Re: [xsl] IE Client side transformation issue

Subject: Re: [xsl] IE Client side transformation issue
From: Abel Braaksma <>
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2007 03:14:32 +0200
M. David Peterson wrote:
On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 18:06:09 -0600, Abel Braaksma <> wrote:

the opposite is also true: <br /> should not be written as <br></br> because, you guessed it right, IE cannot handle it well

Is this really something that should be seen as a problem with IE, however? Isn't this part of the HTML spec? I realize that its a bit silly that not using a closing script element breaks the page, but IE is certainly not the only browser on the planet that enforces quirky rules that don't seem to make any sense. In addition, with as much flack that IE has received for being overly generous in rendering tag-soup is it really fair to then take a "they need to be more generous in what they are willing to render and what they are not"?

That said, the only reason I use IE anymore is for testing so I do recognize the fact that it's less than perfect in a lot of ways. I just think that its a bit harsh to be taking a "because IE can't handle it" instead of a "because that is the way the spec was written" which unless I am completely off base is really the correct response in *MOST* cases.

I agree to all your points. When I put down that line I thought it was a bit too much of IE-blaming. FF has its quirks, definitely with XSLT-to-HTML in-place rendering (and even more definitely so when trying to use inline styles of a certain type, which don't get rendered, but is a bad design anyway, so who cares).

About the spec thing, isn't it something from SGML heritage? I mean, didn't XML introduce the shortcut <br /> for <br></br> thus disallowing the SGML <br> on itself (without closing tag)? And wasn't it also SGML heritage that allowed <option selected> and XML forced more strict rules and made it <option selected="selected">?

I didn't look at it like this before, but you have a strong point with your story on standards. Considering that the predecessor of IE was NCSA Mosaic (I believe MS bought them) which started out in 1992, way before XML. And even when XML came about, it was not immediately obvious that it would replace HTML. It was only way later that XHTML came about and by that time, browsers were already quite based on the HTML (read: SGML heritage) standards. And we're still struggling to get rid of our past ;)

-- Abel Braaksma

PS: I hoped that IE7 would be a huge overhaul, and MS claims to be rid of any NCSA Mosaic legacy code, but my experiences so far were quite disappointing when it came to rendering and standards (old/new doesn't matter) support.

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