HTML5 is not an option

HTML5 is HOT! Developers all over the world are adapting their sites, browsers are catching up, and new fallback solutions are released every day. But many developers misunderstand one thing:

You can’t choose to use HTML5 or not, your site will be parsed as HTML5 no matter what.

Voting is pointless. I am your leader now. It is useless to resist me.

The reason is simple, HTML5 is made to be backwards compatible with the current web, so browsers don’t need to keep their current parsers. All of them have soon switched to HTML5 parsers. You want to continue using HTML4? Not possible.

Now. You can choose whether you want to use the new features or not: New semantic tags, Microdata attributes, new form field types, accessibility features, 10-15 new JavaScript API:s (depending on how you count). Lots of new interesting stuff to learn.

So, go read up on HTML5 if you haven’t already, but don’t think you can keep using HTML4. Your site is being switched over as we speak.

9 responses to “HTML5 is not an option

  1. Thanks for your post, I was not seeing HTML5 this way. The thing is that we don’t have all the information in the same place, you need to find the news by yourself all over the internet … what a work !

  2. Just because the “HTML5 parser” can parse HTML4 don’t make HTML4 equal to HTML5 as HTML5 is different.

    Therefor if I choose to make HTML4/XHTML. I choose to not use the new features of HTML5 that is not implemented in all browsers yet.

    And there will be no problem to make pages with HTML4 or XHTML because as you say “HTML5 is made to be backwards compatible”. So it’s possible to continue using HTML4!

    All browser will not switch to “HTML5 parser”. A lot of them will.

    We choose what browsers we use, and we choose what standard we follow.

    And you don’t seems to understand the recommendations vs browsers connection.

  3. We can’t use real HTML4 because no real-world browser parses it as SGML application, with reading DTD and all SGML features like “null-end tags”. The parser that browsers actually use is much more like HTML5 parser then SGML parser (which is used by W3C HTML validator), because HTML5 parsing algorithm has been designed after the real browsers parsing reverse engineering. So writing HTML4 we are getting in fact something like “HTML4.5” :)

    XHTML is the different case because it’s XML and XML parsing rules are the same for all supporting browsers. AFAIK, HTML5 spec has been designed so that any XHTML1.x page served with appropriate media type can be considered also as “XHTML5” page (although with obsoleted doctype).

  4. It is true that HTML 5 is coming in full force. But I don’t see things changing anytime soon. There are still many people using browsers that don’t support HTML 5. And it still hasn’t gone mainstream. But I definitely do want it to come as fast as possible because there are a lot of great features about it.

  5. I did not realize how quickly html5 was moving into the market. It is an exciting technology. But the standard is still not complete which means that fragmentation will be an issue. But with the functionality it will create can only mean good things.

  6. Since html 5 is backward compatible, html 4 can still be used, simply by not using the new html 5 features, only the parser will be different the rest remains the same, more or less. But with the features it has HTML 5 will soon take over.

  7. Guys, checkout html5boilerplate.com – HTML5 is production ready. Except for some features, but the basic stuff works in all browsers, even down to IE6.

  8. I’m pretty glad to be fair :)

    The only current downside I can see using HTML5 is JavaScript support. Many fallback solutions use JavaScript to create the various new HTML5 elements, when JavaScript is turned off on say IE7, your HTML5 design fails unfotrunately. However, like everything on the web you need to note your audience. IF you’re developing a council website whose users all use IE6 (local councils are notorious for not upgrading, ever :) ) then HTML5 really isn’t an option currently. However, if you’re designing a site aimined at web designers, who are more likely to be using the latest browsers then HTML5 is essential.

    JavaScript support is the only reason that slightly puts me off using HTML5 for everything.

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