So the W3C has officially ceased work on the next iteration of the XHTML
standard, abandoning it in favour of the new and shiny HTML 5. I have some
mixed opinions on this, since the simplifying purist in me likes the
consistency and rigour provided by XHTML, but HTML 5 appeals to my more
pragmatic instincts. HTML 5 also has support for a slew of nice semantic tags,
<footer>, which should make
it easier and cleaner to style documents according to their content, and do
away with the ubiquitous
<div id="blogpost"> constructs
that currently make up most sites.
Since I'd hate to be left behind when the HTML 5 rapture arrives, I have
started converting this site to use the proposed standard. Of course, browser support for HTML 5
tags is minimal at this point, but there are some workarounds. All block
elements, for example, need to be defined in CSS as
block. Interestingly, where certain versions Internet Explorer
previously tried, and failed terribly, at rendering this page, using the new
HTML 5 elements actually improves the site display, because currently
no version of IE even tries to style unknown tags appropriately. The
result is that the page displays in a simplified and entirely unexpected way,
but one that actually allows you to read the content, as opposed to a garbled
mess where large swathes of the page are not visible. And people complain that
there's no progress.
In any case, please let me know if any worthwhile browsers render things funny.