What is HTML5?

Earlier this weekend, Christopher Blizzard wrote about how there’s not one easy answer as to what HTML5 actually is. While I don’t agree with placing all of the blame on Google, I certainly agree that there needs to be a simple answer as to what, “support HTML5!” means. Not just for browser vendors, but for website owners as well.


This needs to accompany the giant “WTF is HTML” chart and commentary I posted last week. However, this is written by an expert, a very knowledgable person, David Recordon.

Netizens needn’t worry themselves about sudden unpleasant surprises caused by HTML5, not for the moment. The transition will be incremental, much like the transition to CSS3.  Many browsers are capable of supporting only a portion of what HTML5 has to offer.

I ran an HTML5-CSS3 Javascript “checker”,  Modernizr, while using my browser of choice, Internet Explorer 8.0, 64-bit version. How did I do? My score  was 28%.  But that’s mostly due to me and my fondness for IE (although IE9 is rumored to do better with HTML5). I’m certain that Safari, Firefox or Opera would give much better results. However, I don’t really need many of the HTML5 capabilities, such as MathML, the Mathematics Mark-up Language.What is Modernizr? Here’s the official Modernizr site definition:

Modernizr is a small JavaScript library that detects the availability of native implementations for next-generation web technologies. These technologies are new features that stem from the ongoing HTML 5 and CSS 3 specifications. Many of these features are already implemented in at least one major browser (most of them in two or more), and what Modernizr does is, very simply, tell you whether the current browser has this feature natively implemented or not.

So many whole number new releases of software and webware lately…. One would think that floating point weren’t allowed! Will Internet Explorer deserve a version 9.0? There are no standards for update version incremets, certainly none that are widely followed. If it had been my decision, IE 7 and IE 8, and maybe even IE 9, would all be classified as an IE 6.x series.

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