Now that HTML 5 has been declared victorious over XHTML 2, the last six to eight weeks have yielded a bouquet of tutorials, introductions, cheatsheets, and blog postings about it. I guess we’re so excited about anything new in markup we’ll even cheer a draft proposal. I can’t excuse myself from the mob, having joined it on a recent project for a future-minded client who encouraged me to take up the fashion for
On first and even second glances, the HTML 5 element list seems conservative, not much of a change. There are the intriguing new tags like
<canvas>, but with limited cross-browser support.
<menu>returns from, what, HTML 3.2?, but this time dressed up as a way to group form inputs (easy to confuse with how we’ve been using
<fieldset>). Other elements, such as
<section>, are good substitutions for the over-worked
<div>, which lingers in HTML 5 for your block element needs.
<article> is interesting–it’s supposed to enclose “standalone” content.
<nav> is easy to type and remember.
However, some of these tags seem to presume usage in rather old-fashioned situations. For instance, which of the navigational blocks on your application screen will you exalt with
<nav>? No fair using it more than once–it’s supposed to designate your primary navigation. And which of your content blocks are
<section>s and which are
<aside>s, especially if the user can rearrange them?
<menu type="popup"> <command label="Check messages" icon="messages.gif"/> <command label="Logout" icon="logout.gif"/> </menu>
By now I expect you’re asking, “But what about IE?”
Yeah, what about that? Hmmm.
I was blessed to have a client who’d discarded concern for IE 6. Problem solved, you think?
Not at all. IE 7 ignored even the most basic HTML 5 tags–even
Overall, it was an enjoyable stroll through HTML 5’s more accessible areas. Maybe XHTML 2 would’ve been a more thrilling excursion, but I’m content. Shiv or not, it looks to be sunny ahead.