Could someone please clarify this for me. I realise that HTML5 has introduced new semantic elements such as <header>, <aside> etc., but does this really increase the expressive power of the markup? Can't the same thing be achieved in HTML 4.x using classes (e.g. <p class="header">)?

I am reluctant to move to HTML5 due to the issue of backwards compatibility.

If you're just switching doctype - for a start - there aren't any backwards compatibility issues.

After all: "the new, short, HTML 5 DOCTYPE is introduced because they needed a compact mode-switch – and for no other reason. Good browsers still don't need it, but IE sure does."

Unless you really need any of the new elements right now, it makes sense to just switch to HTML 5 doctype and relax on all else - including backwards compatibility - until the time seems right ... in a few years time.


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