The dominance of Apple and Google mobile browsers is leading to a situation that is even worse for Web programming than the former dominance of Internet Explorer, according to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) group co-chairman Daniel Glazman, who is overseeing the formatting and effects standard known as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Programmers are overlooking other browsers when they use newer CSS features, even if other browsers support those features. This issue will result in some browsers, namely Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera, having to disguise themselves as other browsers. During a recent CSS Working Group meeting, Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft executives indicated they have resigned themselves to accepting the current situation by embracing WebKit-enabled features.
"WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of Safari and Chrome, living in iPhones, iPads and Android devices, is now the over-dominant browser on the mobile Web and technically, the mobile Web is full of works-only-in-WebKit Web sites while other browsers and their users are crying," Glazman says.
The problem is that programmers use the -webkit prefix without including -o for Opera, -ms for Microsoft Internet Explorer, or -moz for Mozilla's Firefox. "I am asking all the Web authors community to stop designing Web sites for WebKit only, in particular when adding support for other browsers is only a matter of adding a few extra prefixed CSS properties," Glazman says.
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