Jeffrey Way delivers a simple guide to understanding HTML5 for the every day designer or developer.
When I set out to write this book, I had one goal in mind: decipher that incredibly confusing spec into something that any John Q. designer or developer can understand. It’s what I wish I had in the beginning.—Jeffrey Way
This book focuses less on the politics of HTML5 (though it does touch on this), and more on the ways to immediately integrate HTML5 – and its friends – into your web projects.
Jeffrey Way is one of the most popular web development teachers on the net. He is the editor of Nettuts+, author of two top-selling books, and is the Head of Web Development Courses at Tuts+ Premium.
Learn how HTML5 came to be…HTML5! You’ll learn about the politics and history, as well as the difference between all of those confusing acronyms, like W3C, WHAT WG, and HTML WG.
You’ve likely heard various reports that HTML5 won’t be “ready” until 2022. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, HTML5 is ready to use…right now!
Before we can learn about the semantic new tags that are available, we must first learn what to remove, and how to ensure that Internet Explorer 8 and below still get to play with the cool kids. Once we’ve stripped all unnecessary content and attributes, we can shift our focus to the new elements.
In the past, we often resorted to random element attributes for the purposes of containing, or storing data. It wouldn’t be uncommon to “communicate” with a script, via a class attribute. A smarter solution is to take advantage of HTML5 custom attributes.
Perhaps a bit ironically titled, this chapter will focus on all of the new HTML5 elements and attributes that are available to us. I know, I know; forms are boring. Luckily, HTML5 makes them — not fun — but less boring! If you’ve ever found yourself setting default placeholder text, performing client-side validation, or using date picker plugins, you’ve no doubt had first-hand experience with the limitations of the browser. Though it’s taking a bit longer than we might hope, browsers are beginning to come around, with Opera and Webkit leading the pack.
The Essentials of Feature Detection
While ultimately I will recommend that you use a tool called Modernizr to perform feature tests, it’s certainly important to understand how it’s done manually. Abstractions are fantastic — just as long as you have a modest idea what’s going on behind the scenes. This chapter details the essentials of manually performing feature detection.