HTML5 As I see It

html5

HTML5 – The Truth Behind It As I See It

HTML5. It’s just a name, but a name that cought. Probably we needed something new to the internet world, so here it is, the new HTML5!

If you didn’t know, HTML5 is just a new standard we can use to create web pages, just like the HTML or XHTML is.

The differences between HTML5 and the other standards, however, are quite many. So, maybe, this is the part that made so many people love HTML5.

Well, I don’t. And I won’t.

You see, I have a problem understanding why we need this new standard, and while reading lot about HTML5 and I really don’t see where it helps me…maybe I’ve completely missed its point, but I doubt that.

There’s also an explosion of websites, blogs (some more successful than others) where someone became an expert over night and started to teach us how to use this new standard. Examples are provided, interactive forms and courses too, and all this for what? So they’ll teach me something that will most likely change in the near future? Where’s the point in that? Except for cashing my money? So, no thank you! I’ll pass.

The new HTML5 DOCTYPE DTD would probably be the only good thing that came out from it. You see, a doctype would define the content of your page and will tell browsers how to display that page. The HTML5’s new doctype is so permissive (that’s almost evil) that you can have the most broken and invalid code in the world in your page and it will still be displayed correctly (or almost correctly) in all browsers that showed interest in this new standard.

For example, take a look at the following code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
 
	<title>HTML 5 page</title>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
 
<div>
 
<p>I think <strong><em>I am</em></strong>
 
<p> completely in love with HTML5.
 
<p>And this is a new line...
 
</div>

If you save this code as an html page and then validating it using the online W3C validator by uploading the file, you’ll get the green bar congratulating you on you work!

So the new HTML5 standard is so permissive that you now can have your web pages coded that way that will make the HTML 2.0 standard look very hard to learn!

All this is possible because browsers that are aware of HTML5 standard will help you, and they’ll add the missing head, body and html tags for you.

Just think about this for a minute, is this the right path we’re going to? Down, instead of up? I’m totally speechless…

The weight matters

Nowadays, when the loading speed of a web page is expected to be very high from its visitors, HTML5, instead of supporting it, it will make your pages even slower. That’s because it comes with so many new reinvented tags. That is, a compliant HTML5 web site will be bigger than one using HTML4 or XHTML.

Another thing that I really don’t see its usefulness is the need for the new header, section, menu, nav, aside etc, tags, when the old div and lists would do the same thing.

When I first learned about nav, menu and aside I thought that they were the coolest things one could invent! I thought that now I would finally stop floating sidebars and content in my css files…but I was so wrong…they won’t do what their names implies…

That is, if you have the following code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
	<title>HTML5 page</title>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<body>
 
	<aside>
    	<header>
        	<h2>Sidebar 1</h2>
        </header>
    </aside>
 
    <aside>
    	<header>
            <h2>Sidebar 2</h2>
        </header>
    </aside>
 
</body>
</html>

you would still have to style it in your css files, because they’ll be displayed as blocks on your page. Now what’s the point in creating a new tag called aside if it doesn’t gets displayed aside? What is wrong with using a div for that?

The same thing goes for the nav or the menu elements…just reinventing the wheel for no use whatsoever…

Forget everything you think you knew

HTML5 means: forget everything you think you knew about web development and start using me.

That will be my definition for this new standard, because as we know, for example, the XHTML DTD will only one H1 tag per page; well, this doesn’t seem to be an inconvenient in HTML5, as you can see below:

    <article>
        <hgroup>
            <h1>Apples</h1>
            <h2>Tasty, delicious fruit!</h2>
        </hgroup>
        <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
        <section>
            <h1>Red Delicious</h1>
            <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
            supermarkets.</p>
        </section>
        <section>
            <h1>Granny Smith</h1>
            <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for apple pies.</p>
        </section>
    </article>

Code fragment’s source: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/sections.html

Final word

The HTML5 specs are not ready yet, and W3C and WHATWG are still working on it, but I don’t see them making many changes since this draft.

In whatever way it will be released, it will, at least in my opinion, be just another way of W3C and other groups of getting attention and everything that comes with it..

I was expecting more from it, but going to start coding my pages using HTML5 in a way that’s not even HTML 2.0 valid jsut to get the green bar in W3C validator is a just a no-no from me.

I’d like to know your opinion about this new standard. Are you coding your pages in HTML5? Why? Does that somehow helped you? How? Why do you use HTML5? You see any benefits using it? What are they?

Costin Trifan
Costin Trifan is a 32 years old web developer from Romania. He currently finds PHP more interesting than any other thing in his life and spends way too much time in front of his PC creating websites and scripts like the IrisMVC framework in the hope they’ll help other people just as much as they help him.

You can easily reach him via his blog, or through social media such as Twitter or in the coding section of the v7n forums (most likely).


  1. ElaineElaine03-22-2011

    Wow. I’ve been interested in learning HTML5 just because there has been so much hype and talk of semantic code and standards. But it sounds like it’s a big step backward instead of forward. Let’s hope the standards are rewritten before we have a new version!

    • koskos03-22-2011

      They say that 95% of the online websites contain invalid code (lol) and maybe that’s the point of this new DOCTYPE, to help browsers display an invalid code as better as they can. You see, if you have an XHTML 1 Strict doctype and your page doesn’t validate, just change the doctype to the new HTML5 doctype and your pages will instantly be displayed better. It’s that simple…

      I would not say this standard is a step back, though it might look like this, my problem with it, as a developer, is that they promote (or help) invalid code to be rendered correctly in comparison to other standards like HTML1…and new developers, instead of learning to code the right way, are allowed to include invalid markup that will (validate, maybe, and) be displayed correctly..which is not a step forward, at least in my opinion…

      Hopefully, things will change…

  2. JamesJames04-12-2011

    That’s fairly arrogant of you. Should the blind and impaired still not be able to view most of the web because of your views?

    We have a semantic practice in HTML4 / XHTML but it doesn’t actually help anyone. Its still completely nonsensical to normal human behaviour and nearly 95% of all websites do not conform to the legal requirements for accessibility. The reason HTML5 is here is to bridge the gap between and common areas on websites, e.g. .

    As well as stopping the reliance on third-party plugins to play video and other media. How backwards are you? Did you stay with tables after everyone moved to CSS?

    lol…

    • koskos04-12-2011

      This article was nothing about anything you said, James, so I will just ignore the last sentence..
      Written words can be differently interpreted, so if you think that I’m arrogant, that’s fine, but that was not my intention in the first place anyway..
      The reason I wrote this article was just because after a deep look at html5 this was my opinion about it, see title..
      I ‘m not saying that html5 is bad or anything like that, it comes with a lot of good things as well, and saying html5 is not good or it’s bad than other standards would be just wrong. As you can see in the code I provided, one of its drawbacks is that it accepts a totally invalid code and still be able to display it correctly into the browser. You, as a reader, will consider this pretty awesome, I totally agree with that, but for a new developer this help from the browser isn’t helpful at all because it will hide the code errors from him…but that’s just my opinion again anyway…
      On the other hand, what’s wrong with the old divs that they had to add a lot of elements that actually do the same thing, except for the semantics?

      Should the blind and impaired still not be able to view most of the web because of your views?

      I would never say that, because it would be just wrong.

      • Dmitry MinyaylovDmitry Minyaylov12-31-2012

        I think James missed the point of the article entirely.

        I agree that the new section, menu, aside, etc. tags are kind of useless. I think the idea is to make it easier for browsers to understand the structure of a web page. On a mobile device, for example, a user would be able to go straight to the content and prevent the sidebar and footer from loading – saving time and data.

        The way html5 does this is a bit awkward. I think the same could have been achieved by introducing special div classes instead of introducing novelty elements. If you have a div named “header” a browser could use the div name to identify where the header it is. Same for “footer”, etc. Why reinvent the wheel?

        Thanks Kos!

  3. ShaneShane01-15-2013

    TBH I use html5 in all my websites now though I see little purpose in the new tags (header, footer etc) as they have no weighting in how the website is displayed.

    Maybe its more logical to read the source code but this isnt exactly happening much…

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