I love the fact that html5 is a more relaxed about syntax than XHTML. Let’s face it: XML-like formats were never meant for humans to code by hand.

I’ve spent a little time looking at html5 recently. It has some excellent features. Everyone seems to start with the ‘video’ tag – and whilst this is useful – it isn’t the main deal for me. Yes, it cleans up the code a little syntactically,  but there are still codec/format wranglings and different browsers currently support different formats… so… nothing changes there.

I love the fact that html5 is a more relaxed about syntax than XHTML. Let’s face it XML-like formats were never meant for humans to code by hand, and I still advocate coding html and css by hand until a tool is capable of generating the code to a sufficient standard (that day will come). The inclusion of the data attribute is long-overdue (the attributes need to start with ‘data-‘… now if that doesn’t smell of fudge, I don’t know what does). This has been common practice where perfect validation is considered secondary to functionality.

The thing I learnt recently, and makes me laugh and fume in equal quantities, is that the specification is due to be finished in 2022, yes in ELEVEN years time. Either someone is having a laugh, or someone is having a laugh. The moment a format is in-use: the time for specification is over… done… long gone… forget it. ELEVEN years! Don’t people ever learn. I doubt we’ll even be using html in eleven years time. Well maybe, but in the same way we use TCP now – as a forgotten layer which we take for granted.

There is a misconception that local storage and geolocation are html5 features – this is not the case (although they are great features and I’m sure will be well used)

The notable features include

  • ‘Audio’ – similar to video
  • Canvas – ‘flash is dead – long live the canvas’.
  • Forms:
    • Place-holder text
    • The ‘required’ attribute
    • Email form input type
    • Regular-expression form-validation
  • Editable Content
  • Semantically identifiable sections <nav> <article> <small> for SEO/other purposes
  • The concept of a visible title to an image (in addition to the alt text) – the <figure> tag
  • Header grouping
  • SEO features

The following is a great resource for further reading on html5

Published on: 10th June 2011
Categorised in: code
Team players: Peter

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