I completely missed the earlier thread, I read 90% of it until my head hurt. I think it should be ok to start a related thread if we can keep it on track. There were valid points raised by each person who contributed to the last one.
Nearly all HTML5 threads end up debating the usefulness of the semantic tags(section, article, header, footer, nav etc..). I find that almost pointless.
Those tags are the least of HTML5 in my opinion and their use is hard to defend.
Requiring js to style those tags in IE is a big deal, wrapping nav around a list that would suffice is a waste.
But, if you'd like to use them I won't lose any sleep, I more put it down to personal coding preference.
I've seen uses where those tags can make code look more readable, though I still don't see strong reasons to use them personally.
Other tags, like samanime pointed out are quite useful like <time>, these provide valuable semantics to a page that HTML4 didn't. Again, reading code with these tags makes them more readable. The variety of tags isn't a problem in itself. It was aimed to pave the cow paths and implement semantics for things that people were coding over and again with meaningless tags like div/span.
People who call these garbage don't understand why they were added.
Enough about the semantics already. HTML5 was designed for web applications. Let's talk about that instead.
- HTML5 Forms should be used - one strong reason is that using the new types enables mobile browsers to switch keyboards for the types. - There's heaps of great additions to HTML forms, validation, placeholders, speech input.
- Rich Media is painful and inconsistent - but adding these to the specs is the right move, don't hate progress.
- Offline should be used - when relevant to an application.
- Geolocation Flipping Awesome! should be used - when relevant to an application.
- WebSockets - Flipping Awesome! should be used - when relevant to an application.
- Web storage - More processing is moving client-side, you're not going to stop it. This enables another level of interactivity and responsiveness to applications.
- History API - make applications more responsive with partial page updates and keep your history.
Oh yeah, and everyone is on the same page with the doctype, use it.
I'm bored engaging in arguments about those 5 debatable semantic tags, the point that HTML5 is to support Web Applications and richer experiences on the web.
Not all web developers need to use these features, so HTML4 is fine. But if you're building a rich, interactive web application you'll want to look at some of these features.
When people ask if I use HTML5 or not I normally say "I just use HTML, HTML5 isn't an entirely new version, it's just a collection of new features, I use the parts that make sense."
I've had people say "Oh, if you can use HTML5 that would be awesome", I understand the misunderstanding of what HTML5 is, just nod and say sure.
It's strange that the general public should know about an HTML specification, or care