I am not going to register to comment on that article but I had a quick scan and picked up on some other interesting points raised, which most people should already know.
Obviously the article was written to be slightly controversial and draw attention to the book and was partly a marketing gimmick by the author. It's clear the book isn't meant to be a tutorial but give a fairly honest if not slightly "opinionated critique on HTML5". Though it makes a change for the overinflated "fan boy marketing hype" and idiotic false rumours that circulate the web so it was a refreshing change that it dismissed some myths.
That obviously is a fair statement in that HTML 4.01 is normative and functions quite well currently and is broadly supported by all current mainstream browsers and even most legacy browsers.
Obviously introducing new elements and attributes will undoubtedly cause problems and barriers though clearly improvement on forms were required and the web is always morphing.
> A little taste of pain
Here are just some of the problems these new structural elements introduce:
- They give terms web designers already use (such as header and footer) new uses, while claiming to be just doing what web designers are already doing.
- They introduce a new method of structuring documents that's vague, complicated and unnecessary.
- They introduce broad, unclear, poorly-defined use cases that will make web standards harder to learn (and harder to teach).
Point three is the most interesting though point two obviously is correct in that it does introduce a complicated and unnecessary method of structuring documents. Most authors I have seen try to use it get 'confuddled' and do come unstuck. Going back to point three (currently) that is one that everyone should be aware of that most people try to brush under the carpet. Partly a case of legacy browsers though but an actual "real world" issue.
Quiz question: How were these elements added to the HTML5 spec?
- Some markup wonks thought they'd be a good idea and threw them in the spec 7+ years ago.
That is more-or-less correct they basically did research and then decided to create some elements from popular class names. Documenting tags that were floating around in the ether that were in common use whether or not they made much semantic sense. The non normative HTML5 basically just took ANY browser proprietary (none official) tag and decided which to implement, and which to not or redefined them. Leading to even more confusion... Plus the draft specification is obviously (descriptive rather than proscriptive) that doesn't help the typical web author.
Clearly, introducing a whole new way of structuring documents, however poorly communicated, is not "paving the cowpaths".
I couldn't agree more. Although Of course I think their original intentions were good but rather rushed.
The only option then is to fall back on class names for headings, but avoiding class names when authoring is the very 'problem' the WHATWG were trying to solve.
I agree it sounds ridiculous and it shows some shortcomings. Also I'd suspect generally people would add classes to such elements anyway as they do nowadays so in effect it just adds bloat.
So we don't need HTML5's new elements for accessibility. In fact, we should avoid them for the harm they cause another subset of users.
At the moment that is quite true and the authors was correct WAI-ARIA is supported by AT and is NOT a HTML5 technology. Some of the HTML5 requires JS to function so that is also another shortfall/issue or warning sign. Though WAI-ARIA is good you also have to remember many people with disabilities like myself don't use AT so you should always author semantic markup regardless.
I think overall the article edited [Chapter 3 of The Truth About HTML5] was fairly straight talking and cut out a lot of the rubbish and "propaganda on parade" market spiel you get plastered; everywhere as if HTML5 was a "magic-fix" going to save the world. Plus it's not just a markup language unlike HTML 4.01.
So Maleika @kohoutek ; have you bought yourself a copy yet for light easy reading or weren't it deep enough as obviously it was mainly a fun critique? I must admit, I did find it amusing in the article comments that some people were "shocked" with the article as if this was a completely new concept, i.e. that it's a "ordered mess".