View Full Version : Why use HTML5

03-06-2011, 08:59 PM
Iím a bit of a ďlate adapterĒ when it comes to new web technologies so Iím just now getting around to getting serious about HTML5 and compiling some resources for students.

To me it looks like it offers some whiz-bang features (video, canvas, etc.) that are going to be great for online app developers but are still being argued over AND maybe not all that important (at least for the time being) to the average Joe trying to create his own website.

Other than that I see a lot of new tags that make more sense than having to use a div with an id or class applied for things like headers, footers, etc. but aren't going to really rock my world.

So, I have a couple questions:

1. Am I wrong?

2. Why should I (or my students) use HTML5 now?

3. Can you recommend some good resources?


03-06-2011, 11:01 PM
HTML5 was intended to be the next big thing for web application developers which is still true, but it is also about better semantics. As an assignment from the HTML5 working group, Google scanned millions of pages and collected all the id names to see which id names were used the most by developers. From this list the HTML5 working group decided to create the new tags such as nav, header, section, aside, footer, etc.

For web application developers there is better ARIA landmark role support with HTML5 such as:

<header role="banner">


<section role="main">


<section role="complementary">


<footer role="contentinfo">

We web designers can have our benefits of this as well, because we can hook CSS style to these tags without the need of giving them an ID.

section[role="main"] {
CSS styles here
This is just a tiny bit of what you can do with HTML5 and maybe it looks for us web developers in the first place not such a big thing, but I do read and practice a lot for the last couple of months with it and I see more and more the benefits of it... and its fun too :)

I don't think that you have to make a whole program yet about HTML5 for your students. Although the working group announced that the HTML5 draft will be finished in May this year, it will take them another 3 year until it becomes a standard.

But for you as a teacher I would seriously prepare yourself, because there are quite a lot new things that comes with HTML5 and by the time you need to teach your students about HTML5, you're ready for it.

Here are some sources that were and are still a great help to me: