HTML and CSS Reference
The HTML5 specification is a work in progress. Writing a topic about such a moving
target is more than a bit of a challenge. However, like the specification itself, something had
to be done. It will take too long to finish the specification, and in the meantime people want
to use some of the new elements that are already supported.
HTML5 will change the Web, but the old Web will likely live on. Thinking that HTML5
is going to take the world by storm, co-opting standard practices and usurping technologies
like Flash in short order, is fanciful. The old ways will continue to live on and it will be quite
some time before HTML5 ideas are even commonplace.
HTML5 won't solve all the problems you encounter as a Web developer. In fact, a safe
prediction is that it will introduce even more trouble, particularly as we transition from the
old ways to the new. And although the standard is evolving quickly, there are bound to be
fights among browser vendors, multiple interpretations of the standards, and the typical
dance between innovation and specification conformance.
HTML5 is the future. Working with the messed-up markup that dominates the Web and
providing a definition of how user agents should parse the mess is a tremendous
improvement in Web development. Yet HTML5 doesn't simply embrace the past; it extends
the language with many more elements and continues the move to more semantic markup.
While some markup purists may bemoan the resurgence of HTML traditions, the XML
future is not destroyed by HTML5. If you want to use lowercase, quote all attributes, and
self-close empty elements, go right ahead—that conforms to HTML5 as well. However,
HTML5 isn't just about markup; it is also about metadata, media, Web applications, APIs,
and more. It's a sprawling specification that will continue to evolve, but much of it is here
today, so get busy and embrace the future of markup now.