John Resig posted last night about the behind-the-scenes movement regarding HTML5 parsing, which you can apparently take for a spin by downloading a Firefox nightly build and enabling the HTML5 parsing engine. I know I said yesterday that I wouldn’t start coding in HTML5 until it was actually an accepted standard, but I’m enjoying my front end coding so much these days that I’m going to give it a try. Just for a look-see, mind – HTML4.1 and XHTML will do for now… but colour me impatient to start making use of all the fresh new mark-up that’s on the way.
Last week a friend brought to my attention that the XHTML2 working group will close at the end of the year, with resources being switched to focus on HTML5. About time, too – it was this post, back in April, by Dave Shea that got me thinking how XHTML had been a false dawn, one which web developers – myself included – adopted with too much eagerness and without any real justification for switching from HTML4.1. I remember six years or so ago, when semantics were all the rage and elitist developers would look down their noses at people who had the gall to stick with HTML4.1 and its woolly allowance for unclosed tags. XHTML seemed like the perfect solution to the problem of sloppy code because you had to be strict about structure and tag nesting. The premise was good – if we all wrote perfect code then the browsers stood more chance of uniformly displaying the pages as intended. A sort of meet-them-in-the-middle approach to achieving the Utopian web standards we all dreamed of. (more…)