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HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2

Print View , by: iSee ,Total views: 7 ,Word Count: 730 ,Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 Time: 10:06 PM

We try to keep up on what the WhatWG and the W3C are proposing for all of our benefit.

We have been really impressed with the WhatWG, and secretly wish that the IE team would be totally on board (with the other browser teams that participate there).

At a recent conference in Europe, both groups presented their visions.

HTML 5: WhatWG

HTML 5 is the naming group for the WhatWG as they propose extensions to HTML4 and the DOM.

It is great to see some of the rich components that we would get with HTML 5:

  • <datagrid>: As you can imagine. A rich data grid component.
  • <canvas>: We are really excited about Canvas, which you can play with a litle in the Firefox 1.1 alphas (buggy)
  • Range: Imagine <input type="range">. Yahoo! Mindset could have just used this.
  • Email, Url, Time, Date: <input type="email|url|time|date">. Rich.
  • Simply allow editable content: <content Editable =""..
  • Event Sources: <event-source src="/some/path" onevent="process(event)"/> rather than a lot of javascript and iframes.


XHTML2: Accessible, Usable, Device Independent and Semantic.

The design aims:

  • As generic xml as possible: if a facility exists in XML, try to use that rather than duplicating it. This means that it already works to a large extent in existing browsers (main missing functionality XForms and xml Events).
  • Less presentation, more structure: use stylesheets for defining presentation.
  • More usability: within the constraints of XML, try to make the language easy to write, and make the resulting documents easy to use.
  • More accessibility: 'designing for our future selves' Ho? The design should be as inclusive as possible.
  • Better internationalization.
  • More device independence: new devices coming online, such as telephones, PDAs, tablets, televisions and so on mean that it is imperative to have a design that allows you to author once and render in different ways on different devices, rather than authoring new versions of the document for each type of device.
  • Better forms: after a decade of experience, we now know how to make forms a better experience.
  • Less scripting: achieving functionality through scripting is difficult for the author and restricts the type of user agent you can use to view the document. We have tried to identify current typical usage, and include those usages in markup.
  • Better semantics: integrate XHTML into the Semantic Web.

Changing Structure

One of the biggest problems for non-sighted people with many HTML pages is working out what the structure is. Often the only clue is the level of header used (h1, h2 etc), and often they are not used correctly.

To address this, in XHTML2 you can now make the structure of your documents more explicit, with the <section> and <h> elements.

<h> A heading </ h>
<h> A lower-level heading </ h>
</ section>
</ section>

img bye-bye

You might be surprised to know that <img> was not in the original HTML.

The future:

<p src="map.gif"> Walk down the steps from the platform turn left, and walk on to the end of the street </ p>

More metadata

<h property="title"> My Life and Times </ h>

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