I’ve seen the future; garlic bread

There’s been some broohaha over the future of HTML. To say the least it’s been going on a while and has caused no small amount of disagreement in the web world. However a concensus seems to be on the horizon that HTML5 is the way forward, thanks mainly to the WHATWG.

I’ve taken a few moments to go through the specification for HTML5 and picked out some of the new structural features I’m most looking forward to using.

Pre-defined class names

I pretty much use all these class names every day, and I think that the vast majority of standards-aware developers do, too. What this amounts to is almost a kind of page-wide microformat, adding another layer of semantics to the page. Bring it on.

The nav elements (and the header and footer elements)

While I think this is a good idea I’ve got something in the back of my mind telling me that this is just over the line of too much semantics. Why I’d think that I’m not sure, probably years of writing <div id="nav">. It would make creating media-specific layouts much simpler, though.

The dialog element

This has pretty limited use, but I guess that in the future online dialogues will make up more and more of the content fo websites. That’s if people wake up to the power of user contribution. Being able to easily gather all these dialogues from across the web could provide the data needed to generate a web-wide conversation map. That’s just another way of seeing the connections that bind us all together.

The meter elements

I smell a whole new set of native graphing techniques in browsers. And here’s a prohecy for you, Apple’s Safari browser will do it first and make it look cool (closely followed by Opera).

The mighty canvas

It’s here already, thanks to support in a couple of the more forward-thinking browsers (even if it is buggy and limited) so there are high hopes for this little beauty. Again, it opens the way to all manner of graphical goodness.

The datagrid

There’s not much I can say about this as my brain has melted. If it’s implemented as thoroughly as the specs say it should be then this could revolutionise a lot of web application development by itself.

Anyway, take a look at the specs yourself. This looks like the future, and it looks good.

4 thoughts on “I’ve seen the future; garlic bread

  1. Thanks, glad you approve! If you have any other feedback, please feel free to send it to our list (whatwg@whatwg.org) or to me directly (ian@hixie.ch). Or you can take part in our forums, or help out on the Web designers’ help mailing list (help@whatwg.org), or hang out on our IRC channel (#whatwg on Freenode) — feel free to take part!

    Cheers -Ian

  2. The best garlic bread I ever had was on the Isle of Man in April 2004. It was of the “done on a pizza base” variety and it was truly fantastic. There. I’ve added my piece to your website Mr. Taylor, but it’s taken me a long time to visit it!

    See you o’ Sunda’.

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