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A Preview of HTML 5

A Preview of HTML 5 on A List Apart.

A Preview of HTML 5 on A List Apart.

Lachlan Hunt wrote an article on A List Apart on HTML 5. It is the fifth major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web, HTML. HTML 5 specifies two variants of the same language, a “classic” HTML (text/html) variant known as HTML5 and a XHTML variant known as XHTML5.

One of the major additions to HTML5 is that there are new elements and attributes being added to the language, such as <header>, <footer>, <section>, <article>, <aside> and etc (they’re pretty much self explanatory). Such tags does not only make web browsing more convenient to those who’re visually impaired as well as making easier for search engines to index your site content (think <h1>, <h2> and etc), they represent elements commonly found in modern webpages.

In addition, you can embed audio and video files with the less clunky <audio> and <video> tags, without the hassle of using <embed>. Woots!

Good news and bad news for you when HTML 5 comes along. Let’s start with the one big bad news – deprecated elements such as <font>, <center> and <strike> have been dropped, meaning that they will not only invalidate your webpage, but future web browsers that are reading pages using HTML 5 will not be able to parse the dropped elements. But that’s okay, since according to the current XHTML standards, they’re not recommended too.

  1. <font> can be replaced using <span style="css properties">text</span>.
  2. <center> can be replaced using <p style="text-align: center;">text</p>.
  3. <strike> can be replaced using <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">text</span>.

And the really, really good news to all – even if you use UPPERCASE letters for your coding, your website will still be HTML 5 valid, a departure from the current strict XHTML standards where all tags have to be in lowercase. So <IMG SRC="image.jpg" /> is equivalent to <img src="image.jpg" />. However, I still love lower case tags because they’re easier on the eyes than blocky caps. Cheers for those who adore capitalised tags!

For more details, there’s a Wikipedia entry on HTML5 too!

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