Using HTML5 The Right Way

As explained in the last section, through a fortuitous confluence of circumstances, for the first time in the history of the web, web developers have an official W3C-approved specification (okay, it’s a “working draft” right now) that syncs up with the realities and desires of day-to-day development. For web developers that had been starved for so long by the stagnation of the web, the current renaissance of activity truly feels like being suddenly handed a large piece of cake after having had to dig around for scraps of bread.

The number of goodies added to the web developer’s toolbox in the past few years is staggering. Even Microsoft, traditionally mired in a bog in proprietary technology, has jumped in and is making a serious push toward supporting standards-based web development without proprietary plug-ins.

Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too

HTML5 is truly a browser-driven spec in that the browser makers are the ones who are pushing the standard forward. This means that a lot of features that start out in one browser or multiple browsers with incompatible implementations are eventually unified as the browser makers come to an agreement on details and implementation.

The most obvious example of this evolution from initial implementation to standard is with CSS3 vendor prefixes. (As noted earlier, technically CSS3 is not part of HTML5.) When new CSS3 features leap onto the scene, you generally must write a number of lines that may differ only slightly ...

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