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is HTML 5 a must from now on?
HTML and compatibility

 10:44 pm on Apr 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

some clients are asking me if itís ok for me to start using HTML 5 for video and other design features for their website.
Wherever I look, I donít get a straight answer:
It is spring 2011; is there a chart where I can see how compatible HTML 5 is within the latest major browsers?




 11:12 pm on Apr 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe when I stop seeing people complain that such and such script is not compatible with IE6 we can start taking HTML5 seriously.


 12:14 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's the significance of "the latest major browsers"? Is there a direct correlation between the sites' content and their potential visitors' willingness and/or ability to use the most recent browsers? Does HTML 5 include features that are so attractive, its benefits would outweigh the risk of losing some proportion of users?

Treat those as serious, non-rhetorical questions for your clients to consider.


 10:06 pm on Apr 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would be very wary of going HTML5 now. We just did a major upgrade to HMTL5 and EVERY IE7 browser couldn't handle it. We spent three days and nights rewriting to satisfy the tons of IE7 users.

IE8 isn't much better with HTML5, but at least it works.

And forget about 6. I just told people flat out that we don't support 6 anymore.

So for my next site we will avoid HTML5 for about 6 years.


 12:01 am on Apr 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just told people flat out that we don't support 6 anymore.

I tell people I support "gracefully" 3 generations of IE, anything below is unreasonable, especially if they demand higher end features. Once 9 is out (is it already?), IE 6 will be bye bye, to a great sigh of relief.


 11:39 am on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why not use the HTML5 doctype, which puts every major browser (even IE 6) into standards mode (or as near as IE 6 gets!), and look at individual features as and when you need them, ensuring graceful degradation is something will not work for a significant minority of visitors?


 12:23 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why not use the HTML5 doctype, which puts every major browser (even IE 6) into standards mode (or as near as IE 6 gets!), and look at individual features as and when you need them.

I started retrofitting sites with HTML5 about 3 years ago, when Google switched over to an HTML5 DOCTYPE. There are a few things you need to do in advance to make sure IE behaves the way it SHOULD. There are JavaScript libraries available from Google that assist you in making the transition seamless. You'll also need to make sure you have this in your CSS...

article, aside, details, figcaption, figure, footer, header, hgroup, menu, nav, section{

The W3 announced Last Call for HTML5 on May 25, 2011.

FAQ for HTML5 Last Call

Can I start using HTML5? Yes. A number of features are already in use, at varying degrees of maturity and implementation. One can use HTML5 today, knowing the existing limitations and using fallback mechanisms.

With HTML5, you have quite a few new features that can be put to use now. For example, I use <nav>, <aside> and <footer> elements judiciously. I am also using Microdata in addition to HTML5 and feel that I'm building semantic powerhouses.

Here's an excellent overview of ALL the HTML5 Elements along with their status. Pay close attention here as there are quite a few elements that have been deprecated in the past and now have specific semantic purpose. For example, <s> and <u> are no longer deprecated. The <u> element is suggested for purposely <u>mispelled</u> words.

HTML Elements Organized by Function

Ignore HTML5 at your own peril. There are all sorts of NEW semantic signals you can send with HTML5 along with Microdata. And for those of you who are strict about validation, you'll need to switch to an HTML5 DOCTYPE before your new Schema Microdata is valid. It works with other DOCTYPEs but it was designed with HTML5 in mind.

On a side note, I believe Google switched to an HTML5 DOCTYPE in late 2008?

Here's a great overview of HTML5 that most everyone references when it comes to these types of discussions.

Dive Into HTML5

I'm certain there are answers and solutions to your existing HTML5 woes. Don't abandon it because you haven't figured it out yet. Take the time and make it work, I feel strongly that it is to your advantage - and the web overall.


 12:20 pm on Jul 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Dive Into HTML5 has great examples of things that will improve a site if you use HTML 5 AND which will either degrade gracefully on older browsers or which can be detected and replaced javascript to provide the same features.

I can see no reason NOT to use HTML5 on a new site or a new design on and old site. Even if you have CMS that generates snippters of XHTML or HTML 4 it will almost all remain compatible.


 8:57 pm on Jul 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've just been telling people who complain to upgrade their browsers. It's free and takes less than 5 minutes. Other than that, I can't help them. If they insist on using old technology I can't wait around for them anymore.

You think Apple gives a hoot when they make changes? No. Keep up or be left behind.


 6:33 am on Jul 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

@txbakers, lots of people use my site from work, they are stuck with the browser corporate policies impose.

As the point of corporate policies is usually to make life easy for IT, the result is they use whatever version of IE comes as default with whatever version of Windows they use.

Apple sells to mostly to home users (and a lot of freelance designers etc.) who can upgrade as they need. My site gets a far lower proportion of IE users over the weekend when people are using what they choose, but I cannot afford to lose a huge chunk of weekday traffic.


 6:01 pm on Jul 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's where I have an advantage providing a software product rather than selling merchandise.

I deal with school systems, and I flat out tell them that they need to get off their a$$es and upgrade their browsers. Because if it doesn't work on my sites, it's not going to work on lots of sites either.

I've had plenty of people mad at me when we made the change, the hate mail was pretty funny, and I've probably lost a few customers, but I'm much happier without them. They were whiners to begin with and we've seen a marked increase in new accounts since the switch.


 2:09 pm on Nov 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

There are so many changes with the HTML5 but still they haven't rectified the basics of html tags.

For instance I would like to see the margin/padding on a textarea to have the right meaning.

Some of the rendering elements are useful but many look clumsy, like transformation types. A lot of which you will do with js or webgl. At the same time many helpful basic things aren't there. Why we still need to do all kinds of hacks, even on modern browsers, centering block elements horizontally or vertically ending up with hard to manage css.

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