Further HTML5 Developments
Posted by Brian Kelly on 25 January 2011
Updated HTML5 Documents
Back in November 2010 in a post entitled Eight Updated HTML5 Drafts and the ‘Open Web Platform’ I described how the W3C had published draft versions of eight documents related to HTML5. It seems that W3C staff and members of various HTML5 working groups have been busy over Christmas as the HTML Working Group has published further revised versions of eight documents:
- Working Drafts of the HTML5 specification, the accompanying explanatory document HTML5 differences from HTML4, and the related non-normative reference HTML: The Markup Language.
- Working Drafts of the specifications HTML+RDFa 1.1 and HTML Microdata, which define mechanisms for embedding machine-readable data in HTML documents, and the specification HTML Canvas 2D Context, which defines a 2D immediate-mode graphics API for use with the HTML5 element.
- HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives, which is intended to help authors provide useful text alternatives for images in HTML documents.
- Polyglot Markup: HTML-Compatible XHTML Documents, which is intended to help authors produce XHTML documents that are also compatible with non-XML HTML syntax and parsing rules.
HTML5 Marketing Activities
The significance of the development work to HTML5 specifications and the importance which W3C is giving to HTML5 can be seen from the announcement that “W3C Introduces an HTML5 Logo” which describes this “striking visual identity for the open web platform“.
The page about the logo is full of marketing rhetoric:
Imagination, meet implementation. HTML5 is the cornerstone of the W3C’s open web platform; a framework designed to support innovation and foster the full potential the web has to offer. Heralding this revolutionary collection of tools and standards, the HTML5 identity system provides the visual vocabulary to clearly classify and communicate our collective efforts.
The W3C have also pointed out how the logo is being included on t-shirts, which you can buy for $22.50. The marketing activity continues with encouragement for HTML5 developers to engage in viral marketing:
Tweet your HTML5 logo sightings with the hashtag#html5logo
In addition to Web sites owners being able to use this logo on their Web sites and fans of HTML5 being able to wear a T-shirt (“wearware”?) as I learnt from Bruce Lawson’s post on “On The HTML5 Logo” users of FireFox and Opera browsers can install a Greasemonkey Script or Opera extension which will display a small HTML5 logo in the top right hand corner of the window of HTML5 pages. I’ve tried this and it works.
Such marketing activities are unpopular in some circles with much of the criticism “centered around the FAQ’s original statement that the logo means “a broad set of open web technologies”, which some believe “muddies the waters” of the open web platform“. In light of such concerns the W3C have updated the HTML5 Logo FAQ.
I have to say that personally I applaud this initiative. In the past the commercial sector has taken a lead in popularising Web developments as we saw in the success of the Web 2.0 meme – it’s good, I feel, that the W3C are taking a high profile in the marketing of HTML5 developments. I also feel that this is indicative of the importance of HTML5, which, judging from examples of HTML5’s potential which I have described in a number of recent posts, will be of more significance than the moves from HTML 3.2 to HTML 4 and HTML 4 to XHTML 1.
Spotting HTML5 Pages – Including the Google Home Page
Whilst searching for a HTML5 Web site to use for this example I discovered that the Google search page now uses HTML, with the following HTML5 declaration included at the top of the page:
I had previously thought that Google was very conservative in its use of HTML as, in light of its popularity, the page had to work of a huge range of browsers. Note, though, that on using W3C’s HTML validator, which includes experimental support for HTML5, I found that there were still HTML errors, many of which were due to unescaped ‘&’ characters. Some time ago it was suggested that the reason Google wasn’t implementing the simple changes in order to ensure that their home page validated was in order to minimise the bandwidth usage – which will be very important for globally popular site such as Google’s which, despite losing the top slot to Facebook in the US last year, is still pretty popular :-). Hmm, if there are around 90 million Google users per day I wonder how much bandwidth is saved by using & rather than & in its home page and search results?