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Finally We Get New Elements In HTML 5 378

An anonymous reader writes "Pure HTML enhancements hardly grew at all in the last eight years. Forward motion basically stopped in 1999 with HTML 4. Now the future looks bright. Recently, HTML has come back to life with HTML 5. Tons of new elements will be available for structure (article, nav, section, etc.), block semantic elements (aside, figure, dialog), and several other functions."
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Finally We Get New Elements In HTML 5

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  • Oh noes! (Score:4, Funny)

    by HitekHobo ( 1132869 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:51PM (#20159461) Homepage
    And here I was thinking that solved all of my web design problems. Now I might have to learn a second type of tag!
  • Excellent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:53PM (#20159479)
    More tags for browsers to neglect to implement!

    On a slightly more serious note, it sounds like they're giving up on having most browsers support CSS styling of XML, and just adding new tags that serve no point other than being CSS targets. Semantically, what's the difference between:

    <div class="article">...</div>



    Answer: Nothing. One is easier to type and less verbose, and the CSS selector rule saves a single character.
    • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:02PM (#20159627)
      The whole point of a semantic tag is that it is machine parsable. A script that is interpreting the page will know what parts of the page is the article, which parts are the navigation, which parts are the advertisements, and so on.

      Actually, they need to put in an <ad> tag.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And how is <div class="article"> not machine parsable?

        The problem with semantic anything is that it requires an agreement as to what marks what. If you want to be able to mark articles right now, you can do it with HTML 4, and agreeing that anything that is semantically an article is marked with the "article" class. In fact, it's already been done: they're called microformats [].

        Changing <div class="article"> to <article> accomplishes nothing, other than reducing the amount of text that needs
        • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by patman600 ( 669121 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:34PM (#20160221)
          Because there is no standard. You could have

          <div class="article"> or <div class="main texty stuff">
          . If there is a standard, then things like screen readers will easily be able to divide the article text from a navigation section. Imagine telling your computer to read you the article, and not having to wait for it to work it's way past the navigation bar. Or skipping back to the nav bar if you are tired of the article half way through.
          • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Xtravar ( 725372 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @04:14PM (#20161729) Homepage Journal
            And so how do advertising campaigns fit into this wondrous new paradigm where web developers supposedly have the competence and ethics to only put an article in an article tag?

            The fact of the matter is, nobody will use the damn tags correctly and then a screen reader will read a paragraph on Viagra before actually getting to content.

            More bastardization of already bastardized HTML... and even more new ways to fuck things up.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cmburns69 ( 169686 )
            Content and presentation have been slowly merging over the course of the web. Adding these semantic tags appears to be an attempt to separate the presentation from the content.

            The trouble is that nobody will add the new tags until a majority of browsers support HTML5. And nobody will be interested in upgrading until the major sites require it (or until the format is slowly merged in during users normal upgrade schedules). Add that to the fact that the current generation of browsers don't agree on implementa
        • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:15PM (#20160901)

          Microformats are a good solution where a problem is domain-specific. HTML is extensible with mechanisms like the class attribute so that HTML doesn't have to include lots of element types that aren't useful to most people.

          But when something is applicable to a wide variety of situations, the right place for it is in the HTML specification, not as an ad-hoc extension. Otherwise, you could just make the argument for every element type under the sun being replaced with <div class="..."> or <span class="..."> . At that point, you're just using the class attribute as a bodge to avoid new element types, not because it's a good idea.

          Yeah, sure, it's nice that browsers don't have to be updated for microformats to work. But that doesn't mean it's good design to try to stuff everything under the sun into the class attribute. Sometimes the right place for something is in the HTML specification.

        • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Informative)

          by Touvan ( 868256 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @04:31PM (#20161995) Homepage
          Page authors could use XHTML 5 (XHTML is allowed under the HTML 5 spec, which they call XHTML 5), and include an xsl style sheet that would convert these new tags to something useful in the older browsers which do not support the new tags (convert <article> to <div class="article">). That way, there is no need for users to upgrade. There are lots of other strategies for dealing with older browsers too. The answer doesn't always have to be "require users to upgrade".
      • In that case why not add a 'semantic' attribute to <div> tags and allow users to add whatever semantics they wish? I personally liked the way HTML has been going - minimalistic.
      • by dbc001 ( 541033 )
        Can't machine parsing like that be done with microformats? While it's neat that search engines can easily figure out where the is with these new elements, they'll get abused into oblivion just like meta keywords and descriptions. I don't see any real value to adding these new elements.
      • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rhartness ( 993048 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:36PM (#20160279)
        No, they shouldn't because it would be a waste of time. No web designer in their right mind would mark any thing as an object because, sure enough, as soon as it's implemented in an HTML spec, some one out there will right a plug-in to hide those elements.

        Web developers want their ads to be seen. They aren't going to make it easy for those ads to be blocked.
      • Re:Excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Asmor ( 775910 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:27PM (#20161071) Homepage

        Actually, they need to put in an <ad> tag.
        Amusing, but actually scary when you think about it... The only way such a tag would actually be implemented by people with advertising is if there were DRM-like restrictions on browsers forcing ads to be shown. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get IE to implement such restrictions, and honestly I wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to force Firefox to implement them too. So i say nay to <ad>.
    • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:05PM (#20159669) Homepage
      The idea is that an "article" is semantically different from other text. It's all well and good styling your text with <span class="header">, <span class="emphasis">, <span class="cite"> etc. to make your text look good on your webpage but that's no good for a computer that's trying to interpret your text in a meaningful way. By using semantic tags it should mean computers can do more in terms of searching and indexing the web to allow all of us to find what we want faster.
      • Of course there's no reason you can't just serve it as xml tags with an associated stylesheet ... but this is still a "Good Thing".
        • Re:Excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:22PM (#20160985) Homepage
          Well at this point it's important to note one of the things that HTML 5 is not: XML. HTML 5 is plain-old HTML, meaning it's syntactically forgiving (ie. case-insensitive elements and attributes, closing tags optional). That might not be important for you or me or most other Slashdot users but for the vast majority of people that kind of forgiving behaviour is very important. Can you imagine what Myspace would look like if everyone were required to use Strict XHTML or XML+XSL on their pages? Errors as far as the eye can see I'd wager (whether that would actually be better than Comic Sans and animated backgrounds is another matter).

          HTML 5 is something you can pick up along the way. It's very much accessible to the common man with just a smidgen of computer knowledge. Raw XML is learnable too, if somewhat inconvenient for beginners in its strictness when hand-editing. Styling it on the other hand is not something for the layman. I don't think anyone who's worked with XSLT and XPath could honestly disagree that they are progammers' tools and shouldn't be considered for the casual web author.

          One other benefit of HTML 5 over XML is that it can fail gracefully on old and unsupportive browsers. With HTML 5 the worst thing you're likely to get is HTML 4.01 support with some text that doesn't style appropriately. With XML you're stuck.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bogtha ( 906264 )

            Well at this point it's important to note one of the things that HTML 5 is not: XML. HTML 5 is plain-old HTML, meaning it's syntactically forgiving (ie. case-insensitive elements and attributes, closing tags optional).

            Actually, it's not plain-old HTML either. It's no longer based on SGML, HTML 5 defines its own parsing rules.

            Can you imagine what Myspace would look like if everyone were required to use Strict XHTML or XML+XSL on their pages? Errors as far as the eye can see I'd wager

            I wouldn't

      • It's all well and good styling your text with <span class="header">, <span class="emphasis">, <span class="cite"> etc. to make your text look good on your webpage but that's no good for a computer that's trying to interpret your text in a meaningful way.

        Is there a requirement that attributes can't be semantic? Like the GP asked, what's the inherent difference between <article> and <div class="article">? It'd be equally easy to configure a parser to treat each of those as semantic markup.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yes it would be as easy for a parser to determine semantics from attributes as it would from elements. But you would still need the attribute to be defined in a specification like HTML 5 in order for it to be any use. As it is now there are millions of sites which use thousands of different names for their classes to specify their article text. Which isn't any use to anyone except the web page owner. Google can't create a parser that accounts for class="article", class="blogpost", class="pink_and_green_arti
    • by thewiz ( 24994 ) *
      Just as long as they got rid of the tag.

      My retinas will never be the same...
    • Re:Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peter_gzowski ( 465076 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:12PM (#20159817) Homepage
      Well, I would have preferred HTML 5 to add things that I could use (perhaps an include or multi-file-select), but I think the answer to your question is: readability. The div's can nest up to the point that you forget what the is paired with. I end up writing XHTML like this:

      <div id="foo">
          <div id="bar">
              <div id="baz">
      ... lots of stuff ...
              </div> <!-- End of "baz" -->
          </div> <!-- End of "bar" -->
      </div> <!-- End of "foo" -->
      If what I'm using to id my div's is actually a common semantic, then maybe it should have its own tag.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by e4g4 ( 533831 )

      More tags for browsers to neglect to implement!

      No argument here - but I do take issue with your assessment of the <article> tag. The difference between <div class="article"> and <article> is that "<article>" has some implied meaning that a browser will in fact be able to infer, whereas a browser will not (and should not) infer any real meaning from the CSS class.

      While this is not terribly relevant to rendering the page in it's original/intended format - i can see it being very useful for indexing and searching blogs, encycl

    • by PipianJ ( 574459 )

      Actually, I think you're confusing the semantic content of the element (the former says 'This is a division of a page in the article class', the latter says 'This is an article') with the actual intended content of the element. This is really of particular interest to Semantic Web and RSS technologies, as it gives an actual semantic context to the content inside the element, rather than an implied one that is dependent on human-interpretation to understand.

      The idea of HTML+CSS was to separate semantic mar

    • Re:Excellent! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by telbij ( 465356 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:23PM (#20160051)
      The difference is that <article> is an element defined by HTML 5 with a documented meaning. <div class="article"> is a generic element with an arbitrary attribute defined by the document author.

      I would go so far as to say <div class="article"> is semantically useless. Sure a human or a clever heuristic engine can infer some meaning from that, but it's too imprecise to be of much use on a large scale aggregation or data mining.

      Frankly I'm not a huge believer in HTML semantics anyway. Standards snobs will endlessly critique the use of a <ul> vs an <ol> on the merit of "semantics" which in practice makes no appreciable difference. It's like they've never seen tag soup and the real reason for using CSS.

      That said, a lot of these new tags are well overdue. If you consider HTML hasn't changed in 10 years and at that time we barely knew how the web would be used. HTML is pretty good for traditional text, but it has virtually nothing for the web as we know it. For instance, structural markup defining navigation has an actual tangible benefit. Browsers (especially screen readers) could make wonderful use of that information.
    • by ajs ( 35943 )

      Semantically, what's the difference between:

      <div class="article">...</div>



      Answer: Nothing.

      Quite a lot, actually. We can attach strictures of implementation to the article element, write test suites, define tags, and otherwise build a substantial set of semantics for any new element. A div that just has a particular class is like any other div. It doesn't have its own tags, and it might well have very different meanings to different HTML authors and browser vendors.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Yes there IS a difference. I can set ALL aspects of that div.

      If you can do the same with the article tag, then they are adding things for the sake of adding them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times ( 778537 )

      I've always wondered whether there was any good reason these days to have the pre-defined elements the way we do. Is the current selection of elements really efficient and meaningful? Is there a good reason to prohibit people from making up their own elements?

      Back in the day, of course, web pages were pretty simple, and I guess it made sense that you would come up with a couple generic tags and assign each of them formatting. The "P" tag was a paragraph, and "LI" was a list item. Since pages were mostl

  • Oh great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:54PM (#20159493) Journal
    More things for IE to not support properly.

    • More things for IE to not support properly.

      Or in other words...

      Let the Browser Wars II... BEGIN!
  • I'd like to see an ability to use a <Declaration> area, then you can use inline (Declare @xxx) or linked (Imports xxx.x) definitions and such.

    Just an idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't it already possible to include proprietary tags in (X)HTML documents, then just use CSS to determine how they are presented (i.e. block level vs inline, positioning, color, etc.)?
    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:00PM (#20159599) Homepage Journal

      Yes, in browsers that fully implement XHTML.

      Which, assuming you want to support IE users, means no.

      Of course, it's not like we can expect IE to rush out to support these new tags either. Making the whole effort, honestly, pointless.

      It's already possible to take a plain XML document and style it completely using only CSS. It turns out to be impractical (some tags sort of require special support that can't be duplicated just by CSS rules, like <img>, <a>, and <script>), but it's possible.

  • Its because everyone is hyping CSS and its practically terrorism to use HTML.
    • by telbij ( 465356 )
      Huh? How do you use CSS without HTML?
      • How do you use CSS without HTML?

        With XML [] of course. Actually, you can apply CSS to just about any data format to produce a layout. Whether your browser will support it or not is another matter all together.

        I'm just waiting for someone to create a Javascript shunt that will allow CSS to be applied to JSON documents. In fact, I'm sure that someone will produce a link in 3... 2... 1...

      • How do you use CSS without HTML?

        Same way you use it with HTML. CSS isn't tied to HTML, and can be applied to pretty much any arbitrary XML you like (using Firefox or Thunderbird? The UI is an XML format -- XUL -- styled with CSS, and has behaviors bound to it via XBL, allowing you to add new features to the application with JavaScript if you like).

  • Do we need "MORE"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:56PM (#20159533)
    When existing browsers constantly break standards, do we need "more"?

    I mean, seriously - I can do anything I need to do with a web page with the tools we have right now. Adding more options just results in more bloat, more exceptions and errors, and more difficult compatibility. It means new versions of other software to keep up, and new ways to exploit.

    When do we need well enough alone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Bloat is entirely in the hands of the webmaster, not the technology. You are free to use or not use any features of HTML. Having more features gives you more choice, not more bloat. What you include in your web pages is entirely up to you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not only that -- these new tags can greatly reduce the bloat in a website by neatly summing up what used to be done in crappy nested tables with a single new tag.
        • by hobo sapiens ( 893427 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#20160945) Journal
          Agreed. Not to be overlooked is the javascript code that can be eliminated.

          Want a menu? Gotta write javascript. Want to restrict the length of a textarea? Gotta write a script. Want to make that select box behave like a real select box in a desktop app (where you can type to find a value)? Gotta write javascript.

          New tags that accomplish what should be standard behavior would make most websites much leaner and therefore much more maintainable. TFA did not indicate that select or textarea elements are going to be spruced up, though.
    • by Azarael ( 896715 )
      I expect that browser vendors will implement the new tags by reusing the exact (or vary similar) behavior of old tags. As mentioned in a couple posts above, something like isn't really different than
      , aside from their semantic value. Basically, if this ends up being the case, we won't be worse off, just left with the same display incompatibility problems that we already have. And those problems aren't really a problem from the W3C, but the vendors.
      • by Azarael ( 896715 )
        Oops /. text replacement

        something like isn't really different than ,
        should be

        something like {article} isn't really different than {div class="article},
        Replace braces with gt and lt.
    • by telbij ( 465356 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:47PM (#20160477)
      +5 insightful? WTF? This is the same kind of specious reasoning that leads to such gems as "everything that can possibly be invented has been invented."

      With the one exception of Microsoft letting IE rot for 7 years, the advancement of the web has been steady and rapid. Even while IE was a thorn in our side, we were able to drop support for NS4, then IE5, then IE5.5. Firefox and Safari continually pushed the envelope of standards support. Javascript toolkits proliferated, bridging the gap between implementations. Even 5 years ago, using CSS for site layout was a much more difficult proposition than it is today.

      Now, if you had actually read the article, you would see that some of these tags provide very common functionality that currently require a mess of tag soup, CSS, and/or javascript. <video> and <audio> tags for instance, or <progress>. Sure you can't use them now, but in 10 years everyone will use them, and they'll be horrified with what we used to have to do. There's no reason to stop progress just because a handful of browser makers and lethargic standards bodies haven't yet perfected the first de-facto cross-platform, cross-media information platform in human history.
  • Web 1.0 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:56PM (#20159537)

    This new version of HTML--usually called HTML 5, although it also goes under the name Web Applications 1.0--would be instantly recognizable to a Web designer frozen in ice in 1999 and thawed today.
    If you were like me with all the talk about Web 2.0, what happened to Web 1.0, well, here it is. Neat, kind of like Merlyn aging backwards.

    I'm looking forward to Web RC1 in the next 5 years.
  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:56PM (#20159539) Journal
    I thought xhtml was the next iteration after html 4, has that been changed?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by glop ( 181086 )
      The whole idea is that most people don't want to bother with XHTML that is XML based.
      So the W3C decided that it was worth updating the old SGML based HTML. The revolution of XHTML failed to change the world, so we are back to evolution from the current standard.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrSkwid ( 118965 )
        W3 decided just to bring what-wg HTML5 into the fold, not give up on xhtml.
        The browsers relative level of eventual support will declare the winner after buch blood sweat and tears.
    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      XML turned out to be a pain in the butt and people ended up preferring HTML instead.
    • by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <jason AT jasonlefkowitz DOT com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:50PM (#20160515) Homepage

      Yes. Kind of.

      There are currently to Working Groups in the W3C working on markup -- the XHTML working group [], and the HTML working group []. These are separate entities with separate memberships and separate processes.

      XHTML was originally intended to be the successor to HTML. But a couple of things that happened after XHTML1 "shipped" caused that to be re-evaluated:

      • The whole point of XHTML was that moving to XML syntax would open up new possibilities for user-agents: not just browsers (whose lives would be simplified by not having to deal with "tag soup" anymore"), but applications that would take advantage of already knowing XML to do cool stuff with the web. Only that never really happened; and because Microsoft wasn't on board, browser vendors still had to parse the "tag soup" anyway.
      • The XHTML Working Group went off the deep end and announced that XHTML2 would handle errors the way XML parsers are supposed to: by shutting down and throwing up an "Non-conforming document" error. Needless to say, this is not how the Web works today, and it threw a scare into millions of Web publishers who incorporate third-party content that they have no control over (like, say, ads) in their sites. They also proposed major changes to the syntax of XHTML2 versus XHTML1 to clean it up and make it more logical; which sounds great until you realize that now you have to teach those millions of web publishers a whole new syntax or their sites break.

      When it became clear that continuing down the XHTML path promised tons of heartburn for publishers and user-agent developers without much reward in return, people started thinking that maybe rebooting the HTML specification process wouldn't be such a bad thing. The W3C picked up the WHATWG's [] independent "HTML5 []" spec as a starting point, and that's where we are today: XHTML is for people who are comfortable with radical changes between versions of the spec and Draconian error processing; HTML is for people who want backwards compatibility and less strict parsing.

  • by chriss ( 26574 ) * <> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:56PM (#20159541) Homepage

    On the one hand I welcome new tags like datagrid and menu, which will make HTML source easier to handle. Even though the increased complexity will make it harder to start with HTML. Most web developers still have problems with XHTML/CSS, advancing HTML will make that worse.

    Most likely this will lead to more automatically generated code, which in the long run (in combination with XML compliance) should lead to less buggy web pages and general browser compatibility. Which is a good thing. But somehow I think that one of the reasons HTMLs use has become so widespread (Microformats [] etc.) is simply because it was so easy to mess around with. Making it "better" might slow down innovation in these areas, which would be sad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:58PM (#20159563)
    ...had to be created in an expensive particle accelerator and often decayed before you could hit refresh.
  • by D4C5CE ( 578304 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @01:59PM (#20159575)
    The tag the world's been waiting for since 1994...
    repeat:byte; 0 = ad nauseam
    With MOD [] support - of course!
  • It is going to take a long time before web developers can take advantages of these tags. We need the browsers to start using it which may take a while. Firefox may jump on first then maybe Safari and others IE will probably take 2-3 more years until it supports HTML 5. Problem is the faster the Web Grows the harder it will be to put in new versions of html. HTML v1-3 changed quite quickly and easilly 4 took some time (and still isn't 100% supported) and 5 will take much longer. Ill stick with 4.01 until I
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:00PM (#20159601)
    And, of course, the addition of the long overdue

    <dupe> d=07/07/20/1226235</dupe>
  • by lonechicken ( 1046406 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:01PM (#20159615)
    Years from now, are we still going to see IE 10, Firefox 5, and Safari 3.1 support deprecated tags? (Or is it depreciated? Defecated?)

    It's like slapping on a shiny new paint job on your car, but the back seat is still full of old McDonald's bags.
  • Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)
  • Announcing (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:03PM (#20159643) Homepage

    Almost as good as TeX!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You beat me to it...
      Actually, seriously, one really serious omission from HTML and other "generic" markups which can be read widely is proper support for rendering of mathematical equations. It would be very useful for a lot of us if there was native HTML support for at least some of the more basic mathematical language that's contained in everything which gets written from day to day.
      The structure based nature of TeX and its variants seems self-evidently superior to that provided by HTML even with the
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PipianJ ( 574459 )
      Now if W3C gets around to implementing the &tex; entity, I think we'll be all set.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:08PM (#20159723) Homepage
    Here's a link to the latest HTML 5 working draft (published today) [] for those who like their information first-hand.
  • by efbee ( 607166 )
    Hopefully a positive side effect of sites adopting the new spec is that search engines can index pages more intelligently. For instance, if two of the terms I'm searching for occur in the same <article> block, the page will be presented with a higher relevance than pages where the terms occur in different articles, or in a different section altogether.

    I'm tired of searching for something and having pages match just because they had a small blurb or link on the sidebar but the actual page has nothing t
  • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:13PM (#20159841)
    Sweet! Can I get my $80K a year job back doing HTML for a dotcom?
    It's 1999 all over again, baby!
  • permablink? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jdunlevy ( 187745 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:14PM (#20159875) Homepage
    I sure hope one of the new elements is finally permablink []!
  • Would be nice if browsers remove (likely troublesome) code for support of older versions now. It would be nicer if IE did logical things with it's rendering too, but I've kinda given up home on that.
  • More instructions, or fewer instructions with more modes? That's an eternal design question, right there. I guess the pure layout mode of HTML was more popular, especially after the cross-browser mess, and so it's back after CSS.

    The cross-browser mess was quite frustrating. First Netscape got replaced by IE because IE was simply better, didn't crash as much, supported more stuff. Then IE got almost replaced by FireFox. Now I use Opera :)
  • Seems useful (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrjb ( 547783 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:24PM (#20160065)
    This will work wonderfully because the HTML standard was designed from the ground up with graceful degradation in mind.

    Even if browsers do not support these tags, the content of the tags will be displayed- if you don't want this, simply comment them out like so:

    <newtag><!-- some stuff --></newtag>.

    For tags that do not want their content displayed, there usually is an accompanying 'no' tag:

    <script><!-- script goes here --></script>
    <noscript>Your browser does not support scripts.</noscript>

    With these new tags, browsers may not display a page any differently- instead of

    <div class="article">articletext</div>
    and a stylesheet saying .article { font-family: serif; }

    now you get

    and a stylesheet saying
    article { font-family: serif; }

    This will *already* be rendered equally in both old and new browsers. Some of these may end up having a fancier display in new browsers; I imagine dates could have a date picker style pop-up to better visualize the 'when'.

    Even if some extensions seem to have limited use from a front-end rendering perspective, this can have a huge impact on search engines, for example, which is great. Although I must admit that I have second thoughts on some of the tags that seem to require JavaScript.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )
      ``Even if browsers do not support these tags, the content of the tags will be displayed- if you don't want this, simply comment them out like so:

      <newtag><!-- some stuff --></newtag>


      Err, no. That will comment out the comment for browsers that do support the tags, too.

      ``For tags that do not want their content displayed, there usually is an accompanying 'no' tag:

      <script><!-- script goes here --></script>
      <noscript>Your browser does not support scripts.</noscri

  • by N8F8 ( 4562 )
    You can wait till the W3C dorks about with HTML5 for the next decade and browser vendors drag ass in implementing it or you can just start using Silverlight. Some choice.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:31PM (#20160171) Homepage

    What's wierd about this is that it goes off in a completely different direction than XHTML. Tags don't have to be properly closed, no namespaces, etc.

    A big advantage of XHTML was that the conversion to a parse tree was unambiguous. Why give up that at this late date? All this ambiguity breaks visual HTML editors. Dreamweaver 3 was closer to "what you see is what you get" than today's Dreamweaver 8.

    Consider, for example, a lone </br> that doesn't terminate anything. Most browsers today treat that as a valid break, not an orphan tag to be ignored. XHTML was supposed to end that kind of nonsense.

    The problem with XHTML has been that CSS layout was badly designed. "float" and "clear" just aren't a good set of layout primitives. Cell-based layout (yes, "tables") was a fundamentally more powerful concept. But it's not XHTML that's the problem. It's that the positioning mechanisms for "div" sections are terrible.

    Layout is really a 2D constraint problem. Internally, you have constraints like "boxes can't overlap", which turns into constraints like "upper left corner of box B must be below lower left corner of box A", or "right edge of box A and left edge of box B must have same X coordinate". Browsers really ought to do layout that way. Table layout engines come close to doing that. At least with tables you never get text on top of other text. "div" doesn't have comparable power. "float" and "clear" represent a one-dimensional model of layout, and that's just not good enough.

    • by PipianJ ( 574459 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @02:44PM (#20160431)

      HTML5 is being developed hand-in-hand with XHTML5, which is merely the XML serialization of HTML5. Don't worry. You don't have to give up <br /> if you don't want to.

      That being said, I do believe that CSS still has fundamental problems that not even CSS3 seems to be solving, such as taking into consideration the growing use of HTML as an application framework rather than a document framework. The most notable issue of this would be the inability to center an object vertically in a viewport without Javascript to determine its size, which is a klutzy hack at best. The float: and clear: primitives, as you mention, are also comparatively weak (since you can't just float an element, have text flow around it, AND position it vertically), though CSS3 is introducing a Multi-column layout module []. There are other issues too, but I can't pull them off the top of my head at this time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Excors ( 807434 )

      A big advantage of XHTML was that the conversion to a parse tree was unambiguous. Why give up that at this late date?

      The conversion of HTML5 to a parse tree is unambiguous too – the spec defines exactly what happens to any input document, including ones full of syntax errors. (Or at least it's unambiguous to machines – humans may have a harder time working out how a badly broken document gets parsed). There's currently an parse tree viewer [] from html5lib [] (Python and Ruby), and an independently-d []

  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:01PM (#20160675) Homepage
    </> close previous open tag
    <//> close all open tags
    </fix> instantly fix everything that is wrong with the site
    <beer> because I need one, preferably a one of class="cold"
  • I Don't Get It (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:05PM (#20160757) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it. There was much excitement about the new tags in the dupe as well, and now here it is again. Is this really what the world has been waiting for? I thought that with the advent of XML, we could mix and match; include the languages we need, and come up with a nice, meaningful document, which could then be processed by various means to get various interesting results (one of those being a graphical rendering).

    So now we get more tags in HTML. What are those good for? Why are we putting them in a single language, rather than keeping things modular?

    Also, as far as I know, they still haven't solved some of the problems with XML (the most glaring one, in my opinion, being the lack of abstraction (think: eliminating repetion)).
  • How about (Score:3, Funny)

    by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:21PM (#20160979)
    -A height attribute that actually works?
    -Smarter Form controls
    -Eliminate the need for putting a space in empty table cells.
    - ???
    - Profit!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Fully agreed, especially about the forms.

      I'm not sure what would be better, but the current way (either inputs inside a table, or <label for="asdf">Asdf</label> <input id="asdf" name="asdf" /><br> with a LOT of css to position it) is just a pain in the ass (and only works for simple forms, try duplicating the kind of paper form you fill out at a doctors office for example)

      while we're at it, can we like.. require everyone fully support css? I'm tired of putting ID's and Class's on inp
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by porneL ( 674499 )

        CSS selector input[name=date] works now in all major browsers, including IE (since v.7 though).

        HTML doesn't require you to stuff table cells with anything. In CSS you can control their presentation with empty-cells:show. Don't confuse specification with IE's lack of support for it.

        HTML 5 includes new form controls for dates, time, urls, emails, with declarative validation. There are repetition templates (you could call it looping). It works already natively in Opera and there are free JS libraries for ot

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.