What does deprecated mean? Are you sure you know the right answer?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Richard, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Richard

    Richard Guest


    A deprecated element or attribute is one that has been outdated by newer
    constructs. Deprecated elements are defined in the reference manual in
    appropriate locations, but are clearly marked as deprecated. Deprecated
    elements may become obsolete in future versions of HTML.

    User agents should continue to support deprecated elements for reasons
    of backward compatibility.

    Definitions of elements and attributes clearly indicate which are

    This specification includes examples that illustrate how to avoid using
    deprecated elements. In most cases these depend on user agent support for
    style sheets. In general, authors should use style sheets to achieve
    stylistic and formatting effects rather than HTML presentational attributes.
    HTML presentational attributes have been deprecated when style sheet
    alternatives exist.

    As it clearly states here, even though an item has been DEPRECATED, it is
    still permissable to use said item due to the fact it is impossible to
    change old browsers once they are in the user's hands.

    You don't like it? Bitch to W3.org about it. They wrote it.
    Richard, Feb 11, 2005
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  2. Ever considered *actually reading* what you quote? The specification
    says exactly what most of the regulars around here say: that unless
    there's a very good reason not to, you should use CSS for presentation
    Leif K-Brooks, Feb 11, 2005
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  3. Richard

    rf Guest

    Nothing of the sort. They mean backward compatibility for *web pages* not

    It would be a supremely stupid browser author who suddenly dropped support
    for deprecated elements and caused hundreds of millions of web pages to

    And it is not "permissable" to use deprecated items in modern designs. That
    is why the strict DTD does not validate them. It *is* "permissable" to
    continue their use in legacy pages that were written last century, that is
    why there is a transitional DTD.

    As usual you have it totally arse about :)
    rf, Feb 11, 2005
  4. Richard

    Toby Inkster Guest

    It also says that:

    | Deprecated elements may become obsolete in future versions of HTML.


    | User agents should continue to support deprecated elements for reasons
    | of backward compatibility.

    However, note is DOES NOT say:

    | User agents should continue to support obsolete elements for reasons
    | of backward compatibility.

    That is, deprecated things may eventually become obsolete. And once
    they're obsolete, user agents are allowed to drop support for them.

    Or, to make it even plainer: deprecated things might not be supported in
    the future. So if you want to future-proof your site, steer clear of
    deprecated elements.

    Further, there is always a *reason* elements are depreated. Usually
    because they are totally useless and can be replaced with a single CSS
    Toby Inkster, Feb 11, 2005
  5. Richard

    Duende Guest

    While sitting in a puddle rf scribbled in the mud:
    Never know what microsoft has up their sleeve.

    Duende, Feb 11, 2005
  6. Richard

    rf Guest

    Point :)
    rf, Feb 11, 2005
  7. While the city slept, Duende () feverishly typed...

    nice.guy.nige, Feb 11, 2005
  8. Richard

    Andy Dingley Guest

    It's not about whether the attribute is deprecated or not, it's the
    fact that you gave it a value that's just plain _wrong_.
    Andy Dingley, Feb 11, 2005
  9. Richard

    JDS Guest

    Well, IIRC, that is exactly what the Mozilla foundation did, back in
    2000 or 2001, when they dropped support for document.layers and other NS4
    thingamahoobers. But it was a bold move, and now, some 4+ years later,
    arguably a good move.
    JDS, Feb 11, 2005
  10. Richard

    rf Guest

    No, that is not exactly what Mozilla did.

    <layer> and all the other NS4 stuff was not deprecated, or even obsolote,
    because it was never part of the spec in the first place.

    What Mozilla did was drop support for some proprietry inventions specific to
    a particular browser.
    rf, Feb 11, 2005
  11. Richard

    JDS Guest

    Right, I see the technical distinction. However, it could be argued that
    by the very fact of Netscape (or MSIE's) market share that NS4's
    implementation *was* the specification. At least in a de facto sort of way.

    I mean, the end result was that Moz killed support for features being
    *used* by a ton of websites, which ofttimes had to be rewritten (and there
    are still, 4+years later, a lot of broken sites and *especially* a
    lot of broken code *examplese* and *tutorials* around because of it[1]).

    [1] In 1998, didn't it seem like everyone who figured out how to do a JS
    rollover suddenly had a Web Techniques and Tutorials site? Maybe that is
    still true to some extent... hmmm...
    JDS, Feb 11, 2005
  12. Richard

    rf Guest

    The fact that a website once used a feature does not mean that it still
    should. The same thing could be said about IEs marquee element. Lots of
    sites used it when IE was number 1. Now there is a plethora of javascript
    rubbish to replace it for modern browsers.

    Hmmm. If a web site is 4+ years old then perhaps it needs re-visiting anyway

    If a web site does not support modern browsers and/or the recommendations
    then it *should* be re-visited, unless it is being kept there for historical
    purposes. Do you still use a TV set that utilises valves? No, because you
    can't buy replacements any more. Similarly you should not use <layer>
    because you can't buy^H^H^H obtain a browser that supports it anymore,
    except for historical reasons.

    Hmmm again. It was once kosher to smoke cigarettes in a public place. On a
    bus even. The rules have changed.
    And *all* of them used the obsolete cargo cult nonsense of putting HTML
    comments around the javascript (to hide it from pre release 3 browsers), a
    practice which continues here and over at clj still today.

    It's even crept into the style element, putting HTML elements around the
    CSS. Browsers that do not support or at least don't ignore the style element
    (and thus wont render its content) *are* obsolete[1], just as visicalc and
    msdos is.

    In any case javascript rollovers are obsolete. CSS does it now, and much
    better, except for a certain browser that itself should be obsolete :)

    [1] This is entirely different to using cdata inside a style element in an
    XHTML document.
    rf, Feb 11, 2005
  13. Richard

    ghoulxr Guest

    ghoulxr, Feb 12, 2005
  14. Richard

    JDS Guest

    WAS number 1?? MSIE is no longer number 1??? That is news to me!

    Hmm. Your analogies could use some tweaking. For example, tubes[1] may not
    be in my TV but nearly every TV in the US still uses essentially the same
    TV technology from 50 years ago.

    Allright, later.

    [1] TUBES, dammit. I'm USA-ian. Valves are for Marshall and Vox amps
    (which are at least British). And you *can* buy replacements, BTW. There
    is actually a big market for tubes still in guitar amps and audiophile
    stereo components.
    JDS, Feb 12, 2005
  15. Richard

    rf Guest

    Number 1 in the sense of the best around.

    IE took that position away from Netscape last century. Since then (and
    remember that IE was released last century) there have been a number of
    browsers released that far exceed the capabilities of IE.

    The fact that IE is the most used browser does not make it the number 1

    What? You don't have cable over there? Or high definition digital? Or DVD's?
    Or surround sound? Or picture in picture? Or, for that matter, colour?

    None of these things are supported by a 50 year old TV :)
    rf, Feb 12, 2005
  16. While the city slept, rf (rf@.invalid) feverishly typed...
    I remember when you could smoke on buses. It never ceases to amaze me that
    on single-decker buses, you could only smoke at the back. Which way is the
    smoke blown?? ;-)

    I still use comments around my javascript (although I rarely write js these
    days) just out of nostalgia I think. Mainly because of my "trademark"
    comments of <!-- hide at the top and // dunhidin --> at the bottom. I
    recently found some scripts I had written and forgotten about years ago
    (done on an old PC from which all my old code was zipped and archived) by
    googling the clj archive for "// dunhidin -->" so it could be argued to have
    some benefit, as long as you use distinctive comments! ;-)

    nice.guy.nige, Feb 13, 2005
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