Microsoft, Mozilla & Opera: Don’t make -webkit- prefixes a de facto standard
  • Petitioned Sylvain Galineau

This petition was delivered to:

Sylvain Galineau
Tantek Çelik
Håkon Wium Lie

Microsoft, Mozilla & Opera: Don’t make -webkit- prefixes a de facto standard

    1. Aaron Gustafson
    2. Petition by

      Aaron Gustafson

      Chattanooga, TN

Not so long ago, Internet Explorer 6 was the over-dominant browser on the Web. The Web was full of works-only-in-IE6 web sites and users of the other browsers were left with no choice but to use IE6 or not have access to critical services like their bank accounts. That was half a dozen years ago and IE6 is pretty much dead now, much to the relief of many web professionals, other browser vendors, and even Microsoft itself. Unfortunately, however, although IE6 is gone, the “IE6 problem” problem is back:

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, as a result, the mobile Web is full of works-only-in-WebKit web sites. These web sites leave non-WebKit users without the access they need by filtering out non-WebKit browsers. As in the past with IE6, it's not because the other browsers are less-capable, but is instead due to the market dominance of WebKit and the fact that it is so tightly integrated into the two dominant mobile platforms.

There is an aspect of the problem we did not have during the IE6 era, though: these web sites are also WebKit-specific because they use "experimental" CSS properties prefixed with -webkit-* without including their Mozilla, Microsoft or Opera counterparts. In many cases that means that if the browser filtering goes away, many of these web sites will remain broken for non-WebKit browsers...

In many if not most cases, the -webkit-* properties WebKit-specific web sites are using do have -moz-*, -ms-*, -o-* equivalents. Gradients, Transforms, Transitions, Animations, and border-radius are all interoperable enough to be browser-agnostic. Web authors need only a few minutes to make a site compatible with Mozilla, Microsoft or Opera. But they never did it.

If we don’t take a stand, this can lead to one thing only and we're dangerously not far from there: other browsers will start supporting/implementing the -webkit-* prefix, turning one single experimental implementation into a new world-wide standard. It will turn a market share into a de facto standard-creation mechanism and a single implementation into a world-wide monopoly. Again. It will kill our standardization process. That's not a question of if, that's a question of when.

Please stand with us now by

1) Telling Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera not to implement the -webkit-* vendor prefix, and

2) Pledging to update every site you can to use the other vendor-specific prefixed (and non-prefixed) versions of each -webkit-* property you find, even if you’re not sure it exists yet.

Together, we can stop this madness.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. W00t! We’re making progress.

      Aaron Gustafson
      Petition Organizer

      We’ve crossed the 100 signatures mark and even Tantek Çelik—an avid standards advocate, but also one of the Mozilla team members who was adamant that they needed to implement the -webkit-* vendor prefix—has begun to help spread the word.

      Let’s see if we can triple our signatures today. Please reach out to your friends and colleagues and urge them to sign and take our pledge to update their sites. Let’s show browser vendors that we value the experimental features process and its ability to help move the web forward.

      Please blog, tweet, post and share this petition and, with your help, we might be able to turn this ship around.



    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Chris H DENMARK
      • over 2 years ago

      The reason for signing .. hmmm....

      Because I fell it is hell to develop good CSS code, which are understood by all browsers. For Example, if I use a feature from the new CSS3 specification.. The question is "Did I get all the vendor-specific codes correct, did I miss something anywhere in the code!?!"

      As the different browsers use different prefixies, the code gets longer, and in the age of mobiles and smartphones.. The SIZE of the code counts a lot, especially, if you have a very long CSS document for your website(s)!

      [every byte counts!]

      Take a stand and sign the petition, and help make a webdevelopers life an easier to live!!!

    • Thibault Clauzier CUSSAC SUR LOIRE, FRANCE
      • over 2 years ago

      The web must remain open... Webkit will be the new ie6 in ten years if the situation does not change.

    • Anthony Goodley DAYTON, WY
      • over 2 years ago

      I don't wish to see a repeat of the issues IE6 caused and the ripples still continue 11 years later.

      When is the web ever going to allow webmasters to write code once that works for all the browsers without hacks and stuff? This whole mess is very wasteful for everyone.

      • over 2 years ago

      The problem has become so bad that our webkit-specific stylesheet is now three times larger than our IE7 and IE8 css bugfix stylesheets.

    • Greg Jensen ETOBICOKE, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      The amount of prefix CSS needed to design a website these days is cumbersome and webkit only websites are wrong on so many levels.


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