Intent to Remove: HTMLHeadElement.profile

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Philip Jägenstedt

Oct 31, 2014, 5:30:42 AM10/31/14
to blink-dev

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Link to “Intent to Deprecate” thread

The deprecation went into M37.


Remove the profile IDL attribute from HTMLHeadElement (which reflects the profile content attribute)


This property was removed from HTML in 2010:

The profile attribute is never actually used internally, as demonstrated by

Usage information from UseCounter 

It's in the 0.05-0.08% range. Higher on weekends?

Entry on


Compatibility Risk

According to Boris Zbarsky, Firefox has been shipping without it for a bit over 3 years.

It was removed from Presto in July 2011. (Internal bug was CORE-39871)

The success of these removals makes it likely that removal will work, despite the >0.03% usage.

WebKit and IE11 still support it.


Oct 31, 2014, 9:36:42 AM10/31/14
to Philip Jägenstedt, blink-dev
This is a bit high... have you encountered any website that actually uses it?

I see <head profile="URI"> is used in quite a lot of websites -

(Is there a better web source code search engine? I seem to recall there was one, but I could not find it)

Funny, it looks like some ancient incarnation of the Web Application Manifest...


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Mark Pilgrim

Oct 31, 2014, 9:59:04 AM10/31/14
Microformats can use the profile attribute, although apparently it's more complicated than the last time I looked and there may now be other ways to express which profiles you're using. IIRC, microformats don't expect browsers to do anything with the profile attribute; it's intended for other HTML consumers. Source: previous life.



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Philip Jägenstedt

Oct 31, 2014, 12:29:19 PM10/31/14
to PhistucK, blink-dev

I haven't searched for usage in the wild. The property name is so generic that it's hard to search for on GitHub.

Note that it's only the DOM API that's affected, profile attributes in markup will be left alone and do nothing.

It's really the Gecko removal that makes this seem likely to work, if removal fails then we should ask them and the spec to put it back, which would be sad for an attribute that does nothing.


Philip Rogers

Oct 31, 2014, 5:07:05 PM10/31/14
to Philip Jägenstedt, PhistucK, blink-dev
This has almost no cost to us but has rather high usage so I'd like to be cautious. I can't think of a sensible case where this removal would break a site. I also searched for uses of it and couldn't find any. LGTM

Chris Harrelson

Nov 4, 2014, 11:37:32 AM11/4/14
to Philip Rogers, Philip Jägenstedt, PhistucK, blink-dev


Nov 5, 2014, 10:17:13 PM11/5/14
to Chris Harrelson, Philip Rogers, Philip Jägenstedt, PhistucK, blink-dev
LGTM3.  It sounds safe to remove.

Software Engineer, Google

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