No Mind

It's the mind that makes you miss the shot
May 7th, 2010 by Vivek Khurana

Why designers should learn HTML5

Of recently I had a discussion with few designers questioning the adoption of HTML5 and why should they learn HTML5. As everyone knows HTML5 is the new upcoming standard for the browsers. HTML5 enhances browser capabilities. Many capabilities which required using javascript libraries or flash, like drag and drop or video/audio playback, can now be done in browser natively, with HTML5.

But the question still remains, why should a designer waste her time in learning HTML5, when HTML5 specification is not yet complete. It makes no sense to invest time into something, because your nerd friend wants you to learn :)

HTML5 adoption is happening at a faster pace then you can imagine. All major browser vendors are now supporting HTML5, some have already started shipping HTML5 features in the current browser builds, while others are busy catching up. Not only browsers but several websites like youtube, facebook, scribd etc. have started HTML5 based versions. So unlike previous improvements in HTML, such as CSS, which took years to be adopted by browsers, HTML5 adoption is progressing at a healthy pace.

HTML5 is a standard that has took many years into making, with input from various software vendors and individuals, including designers. This process has ensured that most commonly used features of web development are supported by browsers natively, without need of any external libraries. At the same time, HTML5 has tried to add tags that will make content layout easier along with support for microformats. This makes presentation as well as sharing of data easy.

Though you may argue that HTML5 specification is not yet ready, then how are browsers implementing HTML5 ? This is acceptable. HTML5 is a big standard. It is so big that during the discussion stages, HTML5 specification has to be broken down into couple of smaller standards. Standardization process require drafts to be published and comments be received. Once drafts are published, the core ideas /features/processes/algorithms are rarely changed. Although it will take couple of years for the full specification to be ready, test suite be prepared and browsers passing those test. You can safely assume that the features/algorithms defined in the standard will not change.

So, no harm in investing time into learning HTML5 as it is going to become the defacto standard for web based applications in the decade to come.

How to learn HTML5 ? There are lots of tutorials available on the internet on HTML5. You can also, keep an eye on this blog, as there will many posts in near future, explaining various features of HTML5.

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4 Responses to “Why designers should learn HTML5”
  1. Draco18s says

    FYI: There are no significant differences in HTML5 over HTML4 that are needed to be “learned.”

    Unless of course, you’re actually talking about JAVASCRIPT, in which case, tell web developers to learn JavaScript, not HTML. HTML5 contains a handful of new tags that make reading the raw code much easier, it doesn’t actually change the way HTML works.

    I wish people would stop using “HTML5″ as a shortcut for “HTML5 + Javascript.”

  2. Wish The HTML For Web Designers book from A List Apart was available in India.

    One thing i am waiting for is actually be able to use HTML5 video tag without any hassles/in-compatibilities.

  3. You say Javascript but you forget that many of the new features come from CSS3. Indeed perhaps another name would be more appropriate but HTML5 is what we have to describe what is really a whole new suite of standards that are being implemented as we speak.

  4. Nice little article, Im starting to learn HTML5 today but still dont fully understand why I should move away from XHTML. I can see why people refer to it as HTML + JS, the question is will there still be a place for librarys like jQuery and MooTools with so much functionlaity built in as standard?