Skip to main content

How To Walk Backwards to HTML 5

The more peeks I get at the HTML 5 spec, the more I dread it. We have barely shaken the last strongholds of crap-HTML since gaining some sanity some years ago. We put content in pages and we control style and layout in CSS, supposedly. Now, we see upcoming tags like article and nav and section, and all of it harks back to the days that were so dark in the web. I don't understand it.

If anything, we should take the suggestions of Douglas Crockford to heart. I want semantics in my content, not layout or anything related to it. I want themes and templates understood by the standard, not developed by a thousand projects in parallel resource squandering.

Any complaints I make about the upcoming HTML spec is completely trivialized by the fact that there is an upcoming HTML spec. Do you know how long it has been since any major shift in web formats? We're talking pre-Mozilla days here. I can't imagine the migration required with an internet the size we have today. The web makes a great platform, in my eyes, but upgrading the platform itself is working with the world's most ineffectively administrable network. Deploying can take years, even nearly to a decade.

We need to hold ourselves steady on the standards we can't even agree on today and just stop jumping on them. Break the foundations, crumble them down. Browsers are great at just working with what they're given. There is no such thing as an error, only being less affirmative. If we can take advantage of that, through arbitrary tags and attributes, we can really build something out of less.

Comments

Ycros said…
But tags like article, nav and section do have clear meanings - parts of our pages already have these sorts of elements, however currently they are represented by div soup. I don't think anything has changed in terms of layout, you will still have to do all of that with CSS.

I suggest you take a read of the actual HTML5 draft specification, it clearly outlines what each tag is about.

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Switched From Git to Microsoft OneDrive

I made the unexpected move with a string of recent projects to drop Git to sync between my different computers in favor of OneDrive, the file sync offering from Microsoft. Its like Dropbox, but "enterprise."

Feeling a little ashamed at what I previously would have scoffed at should I hear of it from another developer, I felt a little write up of the why and the experience could be a good idea. Now, I should emphasize that I'm not dropping Git for all my projects, just specific kinds of projects. I've been making this change in habit for projects that are just for me, not shared with anyone else. It has been especially helpful in projects I work on sporadically. More on why a little later.

So, what drove me away from Git, exactly?

On the smallest projects, like game jam hacks, I just wanted to code. I didn't want to think about revisions and commit messages. I didn't need branching or merges. I didn't even need to rollback to another version, ever. I just …

Respect and Code Reviews

Code Reviews in a development team only function best, or possible at all, when everyone approaches them with respect. That’s something I’ve usually taken for granted because I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing developers who shine not just in their technical skills but in their interpersonal skills on a team. That isn’t always the case, so I’m going to put into words something that often exists just in assumptions.
You have to respect your code. This is first only because the nature and intent of code reviews are to safeguard the quality of your code, so even having code reviews demonstrates a baseline of respect for that code. But, maybe not everyone on the team has the same level of respect or entered a team with existing review traditions that they aren’t acquainted with.
There can be culture shock when you enter a team that’s really heavy on code reviews, but also if you enter a team or interact with a colleague who doesn’t share that level of respect for the process or…

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this.


CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer. 
One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC?

It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on. The only re…