Bruce Lawson’s personal site

The HTML 5 experiments

Or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the DOCTYPE.

I was honoured to be invited by the Multipack, a group of Birmingham-based web professionals, to the first Multipack Presents, to talk about HTML 5 as part of an afternoon of discussion of emerging standards.

Rather than another “what is HTML 5?” talk, I decided to give a talk which I wish I’d been able to hear before I began my HTML 5 redesign. I talked through the process of the redesign, the decisions I made, the blind alleys I went up and where I got confused because the spec is ambiguous or opaque.

You can grab the The HTML 5 experiments (PDF, 2.5M) for your viewing pleasure, and play with the HTML 5 forms demo (currently only Opera 9.5 and upwards supports these new features). I’m not sure how much sense the presentation makes in isolation, though.

(Here’s a great serendipitous photo of me and my opening slide)

Also speaking were a very old mate, Matt Machell, who did an excellent introduction to WAI-ARIA, and my fellow beer-monster Stuart Langridge on New Whizzy JavaScript stuff.

I’d like to thank and congratulate the Multipack for organising a free Birmingham event to start building a Midlands-community that will show those Southern ponces in Brighton that you don’t need a few pebbles on a beach to have a vibrant scene. Thanks also to Birmingham web design agency One Black Bear who opened up their beautiful offices to a group of strangers and found it much fuller than anyone anticipated. Cheers to Campaign Monitor for pizza.

As is usual when a group of geeks meet up, there was beer and lewdness but also idea-swapping and inspirations.

So Langridge has written a test page verifying JavaScript can access the new HTML 5 elements for manipulation, as I didn’t know how to. Spurred on by Matt’s WAI-ARIA introduction, Langridge has come up with a proof-of-concept ARIA stylesheet and is looking for comments.

One of my aims was to get people involved in trying HTML 5 spec and participating in its specification, as I believe if you don’t vote you have no right to complain about the government you get. A few attendees have told me that they’re going to do just that, so mission accomplished for me. For example, Andy Mabbett has been thinking about HTML 5 and microformats and has mailed the HTML 5 working group.

Next meetup is in March, but I’ll be in India. Assuming I’m back I hope to see every Midlands-based web professional at the April meetup.

2 Responses to “ The HTML 5 experiments ”

Comment by Matt Machell

“Very Old Mate”, makes me sound like I should be cashing in my pension! 😉

Twas good. Nice to see such a good turnout for the first of the new format events.

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