On Jun 8, 2008, at 11:35 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
On Jun 6, 2008, at 2:20 PM, Travis Leithead wrote:
Anne and I suggested an errata for this a few years back, but the
DOM folks were not receptive at the time, out of consideration for
server-side Java DOM implementations:
While implementing some improvements to getAttribute in IE8, we
actually checked in code that is conformant to what the spec says
about the return value:
The Attr value as a string, or the empty string if that attribute
does not have a specified or default value
Once this code was in, we immediately hit app and site compat
problems because we always returned a string--an empty string--if
the "attribute [did] not have a specified or default value".
As it turns out in practice, all browsers actually implement this
a slightly different way: they return the value as a string, or
null if the attribute does not have a specified or default value.
In other words, if there is no entry for the requested attribute
in the NamedNodeMap, then null is returned.
IE8 is being fixed to be conformant with what everyone else has
implemented, I just thought I would pass this along to whomever is
doing the DOM L3 Core Second Edition so that it might be recorded
in that spec, an errata, or so that we can discuss.
See the thread for more discussion.
I also at the time raised another compatibility issue that I
thought should be fixed in errata:
The short version is that DOM forbids inserting nodes into a
different document than their ownerDocument, but browsers allow it
(in at least some cases).
Yup, this is a bad situation indeed. Basically browsers are stuck
with no good way out: Be compatible with the spec, or be compatible
with the web. Of course any serious web browser is going to choose
The way out in this case is to fix the spec, in my opinion. Which
hopefully we will do. Fortunately, I think these two issues may be the
only two hard Web incompatibilities in all of DOM Core, which is not
bad compared to other specs from the same era.