Diving into HTML5

I made use of a spare few minutes this morning by catching up on HTML5. I had, up until now, ignored HTML5. After having burned so much energy on XHTML — “the future of the web” — I was loathe to put energy into something which was going to end up costing me money (time is money, books cost money; it’s all about the money) and, like XHTML, get absolutely nowhere in 5+ years.

I happened upon Dive into HTML5 quite by coincidence and flicked through the first few chapters online. Already, it feels like somebody made HTML all yummy!

The proposed changes to web forms, namely placeholder text and additional input types, have the potential to make front-end web development a) quicker and b) easier. It seems to be opening doors for client-side validation without compromising accessibility (as JavaScript so easily can). What’s more, because of the graceful fallback to type=”text” in browsers behind the times, I don’t even have to wait to start implementing changes.

I can continue coding well-formed, semantically correct HTML as I would for a faux-XHTML page (as I do under a Strict HTML4 doctype anyway) but with juicy extras and an HTML5 doctype. There’s already an HTML5 reset stylesheet to cobble together appropriate display behaviour for new elements if I decide to get adventurous with <nav> etc. (Albeit unsupported — without JavaScript workarounds anyway — in Internet Explorer; no surprise there!)

So, I guess now all I need to do is wait for decent browser support… I won’t hold my breath.

affiliate window advert

4 comments so far

  1. Riitta said:
    On November 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I took a brief online course on HTML5 just out of curiosity. Well, haven’t finished the course yet, but anyway. What I gathered is that lots of great things are to come, but the features are still unfinished for the most part and as you said, lack browser support, so I decided to wait and see how it goes. Very happy about the simple doctype, form elements and the multimedia tags. :)

  2. Rebecca said:
    On November 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I have yet to find time to dive into HTML5, but at some point soon I will. I’m excited for something ‘new’ though :)

    Like Riitta, I am also happy about the simple doctype.

  3. Louise said:
    On November 25, 2010 at 6:52 am

    HTML? Yummy? I need to look at this at some point.

    I mean I’m thinking, “meh, HTML4 does everything I want”, but if someone can prove HTML5 does HTML4’s things more efficiently, I’m all for it.

  4. Mat said:
    On November 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    People miss the point of HTML5.. it’s not really the HTML5 spec itself it’s the uber tech behind it like Canvas, , etc.

    The HTML itself isn’t anything all that special, sure they made it a little more semantic adding things like ,, but big yippity skip. As you’ve said gotta wait for everyone to switch to a newer browser which as we know could take some time but alas there is a light at the end of the tunnel…once we get down it.

    I myself think screw the masses i’m going to use HMTL5 and whether joe-nothing has it or not I’ll just degrade their performance or shim/shiv it using one of the zillion JS libraries out there.

    Gotta love how you mention doctype, considering how simple it is.. i really think that’s a testament to more fore-thought about ‘simplicity’

    I’d recommend more than any site google’s own: http://www.html5rocks.com/
    Bucket-loads of good concise information.