Mozilla based browsers are more or less useless with objects other than iframes.

    The freedom to alter everything is a great feature but the result is more memory usage and slower outcome. It costs to much…

    What things requires more and harder work, that you are you thinking of?

  • Erik Arvidsson

    I beg to differ when it comes to selection and ranges. It sucks that Mozilla does not support contentEditable. I think everyone agrees to that

    You can alter everything in Mozilla, just like in IE.

    A few things that are harder to do in IE than in Mozilla:

    :active, :hover and :focus are a few trivial things ;-)

    XPath in HTML DOM

    CSS3 appearance is not even doable in IE

    SVG and Canvas requires plugins

    XHTML roles for accessibility

    data: URLs

    Ranges and traversal.

    There are things that are easier to do in IE than in Mozilla but that was not the question :-)

  • Hakan Bilgin

    - Xpath in HTML DOM; there is no good support even for XPath against XML in Firefox.
    - data: URLs; Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean that you want to use it? Who cares about this capability? The reason for this that alteration of images will become irritating and time-consuming.
    - About SVG, I with you. But only if its fast, if its slow rendering, as it has been so far, then its better without.
    - CSS3; Do you really think that the internet will be so much prettier? The webb is full of tasteless people. Don’t get me wrong, I wan’t CSS3 also but don’t expect that much, in the end, its still up to you to create beautiful/uggly creations.
    - SVG; Last time I checked Firefox also requires plugin. Opera is pioneer, ok, but so what. Flash has been around a long time now, but still, for advanced projects, its not an option.

    Anyway, this kind of discussions boores me. At the end, you and every other highly skilled programmers, adapt/mimic methods/object from IE. Why don’t you stop doing that and ignore IE.

    I guess the content of what I am trying to say is; stop whining and show some result.

  • Hakan Bilgin
  • Erik Arvidsson

    But I like whining ;-) One reason why I’m wining is that I don’t want MS to give up on IE. It is a good product but it need improvements.