Friday, December 7th, 2007

Taking a peak at HTML 5

Category: HTML

Lachlan Hunt has taken some time to walk us through some of the HTML 5 features that relate to new markup.

Work on HTML 5, which commenced in 2004, is currently being carried out in
a joint effort between the
Many key players are participating in the W3C effort including representatives
from the four major browser vendors: Apple, Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft;
and a range of other organizations and individuals with many diverse interests
and expertise.

Note that the
is still a work in progress and quite a long
way from completion. As such, it is possible that any feature discussed in
this article may change in the future. This article is intended to provide
a brief introduction to some of the major features as they are in the current

Take a look at the structure of HTML docs to come. No more div-hell:

Bloggers will be able to use the new article tag:

  1. <article id="comment-2">
  2.   <header>
  3.     <h4><a href="#comment-2" rel="bookmark">Comment #2</a>
  4.         by <a href="">Jack O'Niell</a></h4>
  5.     <p><time datetime="2007-08-29T13:58Z">August 29th, 2007 at 13:58</time>
  6.   </p></header>
  7.   <p>That's another great article!</p>
  8. </article>

And in general, Lachlan walks through how the pieces work together, including the video and audio tags.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:57 am

4.1 rating from 41 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

I haven’t been following HTML5 at all but looking at that code smaple I am not so sure it is a good thing. Why are we designing markup tags based on a style of website. Why not then make and

I am sure there are plenty of people who feel differently but I think markup should structure all websites/applications in the same standard way not have different markup for different types of websites.

Comment by Site Smart — December 7, 2007

HTML 5 looks like a move towards much more descriptive markup. I’m 100% in favor of where the draft is heading

Comment by Will Peavy — December 7, 2007

I have to agree with Will on this one. The Header/Footer markup seems like an excellent thing for markup. I find the “aside” a little…ummm…weird, but I can live with it. From the sounds of it, they aren’t getting rid of the old tags, just adding new, more descriptive ones. I am really looking forward to the video tags and their solutions for those. Although, I think I could do without the audio tag.

Comment by SZRimaging — December 7, 2007

Cmon guys. Peak = pinnacle, top of a mountain. Peek = short look.

I’m not a spelling and grammar nazi or anything, but at least try to get the headline right. :)

Comment by Keith — December 7, 2007

And I was being nice, I didn’t even point out that it’s Jack O’Neill. :D

Comment by Keith — December 7, 2007

Hmm, descriptive markup yes. But, this doesn’t seem like such a good idea – naming markup tags based on what you want them to contain. Just like ‘table’ was/is used for content that is not tabular these tags may become less descriptive because their too specific. After all – header, footer, article, etc – they’re all types of sections or divisions. Isn’t there a better way to describe them in a meaningful, robust, and flexible manner? The article section of a web site should be in a or tag with some attribute signifying what type of section it is.

Comment by Eric — December 7, 2007

I like the article, header and footer tags. Not convinced on the aside tag, maybe too descriptive?

Comment by Richard Kimber — December 7, 2007

I don’t understand why they’re specifying tag names at all. Why not simply let us create the tag name and style it using CSS ourselves? Obviously a video tag has special capabilities, but I don’t see why we need specified structure tags.

Comment by davidwalsh — December 7, 2007

This is a positive development, but it continues the fiction that HTML is a language for producing a semantic description of documents, instead of a language for describing application user interfaces, which is much closer to the truth nowadays. A language revision focused on that would include ideas from web forms 2.0. This will cut down on div-itis some, and help improve search engine results, but does diddly for the actual user experience. Still, judged by its semantic intention, this is a welcome improvement (though I wish they’d put tags in for form field errors and descriptions, like they have for labels).

Comment by gsteff — December 7, 2007

I think it’s a horrible idea. HTML should not be suggesting page components like that? That’s such a narrow view of the web.

Comment by pwb — December 7, 2007

HTML 5 is sounding more like Perl 6 each time I read about it. My guess on a deliverability date? 2015, minimum. By then, the web will mean something completely different than it does today (compare 2007 to 1999).

Comment by fretlessjazz — December 7, 2007

I’m sure everyone who objects to the new tags realizes that they aren’t *required*. You can use generic section tags for anything that doesn’t conform to one of the more specific tags. I can’t imagine the harm in more descriptive tags unless there are simply too many of them. But all of the ones in the example are extraordinarily common in web documents today.

Whoever said that web documents are less common than web-application UIs is just wrong. Most of what I’m seeing is that there is a lot of grey area between the two. But even web-app-like sites that are popular also present a lot of public data as documents.

Comment by eyelidlessness — December 7, 2007

What is html? j/k

Comment by Chad — December 8, 2007

Gimme gimme gimme NOW!

This is the layout of 90% of websites, and it’s an absurd nightmare under CSS. Sure, CSS could be fixed, but I’m not holding my breath on that either.

Comment by PixyMisa — December 8, 2007

An article tag will not help you styling the page any better than a div class=”article”.

Comment by Martin — December 8, 2007

“This is the layout of 90% of websites, and it’s an absurd nightmare under CSS. Sure, CSS could be fixed, but I’m not holding my breath on that either.”

You would still need CSS to render that layout. I’m fairly sure with default styles each element in the example is a standard box-level element. CSS isn’t in need of fixing (though some implementations need some work). It’s already extremely powerful as is.

Comment by Trevor — December 8, 2007

This new tags as many of you mentioned will not change a lot. Is just the HTML code will be somehow more readable (comprehensive) and maybe search engines will benefit in small amount. As for the real usefulness I don’t see a big improvement. I am of idea if we are to introduce new standard we should make sure we implement some more (read useful) features. Video and audio are some of them.

and if they are introducing elements like header, footer and article they should introduce columns and page/tab too!

Comment by Damir Secki — December 9, 2007

“they should introduce columns and page/tab too!”

I think those are semantically covered with section and h. Presentationally, I don’t think it’s realistic or reasonable to overload HTML with those concepts, as HTML isn’t supposed to carry any style connotations at all. If you wanted, say, CSS attributes that corresponded to those ideas (display: column; display: tab; etc), I might find that more compelling.

Comment by Trevor — December 9, 2007

this is a bad standardization practice. this may be the structure of most of the current web, but it won’t be soon. specific tags like “” and even “” (although i admit i kinda like that one), solidify current practices in the standard, which means the stardard will stale quickly among other things.

with such a fast moving/changing such as the web and certainly a slow moving standards practice, KEEP IT GENERAL. “” is not hell “” is a general division on the page. a division of a game, article, blog, etc.

the HTML standard will only benefit from less tags, not more.

Comment by zero — December 9, 2007


Div and span should just about cover it, eh? please do something about the tag filtering so that typed tags that aren’t supported as comment markup get converted to something readable. Thanks!

Comment by Trevor — December 10, 2007

there are a lot of things I like in the HTML 5 and some things ( like article, aside, and domain specific stuff that just give me the creeps ) but it doesn’t give my any hope. Microsoft will just screw it up and we’ll end up with the worst tag soup we’ve ever had.

Comment by Vance Dubberly — December 11, 2007

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