A List Apart No. 344: the new Webkit monoculture

ISSUE NO. 344 of A List Apart for people who make websites asks the musical question, “Webkit monoculture: threat or menace?”

The Vendor Prefix Predicament: ALA’s Eric Meyer Interviews Tantek Çelik

by ERIC MEYER, TANTEK ÇELIK

During a public meeting of the W3C CSS Working Group, Mozilla web standards lead Tantek Çelik precipitated a crisis in Web Standards Land when he complained about developers who misunderstand and abuse vendor prefixes by only supporting WebKit’s, thereby creating a browser monoculture. Tantek’s proposed solution—having Mozilla pretend to be WebKit—inflamed many in the standards community, especially when representatives from Opera and Microsoft immediately agreed about the problem and announced similar plans to Mozilla’s. To get to the bottom of the new big brouhaha, exclusively for A List Apart, our Eric Meyer interviews Tantek on Mozilla’s controversial plan to support -webkit- prefixed properties.

Every Time You Call a Proprietary Feature “CSS3,” a Kitten Dies

by LEA VEROU

Any -webkit- feature that doesn’t exist in a specification (not even an Editor’s draft) is not CSS3. Yes, they are commonly evangelized as such, but they are not part of CSS at all. This distinction is not nitpicking. It’s important because it encourages certain vendors to circumvent the standards process, implement whatever they come up with in WebKit, then evangelize it to developers as the best thing since sliced bread. In our eagerness to use the new bling, we often forget how many people fought in the past decade to enable us to write code without forks and hacks and expect it to work interoperably. Lea Verou explains why single-vendor solutions are not the same as standards and not healthy for your professional practice or the future of the web.


Illustration by Kevin Cornell for A List Apart.