Felix Crux

Technology & Miscellanea

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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, like <section>, <article>, <header> and <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 display: 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.

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