It's time we got browsers to stop supporting vendor prefixes
Vendor prefixes are seriously harming the web. Actually, they are not - the sheer amount of improper use of vendor prefixes on production public sites are. Incompetent web developers are. They’re sowing the seeds of years of hurt.
Until very recently I was an ardent supporter of vendor prefixes. I’ve changed my mind on this.
The web is a huge success because of it’s low barrier to entry. It is incredibly easy to start building websites, but much harder to master it. And there are a lot of people on the lower parts of the scale who build commercial websites. Of course many do it badly. To the point that multiple vendors are going to start supporting -webkit- prefixes. That, by the way, is god-awful bad.
So, I think it’s time we took the new toys out of the hands of those not experienced or educated enough to use them properly. Too many developers have been shown to be irresponsible, they’re hurting the web. Not the people that grok web standards, I mean the learners. The *mis*-use of features.
Lock the gun in a gun cabinet, because the kids have managed to figure out the safety switch. Silo experimental properties into developer builds of browsers instead of ‘protecting’ them with a prefix; keep public builds of browsers free of unfinished CSS features. It’s the only way to stop ignorant developers using these features irresponsibly on production sites.
Of course, this is a browser issue much more than a Standards issue. There’s nothing wrong with vendor prefixes in and of themselves. Personally I’m inclined to prefer letting incompetent developers shoot themselves in the foot and deal with the consequences - but if vendors allow that then they fear they’ll lose market share. So it’s not going to happen.
I’ve said this to the www-list, though I fear there’s going to be no support from vedors to drop vendor prefixes. Shiny new features your browser does that other’s don’t means your market share grows. It’s the problem of mixing Open with Business.
Beyond making sure you use vendor prefixes properly, here’s stuff we can do to help…