How can this be HTML5? Where’s all the moving stuff?

HTML5 is a mark-up language. There are a couple of new things in there which can do some visually exciting stuff, but not on their own. At it’s most basic, HTML5 is simply a way of telling a browser what stuff is in your document – the same as all previous versions of HTML. It does have some very nice, semantic elements to allow you to mark-up your document in a more sensible manner, but nothing intrinsically linked to the language itself to make a site any more interesting, visually.

Seriously? So what’s all the fuss about?

I guess the buzz revolves mostly around two specific HTML5 elements – Video and Canvas. The Video element allows a web page to reference and play a video file directly without the use of additional browser plug-ins (like Flash). The Canvas element allows a scripted process to draw onto an area of a web page. These two things alone have probably fired up the most controversy, especially in terms of Steve Jobs recent rant aimed at Adobe, the makers of Flash.

Apart from these two elements, the fuss around HTML5 comes from when it is used in conjuction with CSS3 and Javascript. I would hazard a guess that 90% of the things that have impressed you are actually down to these two technologies as opposed to HTML5 alone.

So why is this page so dull then? It’s hardly selling in HTML5 (or CSS3/JS).

To illustrate the point – this page is written in HTML5 (with just a tiny bit of CSS – version 1 to be exact – to make it more readable), but it would never be hailed as HTML5 in the media. In contrast, Google’s recent “balls” logo got widely praised as “HTML5 in action”, and although the Google homepage does have an HTML5 doctype, the technology used to create the balls was just CSS3 and Javascript. The Google homepage could have been written in XHTML or HTML 4.01 – those balls would have worked just fine.

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By @mttkng

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