I’m in Reston this week, attending our new HTML5 class. The author, Andrew Andrews III is also teaching it this week, and it’s a lot of fun. Andrew’s the Technical Editor on my jQuery course so I know him pretty well – and I’ve been looking forward to the class for a while.
Because if you’re waiting for HTML5 to be finished before you start using it, you’re going to find yourself waaaaay behind the curve. ASP.NET MVC already supports HTML5. ASP.NET Web Forms will be supporting it next release. And you can download an update to Visual Studio 2010 to allow it to validate HTML5 as well as earlier versions.
Andrew is very keen to stress that you can use HTML5 right now. HTML isn’t, and never will be, a finished specification. Browsers are continually being updated to add support for new features. The trick is to do use the new features in a way that is backwards compatible.
Here, for example, is what my HTML5 Web site cocktailsrus.com should look like in a modern browser:
And here is what it looks like in Internet Explorer 8, if I don’t do anything to make the site backwards compatible:
And here is what it can look like if I follow Andrew’s approach. It’s not identical to the look in an up-to-date browser, but it’s a much more graceful degradation:
The change was accomplished with just a few lines of HTML and CSS – and it means you can take advantage of the latest features of HTML without having to sacrifice support for legacy browsers.
So there’s no excuse for avoiding HTML5 any longer. You can use a lot of it right now on all the main browsers, providing better-looking, more functional sites for your users. And if you want to know how to do it without giving up on older browsers… then go along to Andrew’s class!
For other related information, check out these courses from Learning Tree: