Friday, January 04, 2008

How To Walk Backwards to HTML 5: Follow Up

This is a follow up to my first How To Walk Backwards to HTML 5 article. The one comment I got in this first Twenty-Four hours pointed out a lack of explanation on my part for a few things. I know about the current HTML 5 specification. I've read most of it, reviewed plans and others' reactions, etc. My views on HTML 5 are not out of a lacking of knowledge, but are a reaction to my knowledge of HTML 5.

I think what HTML 5 looks to be shaping into is the wrong direction.

The creation of the layout specific tags is a response to what was coined "div hell", but it isn't the right solution. We all have different needs for what we need HTML to represent and it gets abused into representing everything from resumes to tetris clones. Abandon schemas and doctypes and just let us write the tags that have meaning for our cases. Hey, we can do that with XML namespaces! Give us to the tools to discover formatting and layout rules and control the pages intelligently.

If you need an article tag, fine. Use it and have fun, but maybe it just doesn't do anything for me.

The need to post this article was rekindled when my colleagues spent the better part of twenty minutes debating the default rendering properties of the paragraph element. Can you imagine when we start adding even more layout and content specific tags to the new spec? The result is going to be disastrously inconsistent, because there is just more to be inconsistent about.

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I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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