Should I use HTML 5 – Yes or No?

I’m about to start work on building a new website for a new client. It’s a fairly simple brochure style website and it won’t use any of the new ‘features’ of HTML 5, but I wonder if I should use the new HTML specification or not?

It might be a good excuse to build a new framework document using the semantic elements that I’ll be able to re-use on future projects and I’m going to have to start using it soon, so this could be an ideal time to start.

As far as I can see I won’t need to change much from my normal mark-up so there shouldn’t be too many issues that I need to think about. Although as usual, if I want to use the new semantic elements such as <header> then it looks as though I shall have to use a little bit of javascript trickery to keep Internet Explorer happy.

What do you reckon, should I use it, Yes or No?

3 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    I’d say no. Until HTML5 is supported by final versions of the major browsers you’re only making work for yourself. Relying on javascript trickery to make things work is a bad idea. Being aware of the specs and knowing how to use the new elements etc. would be sufficient I’d have thought, but I’d be glad to be proved wrong.

    BTW, your comment box flows under the Categories list in FF on Windows, means I can’t see the last 3 or 4 characters of any line.

    • Alan says:

      Thanks Andrew, you’re probably right. I was thinking that my ‘normal’ XHTML mark-up would be perfectly valid HTML 5 so the main changes would be to the doctype and tags within the head of each document. In essence very little would change except that I’d be stating it was HTML 5 rather than XHTML… Of course that may be more than enough to confuse come browsers (no names mentioned!)

      You’re right about not using a Javascript trick to bring IE into line so it probably isn’t a good idea to use the new semantic elements such as

      until all of the major browsers support them properly. I’ll stick with my normal

  2. Moth says:

    Found this quite interesting. I’ve just started work on a project, an online game actually that probably won’t be ready for public consumption for at least another year. I’ve decided to go down the route of HTML 5.0 mainly because it works wonderfully in Chrome (my browser of choice) and the benefits and ease of coding were too much to resist.

    Personally I think that Chrome’s going to be a big player in the future but I can understand the worry when half the world is still trudging along using Internet Explorer. I used to be an IE fan but I’ve seen what Chrome can do and how much faster it is than both IE and Firefox.

    Will I be burned for jumping the gun or will I reap the benefits of getting into HTML 5.0 in good time – who knows. To be honest the project can succeed or fail, it’s not my main income but I am very much enjoying using the features that HTML 5.0 and CSS 3.0 have brought so the sooner the rest of the world catch up the better.

    I also think that WebGL is going to change the face of the webscape too. Some of the shining examples of user interfaces I’ve seen are simply mind blowing, however, I was a little nervous at taking that final step as it requires a whole new skill set, although to be fair I’ve done a fair amount of dabbling with OpenGL and Wii homebrew. It would have been interesting but perhaps more than we need.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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