HTML5 for Web Developers: Why It's Worth Your Time

By HTMLGoodies Staff

While the HTML5 vs. Flash debate is still hot and heavy, one question remains. Should developers take the time to invest in HTML5?

Eric A. Meyer, author and recognized expert on HTML and CSS, says the answer is a resounding yes. Meyer spoke about HTML5, CSS and JavaScript and answered a few questions that go past the current buzz about HTML5 vs. Flash.

When asked how HTML5 differs from traditional HTML, Meyer responded that it's still that same HTML--plus more elements. "HTML5 adds new elements for things like sections of a document and articles, and figures and captions for figures. So it covers things that a lot of us do all the time, like create <div class="figure"> and then <p class="caption"> inside of that to go along with an image. Now there's just an element called 'figure' and you insert an image and you have an element after that called 'caption.'"

Meyer believes that HTML5 provides a better foundation for web applications, however it is not, nor will it become, a full-fledged programming environment. He stated that, although other web development skills such as Flash are important, the foundation of web development is still HTML5, JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)--the classic three.

Speaking about HTML5, mobile applications and the future, Meyer had this to say, "The argument is that 10 years from now we're going to look back at rebuilding apps for every mobile device and go 'What the hell were we thinking?' It's the same way kids who graduate from decent web development programs today don't understand why anyone ever tried to layout a page with tables. I've had conversations with people who literally just can't understand. Even when you explain, 'Well, there was no CSS.' They're like, 'But surely there was something better because that's just awful.' Betting against the web is the sure losing bet of technology. Over the long-term, that's where I see things going."

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