My HTML5 Learnings

Posts in this series
  1. Back to Dev Work? Yes.
  2. My HTML5 Learnings

It always makes the most sense to start with the foundation when you’re building — or rebuilding — something. Thus, it makes the most sense that as I start my quest to rebuild my web development skills, I start with a focus on HTML5. Rather than dick around with a book, I decided to start by looking up stuff online.

First Look

HTML5The advent of HTML5 is a game-changer — moreso than any interation of HTML from 1.0 (1992) to 4.01 Strict (Y2K).

As any new instance of HTML, version 5 includes new tags while deprecating others. That’s to be expected.

The structural/semantic tags are nice, and it helps with the organization of an HTML doc — sure, you could have done that with comment tags, but this makes it more search friendly. Without knowing a ton about how Google’s algorithm works on an HTML level, I would imagine that elements contained inside a <nav> block are looked at more for their linking than their content when trying to discern what a page is about.

On the display side, there’s <canvas> and <svg>, the latter of which I am very excited about1. And the tags for HTML5 video/audio make a ton of sense, but given that I host most of my video off-site and use embeds, are kinda useless for me.

There’s new form types, that cover a range of date and time formats, and then number, URL, and email, which I need to research a bit — it would be nice if they were structured to only permit certain formatting, but I’m betting I’ll still need to write validation scripts on the back-end. There’s also a range input, which I can’t think of any personal use for off-hand, but I can see how it would be nice to have.

Some of the more advanced stuff is where my eyes really get big, and there’s some stuff that I want to start implementing for my stuff and for clients. Immediately.

Other HTML5 Functionality

The Contextual Menus feature looks very usable, but is only supported in Firefox 8 (and newer), no support in Chrome without arcane settings changes, and not in IE (go figure) or Safari (unsurprising given Apple’s reluctant stance on tinkering with the macOS UI).

And holy shit, the History API will allow me to do something that previously would have required me to do some painfully shitty stuff involving talking to the icky parts of the Google Analytics API. I can keep the data local and draw my own inferences from it. More on that in the near future.

Since API access involves Javascript, we’ll come back to that later.

And there’s some interesting stuff in CSS, like flexbox, but again, coming to that later in this series, when I touch on CSS.

What Would I Have Killed For in 1999?

Pretty much all of it, really. I mean, duh.


Image Credits: Unsplash/CC0.