Hugene - 6:06 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
Alright, so I am reading through the book suggested by Fotiman, and basically, after having gone through <header>, <article> and <time> I am starting to understand that HTML 5 is an attempt at introducing further semantics in HTML, with the goal of having machines understand the structure of your document.
I will be honest here: the way I've always designed web pages until now, I never really cared about the implicit outline or sectioning of the page. I never used <h2> or higher and the only reason I used <h1> was for SEO purposes.
To me, the end user is what is important. The end user is a human, who looks at a rendered web page. I've always indicated titles with <span class="title"> and all other sectioning was done in similar ways.
But now, I can use <header> and <footer> instead of <div id="header"> or <span class="footer">, with the purpose of having a machine understand that this is a header and this is a footer, or with the purpose of restarting the <h1> element independently of the previous nodes in the outline doc.
Maybe I am wrong, and as a software developer I should be, because re-usability should be key, but IMHO this is pure and simple overkill. I really don't care how a computer program sees my document, because my only target are humans. I am not creating documents to be exchanged between machines, I am not creating documents to be archived as a source of structured knowledge, I am creating human target content.
I don't need to fix the hierarchy of <h1> to <h6> and I really don't need to indicate to a machine when the content was created with <time>. To me, these semantics in HTML 5 are a waste of time.
But SE will (and certainly do) love them, so if we want to stay on top of the SEO game, I see a great advantages in using HTML5.