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DOCTYPE declarations

From: HTML5 First Look

Video: DOCTYPE declarations

In this movie we will begin to create our HTML5 layout by creating our initial page and making sure the doctype declaration is correct. Before we begin creating our page, let's take a moment to explore doctype declarations, why they were necessary, and what HTML5 requires regarding them. As you've discussed previously, the history of HTML is a bit messy. Early on specifications weren't as widely followed and browser implementation varied widely. As HTML matured, browsers that were written to author the latest specification would tend to break if presented with earlier non-conforming HTML. To ensure older pages still worked, browsers created two rendering modes.

DOCTYPE declarations

In this movie we will begin to create our HTML5 layout by creating our initial page and making sure the doctype declaration is correct. Before we begin creating our page, let's take a moment to explore doctype declarations, why they were necessary, and what HTML5 requires regarding them. As you've discussed previously, the history of HTML is a bit messy. Early on specifications weren't as widely followed and browser implementation varied widely. As HTML matured, browsers that were written to author the latest specification would tend to break if presented with earlier non-conforming HTML. To ensure older pages still worked, browsers created two rendering modes.

Quirks mode and Standards mode. Quirks mode would render the older non- valid code, while Standards mode would ensure that pages were rendered correctly based on the current specification. Of course, this just presented another problem. How would browsers know which mode to use? The solution was to include a doctype prior to the HTML tag that would identify which version of HTML or XHTML was used to author the page. Since older versions of HTML didn't require doctypes, the absence of one would trigger Quirks mode.

As a result of the many variations of HTML and the rendering requirements, a bewildering array of doctypes sprang up. XHTML for example had a doctype for the three flavors of XHTML: strict, transitional and frame set. Here's one now. Well, HTML5 is designed to be both backwards compatible and a single flavor, if you will. All the doctype in HTML5 declares is that it's an HTML document. I've read in a few places that the doctype isn't required for HTML files, but that's not altogether accurate.

The specification states that a doctype is required to trigger Standards mode, but that it serves no other purpose. Because of this, they've simplified it considerably. Behold the new HTML5 doctype in all its glory! You know what? That's actually easy enough to memorize. With that in mind, let's create a new page and add the HTML5 doctype. So again, I'm going to use Dreamweaver to do this, but you guys can use any HTML editor you like. It does not matter.

You can even use a text editor, and if you're used to creating your HTML documents that way, you can just go ahead do that. Okay, I am going to create a new HTML file. Now, Dreamweaver is really nice and tries to help you out, because it knows that no one would ever remember the doctype declarations for older document types. As a matter of fact, I'm betting if you use a different type of code editor, it has some similar type of functionality or you probably have document types saved as snippets. Well again, that's long. It's not necessary anymore. It doesn't identify our document as being HTML5 file, so it is gone.

Just go ahead and create a blank line at the very top of the page, there we go. All right, now, with all the fanfare that's necessary, we are going to go ahead and create a HTML5 doctype. We are just going to go ahead and type in exclamation point, doctype, space, HTML and close it. That's it. Now make sure that you don't have any white space prior to the doctype. If you do have empty lines above that, that could also trigger Quirks mode. So regardless of how you're creating that, you want to make sure you don't have any space up there. That's it.

I am going to go ahead and save this file and I'm going to save it out to my Exercise_Files that I copied over to the desktop earlier, and inside my Exercise_Files I am going to find Chapter3, I am going to go in the 03_05, and I am going to save this as trails.htm. So this is the page that we are going to be building a little bit each time as we go. I am going to go ahead and hit Save, and for the most part our page is ready to go. Well, that's it really. That's all that's required to serve up an HTML5 page. Now the doctype is one of the things within HTML5 that has been thankfully simplified from previous versions. Even if you have to hand code the doctype yourself, I think you will agree it's pretty easy to remember and pretty easy to execute.

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This video is part of

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HTML5 First Look

50 video lessons · 73657 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 50s
    3. Who is this course for?
      1m 5s
  2. 21m 12s
    1. Exploring prior standards
      4m 26s
    2. Why do we need HTML5?
      3m 32s
    3. HTML5 timeline
      4m 24s
    4. Current HTML5 support
      4m 25s
    5. What HTML5 is (and what it isn't)
      4m 25s
  3. 27m 49s
    1. HTML5 vs. HTML4
      3m 25s
    2. New structural tags
      6m 1s
    3. New content tags
      4m 7s
    4. New application-focused tags
      5m 32s
    5. Deprecated elements
      4m 28s
    6. API overview
      4m 16s
  4. 22m 29s
    1. Content models
      5m 33s
    2. Understanding the outline algorithm
      3m 21s
    3. The role of ‹div› tags
      4m 20s
    4. Using ID and class attributes
      2m 6s
    5. DOCTYPE declarations
      4m 16s
    6. Character encoding
      2m 53s
  5. 41m 27s
    1. Basic page structure
      3m 40s
    2. Structuring top-level elements
      7m 30s
    3. Structuring interior content
      8m 42s
    4. Building headers
      9m 11s
    5. Checking document outlines
      5m 46s
    6. Ensuring cross-browser structure
      6m 38s
  6. 27m 53s
    1. New input types
      5m 57s
    2. Setting form autofocus
      2m 53s
    3. Using placeholder data
      4m 4s
    4. Marking required fields
      3m 24s
    5. Working with number inputs
      5m 49s
    6. Using date pickers
      5m 46s
  7. 1h 1m
    1. Canvas overview
      6m 21s
    2. Adding canvas content
      8m 58s
    3. Drawing in the canvas environment
      12m 9s
    4. Drag-and-drop API overview
      6m 18s
    5. Offline applications overview
      7m 11s
    6. Video overview
      5m 45s
    7. Encoding video
      8m 23s
    8. Adding video
      5m 58s
  8. 57m 33s
    1. Geolocation API overview
      5m 50s
    2. Web storage API overview
      5m 40s
    3. WebSockets overview
      4m 16s
    4. CSS3 overview
      6m 38s
    5. Enhancing typography with CSS3
      7m 42s
    6. Using @font-face
      7m 11s
    7. Styling HTML5 with CSS3
      10m 23s
    8. Using CSS3 transitions
      9m 53s
  9. 5m 6s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 49s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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