Winners: forward-thinking web developers (because Microsoft can make changes to the engine without fearing to “break the web” (at least for a while), so developers can use new technology in IE sooner) and lazy web developers
Losers: Alternate browsers (maybe) and Microsoft (because it’s hard to have multiple engines in the same product, as outlined by Robert O’Callahan and others)
I’m reserving on how bad this is. It may even be a good thing.
Bear in mind that Chris Wilson has stated that IE will also switch into “super standards” mode when it encounters DOCTYPEs that aren’t widely deployed (he explicitly mentioned HTML5, but who knows – maybe XHTML too?)
Meh, I suppose it might not be all bad. I was mostly afraid initially about the though of all browsers keeping older versions of their engines around as well, which I’m glad to hear they won’t.
And yes, the HTML5 DOCTYPE news could be a good thing (I personally am ready to start using HTML5 the moment it’s stable/supported well enough), but I worry that
MS might just find themselves having the same kind of problem they do now in the future when many sites have HTML5 DOCTYPEs but still include workarounds to IE bugs. This would be similar to the feared situation of everyone just using IE=edge (which the ALA article states is actually “strongly discouraged”).
Jeff, you’re more optimistic about IE’s XHTML support than I am. But then I wasn’t expecting Acid2 support in IE8 either, so who knows.