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Gain a deeper understanding of HTML5 and learn how to create richer, more meaningful web pages with structural tags and descriptive attributes. In this course, author James Williamson presents an overview of HTML5 and its development, defines the new tags and attributes, and discusses how browsers parse and display HTML5 content. The course also includes step-by-step instructions for constructing an HTML5 document with a header and footer, navigation, content groups, and formatting.
Okay, so we know HTML5 is a huge specification, and we know that some parts are further along in terms of implementation than others. This leads to two rather obvious questions: What can I use now? And what level of support do browsers offer for HTML5? But the biggest problem with answering that question is simply the pace of HTML5 itself. At the moment, the specification and its implementations are changing so rapidly that this movie will be obsolete the moment I finish recording it.
Now, the good news is that the part of the HTML5 specification that we're focusing on, the syntax, structural elements, and semantics, is further along than most sections and, for the most part, widely implemented in modern browsers. So, with that in mind, in this movie, I want to give you a list of online resources that can help you keep up with the HTML5 specification and support levels among various browsers. I want to start right here at the wahtwg.org/wiki.
They have the page within the wiki that tracks implementations in web browsers. Now, this focuses more on the APIs and related elements than it does the structure in semantics, but it's still really nice to go down through this and see all of the different elements that it's tracking and where that support level currently falls within browsers, regarding implementation. There is a lot of good information on this page, and this is definitely a page you want to bookmark and check back with frequently.
Now, Wikipedia has a page that compares layout engines in terms of their HTML5 support. This is actually a lot more specific and thorough than many people would guess. If I go down through this, I can see that we're looking at all these individual elements, the ones that we have been focusing on, for example, taking a look at the different rendering engines and their various support levels for this. Now, I found that sometimes this isn't always up to date; it is a Wikipedia page. And it's often going to list the nightly build as support instead of the actual browser version.
So, if you see something that's green here, don't just assume that a browser version is going to support it. Take a close look and see which build they are discussing. Now, the web site findmebyIP.com has this litmus test which will track CSS3 properties and selectors, web applications, which are some of the HTML5 capabilities, in terms of browser support. Now, if I click on Web Applications, for example, that will take us down to some of the related HTML5 APIs, such as Local Storage.
Now, what I like about this one is that it not only tracks browser support, but it also tracks browser support across platforms--so you have both Windows and Mac. So, there's not a lot here in terms of the structural or semantic elements that we have been looking for, but this is still a good resource if you are going to be authoring HTML5 pages to check for current levels of support across platforms. Interestingly enough, Microsoft has one of the best browser comparison charts out there. Now this is the IE9 Test Center, and it compares Internet Explorer 9 and the future Internet Explorer 10 release against other major browsers.
I am going to scroll down a little bit and show you guys some of the test results summary, and then you can look at these results in greater detail. I'm focusing, for example, on the semantic portions of HTML5. Now as you can imagine, Internet Explorer comes off really well in these comparisons. They do kind of cherry pick which features they test for and which ones they don't, and they are really looking closely at the ones that IE supports. However, the features they do list here have a really nice amount of detail, and it does a really nice job of providing you with sort of a snapshot for side-to-side comparison of specific methods of a particular browser.
Now again, like most sites that are showing you HTML5 support, it's focusing a lot on the related APIs and that type of functionality. But if we scroll down a little bit, we can see that they do have a chart for the new semantic elements. So, not only is it going to show you earlier versions and current versions of browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox, it's also going to show you different workarounds for specific browsers--in some cases IE, in some cases other browsers--examples of usage. So, there's a lot of information here and a lot of links to external resources that can help you out as well.
Now, if you're looking to test your current user agent specifically, you can go to html5test.com, which is going to test and then score your browser based on its HTML5 support. Now if you get a low score, don't flip out or freak out. Notice that, for example, I am using Firefox version 4.0 for the PC here, and its score is 240 plus 9 bonus points out of a total of 400 points. Well, these guys test for just about everything. So, a total of 400 out of 400 is really--at this point, nobody's doing that.
So if you scroll down, it will tell you which part of the HTML5 specification or the related APIs that it's testing for. So, if I go down to the Elements section, for example, I can find that Firefox is actually doing pretty well here, 25 out of 38. If I scroll down through some of these such as the Text-level semantic elements, I can see which ones are supported and which ones aren't. So, I can get a high level of detail here. So, if you're testing in multiple browsers, you can bring each one these browsers to this page and find out exactly what your level of support is along your test, which is really, really nice.
Now, if accessibility is important to you, and it should be, you are going to want to keep your eye on this site, html5accesibility.com. Now, this site ranks the various browsers in terms of how well they support not only some of the new features of HTML5, but in making those elements and features accessible as well. And as you can tell, not a lot of the browsers are doing a great work right now in regards to HTML5 accessibility. But hey, these features are just coming online, just being implemented.
So, look for those values to improve as these browsers continue to improve their own implementation of HTML5. Now to be honest, the current level of support for the new HTML5 elements that we've been focusing on, such as the structural, sectional, and semantic elements of HTML5, is extremely good. If you're using any of the other related features of HTML5, like geolocation, video, or canvas, you are going to have to be more diligent in providing fallback content and establishing browser support. So, these resources that I have given you guys can help be out those as well.
Now, for older browsers, you still need to account for the lack of support for the new HTML5 element. So, in our next couple of movies, we are going to explore how to make sure the new structural elements will work properly in older browser versions.
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