List of Top 10 Features of HTML5
Still using that pesky, impossible-to-memorize XHTML doctype?
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN”
If so, why? Switch to the new HTML5 doctype. You’ll live longer — as Douglas Quaid might say.
In fact, did you know that it truthfully isn’t even really necessary for HTML5? However, it’s used for current, and older browsers that require a specified doctype. Browsers that do not understand this doctype will simply render the contained markup in standards mode. So, without worry, feel free to throw caution to the wind, and embrace the new HTML5 doctype.
The Figure Element
Consider the following mark-up for an image:
<img src=”path/to/image” alt=”About image” />
<p>Image of Mars. </p>
There unfortunately isn’t any easy or semantic way to associate the caption, wrapped in a paragraph tag, with the image element itself. HTML5 rectifies this, with the introduction of the <figure> element. When combined with the <figcaption> element, we can now semantically associate captions with their image counterparts.
<img src=”path/to/image” alt=”About image” />
<p>This is an image of something interesting. </p>
Not long ago, I utilized the <small> element to create subheadings that are closely related to the logo. It’s a useful presentational element; however, now, that would be an incorrect usage. The small element has been redefined, more appropriately, to refer to small print. Imagine a copyright statement in the footer of your site; according to the new HTML5 definition of this element; the <small> would be the correct wrapper for this information.
The small element now refers to “small print.”
No More Types for Scripts and Links
You possibly still add the type attribute to your link and script tags.
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”path/to/stylesheet.css” type=”text/css” />
This is no longer necessary. It’s implied that both of these tags refer to stylesheets and scripts, respectively. As such, we can remove the type attribute all together.
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”path/to/stylesheet.css” />
To Quote or Not to Quote.
HTML5 is not XHTML. You don’t have to wrap your attributes in quotation marks if you don’t want to you. You don’t have to close your elements. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with doing so, if it makes you feel more comfortable. I find that this is true for myself.
<p id=someId> Start the reactor.
Make up your own mind on this one. If you prefer a more structured document, by all means, stick with the quotes.
Make your Content Editable
The new browsers have a nifty new attribute that can be applied to elements, called contenteditable. As the name implies, this allows the user to edit any of the text contained within the element, including its children. There are a variety of uses for something like this, including an app as simple as a to-do list, which also takes advantage of local storage.
<h2> To-Do List </h2>
<li> Break mechanical cab driver. </li>
<li> Drive to abandoned factory
<li> Watch video of self </li>
Or, as we learned in the previous tip, we could write it as:
view plaincopy to clipboardprint?
If we apply a type of “email” to form inputs, we can instruct the browser to only allow strings that conform to a valid email address structure. That’s right; built-in form validation will soon be here! We can’t 100% rely on this just yet, for obvious reasons. In older browsers that do not understand this “email” type, they’ll simply fall back to a regular textbox.
<form action=”” method=”get”>
<input id=”email” name=”email” type=”email” />
<button type=”submit”> Submit Form </button>
At this time, we cannot depend on browser validation. A server/client side solution must still be implemented.
It should also be noted that all the current browsers are a bit wonky when it comes to what elements and attributes they do and don’t support. For example, Opera seems to support email validation, just as long as the name attribute is specified. However, it does not support the placeholder attribute, which we’ll learn about in the next tip. Bottom line, don’t depend on this form of validation just yet…but you can still use it!
/* <![CDATA[ */
/* ]]> */
Again, support is shady at best across browsers, however, this will continue to improve with every new release. Besides, if the browser, like Firefox and Opera, don’t currently support the placeholder attribute, no harm done.
Thanks to local storage (not officially HTML5, but grouped in for convenience’s sake), we can make advanced browsers “remember” what we type, even after the browser is closed or is refreshed.
Subscribe to our YouTube page to watch all of the video tutorials!
Or, watch this video on Screenr.com.
“localStorage sets fields on the domain. Even when you close the browser, reopen it, and go back to the site, it remembers all fields in localStorage.”
While obviously not supported across all browsers, we can expect this method to work, most notably, in Internet Explorer 8, Safari 4, and Firefox 3.5. Note that, to compensate for older browsers that won’t recognize local storage, you should first test to determine whether window.localStorage exists.
The Semantic Header and Footer
Gone are the days of:
Divs, by nature, have no semantic structure — even after an id is applied. Now, with HTML5, we have access to the <header> and <footer> elements. The mark-up above can now be replaced with:
It’s fully appropriate to have multiple headers and footers in your projects.
Try not to confuse these elements with the “header” and “footer” of your website. They simply refer to their container. As such, it makes sense to place, for example, meta information at the bottom of a blog post within the footer element. The same holds true for the header