Linked by snydeq on Tue 16th Aug 2011 16:46 UTC
Web 2.0 InfoWorld's Peter Wayner discusses the 11 hard truths Web developers must accept in making the most of HTML5 -- especially those who are looking to leverage HTML5 in hopes of unseating native apps. 'The truth is, despite its powerful capabilities, HTML5 isn't the solution for every problem. Its additional features are compelling and will help make Web apps formidable competitors for native apps, but security issues, limitations of local data storage, synchonization challenges, and politics should have us all scaling back our expectations for the spec.'
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RE: HTML 5 == Pointless Bloat
by galvanash on Tue 16th Aug 2011 23:23 UTC in reply to "HTML 5 == Pointless Bloat"
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HTML 5 offers little if any improvement, and instead bloats out the markup for no good reason with it's new allegedly "semantic" tags

Counterpoint... What is the harm in them? There are what, like 10 or so new semantic tags? Yes, none of them are strictly necessary - but in order to convey semantic meaning (if you care about that) the standard has to have a way to attach that meaning in a concrete way. So you either have a nav tag or you have a div with some type of defined attribute to identify it semantically - seems to me to be the same thing either way. Alternately, if you don't care about the semantics you can just ignore most of the new tags, no harm done.

The scary part is, this means that ALL the progress of HTML 4 Strict and/or XHTML 1.0 Strict is being flushed right down the crapper.

What was lost exactly? Do you have a concrete example? I still write my code as if it was XML (self closing tags, no empty attributes, etc.) and that is perfectly acceptable in HTML5. If you want the equivalent to XHTML you just have to make sure you conform and set your mime type properly (aka XHTML5).

I see alot that was lost if you are comparing HTML5 to the proposed XHTML2 spec, but compared to XHTML 1? Where is the backslide?

Of course, you'll have the people going "what about audio and video" to which I reply "what the hell is wrong with object apart from browser makers dragging their heels?"

I can't argue with that one much... The point was to have default and required codec for both audio and video - we didn't get that so the whole thing is a bit of a circle jerk... However, both tags have a considerable amount of functionality relative to embed/object/whatever.

Then we have the elements that have NO LEGITIMATE REASON to EXIST as tags -- like CANVAS. Canvas is useless without javascript -- it only exists for javascript -- so why does it need a markup element again?

[canvas tag] == [img tag w/client-side procedural source].

It makes perfect sense to have it as a tag - like many other HTML5 tags it has important semantic meaning. If you see a canvas tag in the source of a document you know immediately that something is supposed to be drawn there (and that something can be described using a title attribute). A div tag would not convey that.

You figure in the bloat of the pointless allegedly semantic "header, nav" elements that seem to exist JUST to placate the people who slap extra DIV around tags for NOTHING... tags like FOOTER and SECTION that you'll end up slapping ID's on anyways just to resolve specificity...

Semantic tags are not bloat. IDs are great to make sense of things for the author - they do nothing to convey structural meaning to others. Again, you are not required to use them (they do not always make sense). But when they do make sense they are genuinely useful.

combined with most people STILL using tags for what they look like instead of what they mean -- and it's hardly a shock you see bloated slow inaccessible pages vomited up using hundreds of K of code to deliver less than 10k of content.

Can't argue with that at all. But I do not see how HTML5 makes this problem any worse than HTML4 did. Granted, it doesn't do much to improve it either... But I don't see why you are hating on it so much. XHTML2 was going to have quite a few new semantic tags too...

CSS3, the new scripting? Great stuff... you take those away from HTML 5, you have a empty pointless shell setting website coding practices back a decade or more... Or would be setting it back a decade if more than a handful of developers actually bothered to understand STRICT, the separation of presentation from content, accessibility, or even the entire POINT of HTML.

I do understand STRICT. I also like HTML5. HTML5 does nothing to set back coding practices. The only legitimate argument I can think of against it is it de-emphasizes XML, which I too agree is a bad thing overall. But other than that...

The way I read your comments you think HTML should be as rigid and efficient as possible to convey the authors intent to the browser. That is very important, but semantics matter if the thing on the other end is NOT a browser (and that is a valid use case for the web). On one hand you argue against new semantic tags (just use divs), but on the other you complain about authors nesting wrappers (which is what you end up with if you eliminate the semantic tags). There has to be a middle ground...

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