Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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.

1 comment:

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.

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