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If you don't know about the new features available in HTML5, now's the time to
find out. The latest version of this markup language is going to significantly
change the way you develop web applications, and this book provides your first
real look at HTML5's new elements and attributes.
Even though work on HTML5 is ongoing, browsers such as Safari, Mozilla, Opera,
and Chrome already support many of its features -- and browsers for smart
phones are even farther ahead, especially iPhone's MobileSafari browser. With
HTML5: Up & Running , you'll learn how this new version enables browsers to
HTML5 can help you develop applications that: Display video directly in the
browser, without having to rely on plugins Work even when a user is offline, by
taking advantage of HTML5's persistent storage Offer a drawing canvas for
dynamically generated 2-D graphics
This concise guide is the most complete and authoritative book you'll find on
the subject. Author Mark Pilgrim writes the weekly digest for the HTML5 Working
Group, and represents Google at conferences on HTML5's capabilities. Stay ahead
of the curve. Order a copy of this book today. Five Things You Should Know
by Mark Pilgrim
1. It’s not one big thing . You may well ask: “How can I start using HTML5 if
older browsers don’t support it?” But the question itself is misleading. HTML5
is not one big thing; it is a collection of individual features. So you can’t
detect “HTML5 support,” because that doesn’t make any sense. But you can detect
support for individual features, like canvas, video, or geolocation.
You may think of HTML as tags and angle brackets. That’s an important part of
it, but it’s not the whole story. The HTML5 specification also defines how
Model (DOM). HTML5 doesn’t just define video tag; there is also a corresponding
DOM API for video objects in the DOM. You can use this API to detect support
for different video formats, play a video, pause, mute audio, track how much of
the video has been downloaded, and everything else you need to build a rich
user experience around the video tag itself.
Chapter 2 and Appendix A will teach you how to properly detect support for
each new HTML5 feature.
2. You don’t need to throw anything away. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny
that HTML 4 is the most successful markup format ever. HTML5 builds on that
success. You don’t need to throw away your existing markup. You don’t need to
relearn things you already know. If your web application worked yesterday in
HTML 4, it will still work today in HTML5. Period.
Now, if you want to improve your web applications, you’ve come to the right
place. Here’s a concrete example: HTML5 supports all the form controls from
HTML 4, but it also includes new input controls. Some of these are long-overdue
additions like sliders and date pickers; others are more subtle. For example,
the email input type looks just like a text box, but mobile browsers will
customize their onscreen keyboard to make it easier to type email addresses.
Older browsers that don’t support the email input type will treat it as a
regular text field, and the form still works with no markup changes or
scripting hacks. This means you can start improving your web forms today, even
if some of your visitors are stuck on IE 6.
Read all the gory details about HTML5 forms in Chapter 9.
3. It’s easy to get started . “Upgrading” to HTML5 can be as simple as
changing your doctype. The doctype should already be on the first line of every
HTML page. Previous versions of HTML defined a lot of doctypes, and choosing
the right one could be tricky. In HTML5, there is only one doctype: !DOCTYPE
Upgrading to the HTML5 doctype won’t break your existing markup, because all
the tags defined in HTML 4 are still supported in HTML5. But it will allow you
to use -- and validate -- new semantic elements like article, section, header,
and footer. You’ll learn all about these new elements in Chapter 3.
4. It already works Whether you want to draw on a canvas, play video, design
better forms, or build web applications that work offline, you’ll find that
HTML5 is already well-supported. Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and mobile
browsers already support canvas (Chapter 4), video (Chapter 5), geolocation
(Chapter 6), local storage (Chapter 7), and more. Google already supports
microdata annotations (Chapter 10). Even Microsoft -- rarely known for blazing
the trail of standards support -- will be supporting most HTML5 features in the
upcoming Internet Explorer 9.
Each chapter of this book includes the all-too-familiar browser compatibility
charts. But more importantly, each chapter includes a frank discussion of your
options if you need to support older browsers. HTML5 features like geolocation
(Chapter 6) and video (Chapter 5) were first provided by browser plugins like
Gears or Flash. Other features, like canvas (Chapter 4), can be emulated
features of modern browsers, without leaving older browsers behind.
5. It’s here to stay. Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in the
early 1990s. He later founded the W3C to act as a steward of web standards,
which the organization has done for more than 15 years. Here is what the W3C
had to say about the future of web standards, in July 2009: Today the Director
announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at
the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by
increasing resources in the HTML Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the
progress of HTML5 and clarify W3C’s position regarding the future of HTML.
HTML5 is here to stay. Let’s dive in.