A List Apart

Issue № 344

The new Webkit monoculture: threat or menace?

Every Time You Call a Proprietary Feature “CSS3,” a Kitten Dies

by Lea Verou · 36 Comments

Any -webkit- feature that doesn’t exist in a specification (not even an Editor’s draft) is not CSS3. Yes, they are commonly evangelized as such, but they are not part of CSS at all. This distinction is not nitpicking. It’s important because it encourages certain vendors to circumvent the standards process, implement whatever they come up with in WebKit, then evangelize it to developers as the best thing since sliced bread. In our eagerness to use the new bling, we often forget how many people fought in the past decade to enable us to write code without forks and hacks and expect it to work interoperably. Lea Verou explains why single-vendor solutions are not the same as standards and not healthy for your professional practice or the future of the web.

The Vendor Prefix Predicament: ALA’s Eric Meyer Interviews Tantek Çelik

by Tantek Çelik, Eric Meyer · 27 Comments

During a public meeting of the W3C CSS Working Group, Mozilla web standards lead Tantek Çelik precipitated a crisis in Web Standards Land when he complained about developers who misunderstand and abuse vendor prefixes by only supporting WebKit’s, thereby creating a browser monoculture. Tantek’s proposed solution, having Mozilla pretend to be WebKit, inflamed many in the standards community, especially when representatives from Opera and Microsoft immediately agreed about the problem and announced similar plans to Mozilla’s. To get to the bottom of the new big brouhaha, exclusively for A List Apart, our Eric Meyer interviews Tantek on Mozilla’s controversial plan to support -webkit- prefixed properties.

More from A List Apart


Lyza Danger Gardner on Building the Web Everywhere

How do we get it done, now?

Every new standard has to start small, and we’ll always need to choose which API to back and which to pass over.

From the Blog

Writing to Think

It's true, writing about your work can be tough. Putting your thoughts out there for everyone to see—and comment on—can be intimidating. But, as Susan Robertson shows, it's a great way to clarify your thinking on tough problems, and can lead to new opportunities in the process.

On Our Radar: Each Button, a Special Snowflake

What grabbed our attention this week? We’re glad you asked. We’re digging the new design standards being shared by 18F and USDS; reading up on accessibility in design (and the notorious PDF!); learning to run better meetings; noodling around with responsive typefaces; and championing better ways to read the comments. Also, somebody likes raccoons. We think. We think that's what they meant.