Browsers vs Standards: Fight!

Ladies and Gentlemen! For tonight’s fight, in the blue corner, weighing in at two and a half billion users, Wooorldwiiide Weeeebbb BROWSERS!!!! And in the Red corner, weighing in at hundreds of corporations, institutions and individuals, Oooficiaaall Weeeebbb STANDARDS!!!

Browsers versus Standards may sound a bit weird, but if you are a web developer like me you may have had the feeling too sometimes that some standards as described by the organizations governing them actually seem to be hurting your attempts to write cross-browser compatible web pages. For example:

Phasing out basic elements such as b, i and u and leaving the iframe element out of the strict doctype.
Deprecating text/javascript as a mime type for Javascript code.
Limiting the use of text/html for xhtml to xhtml 1.0 only.
Trying to replace the img tag with the more generic object tag.

For some years, after finishing HTML 4, W3C has been, in my opinion, straying from ‘the path’ when they ventured into the dark woods of xhtml 1.1 and 2 and it’s many modules. They had made HTML so complex, just trying to figure out what doctype to use for your new HTML template could lead to hours and hours of internet research, leaving you more confused afterwards than you started out.

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