Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

From prefixes to runtime flags

April 29, 2016

The Webkit team announces a change of policy by implementing new features with runtime flags rather than vendor-prefixes. Here is why:

Over time this strategy has turned out not to work so well. Many websites came to depend on prefixed properties. They often used every prefixed variant of a feature, which makes CSS less maintainable and JavaScript programs trickier to write. Sites frequently used just the prefixed version of a feature, which made it hard for browsers to drop support for the prefixed variant when adding support for the unprefixed, standard version. Ultimately, browsers felt pressured by compatibility concerns to implement each other’s prefixes.

Vendor-prefixes never felt right. The new policy seems to make a lot more sense.