Although it’s in the title I’d like to state once more that I don’t have an answer for this. Just fear. OK, here goes:
I’m worried that our new ‘prefix-free’ release of new CSS platform features is going to fail dreadfully.
For some time we have been using vendor prefixes. They are horrible. Let us count the (some) ways:
It means writing
-moz-etc before ‘experimental’ property/values in our CSS.
It means codebases are littered with unneeded prefixes (people often specify unneeded prefixes)
It means browsers have to support each others prefixes/APIs
I’m sure you have other reasons – pipe up in the comments and I can update the list here.
So, we’ve all been moved along to a new world order where new features are developed and implemented behind ‘an experimental flag’. Let’s consider the new Grid layout. Developers can toggle a setting in their browser and this and other new experimental features can be tested and played with before they are shipped to the great unwashed.
But who does?
Aside from developer relations folks or book authors – who else is taking time out of their day to try things like Grid layout? I’m certainly glad these people are as otherwise the majority of people would know very little about Grid.
However, my concern is that with so few eyes on new platform features developed behind these flags, things won’t be ‘fixed’, they will just be broken in different ways.
As Eric points out, features like Grid might be shipped, fall far short of real world requirements and ultimately be forgotten about due to shortfalls that only get exposed with many eyes.
Once more; I don’t have the answer.