Camen Design

c share + remix

Why HTML5 <figure> Doesn’t Have to Work in IE

Note: Details in this article no longer apply as HTML5 was changed to use the <figcaption> element instead of <legend> and <dt> / <dd> after that.

Since <legend> in <figure> was a no-go (pretty much busted in all browsers), the HTML5 specification has changed to using <dt> and <dd> instead. This is all described in a new article by the HTML5 Doctor.

Apparently Internet Explorer is still broken and <dd> doesn’t solve the <figure> problem. This assertion is made at the end:

We, as authors, want to make use of details and figure today. Waiting for IE7 to fall out of circulation before we start using these elements (as it’s been proposed a number of times on the IRC channel and mailing boards) is outright not going to happen. IE6 & 7 are going to be around for a good more number of years, certainly IE7 (IE6 has at least another 5 years in the beast).

We are going to start enabling the details interactive UI pattern using JavaScript whilst we wait for vendors to bake it in to the browser, so the final proposed markup needs to work in all the browsers, including IE6 and IE7.

Remy Sharp—“dd-details wrong again

No. That is absolute rot and I do not believe for a second that HTML5 <figure> and <details> must work in IE6 & 7. Pray tell, what enterprise apps (strictly non-consumer) are you writing that must use <details> that couldn’t be done with DIVs to support your arse-backwards IE6-toting clients?

HTML5, as a standard for the next 15 years, does not have to support IE6 & 7, at all. Any such support we have now is a complete hack, and we’re lucky to have even that. Yes, the standard must be pragmatic, but this idea that IE6 & 7 must determine the future is grossly outdated.

If you are writing a consumer-orientated app for the worldwide public then you can look forward to Firefox usage over 50% in some countries. Look, if a consumer is using IE6 then they both don’t know alternatives exist and don’t know how to update their machine. Tell them. It is your responsibility to bring the ’Web up to standard. Any consumer using IE6 or 7 has the option of IE8 or a better browser.

Developers need to thicken their spines and set the price of entry. You must have a browser that is at least this awesome to enter. Give people a degraded experience in IE6 & 7, titled by a banner to upgrade. Guess what, people do!

IE6 & 7 are going the way of the dodo, quickly and will be a distant memory. The HTML5 standard shouldn’t be crippled for crippled browsers. If you want IE6 & 7 users, then don’t use HTML5; simply put—HTML 4 already works, and will continue to do so. If you love your users then you care about their security and you care about the experience they have on the ’Web and you care enough to help them upgrade their computer. Devote a whole page that describes the process step-by-step if need be. Stop copping out by supporting IE6 & 7.

Sorry if this comes across as angry, but I really can’t accept developers defending IE6 & 7, there’s no excuse and you should stop letting Microsoft dictate the ’Web for you. IE6 & 7 have the market share they have (which you use as defence) because you won’t move on, and move your users on too. What enterprises use internally has nothing to do with the public ’Web. Stop hiding behind firewalls.