Both those examples are interesting, and underpin my hesitation to move
to HTML5.
In 2004 one of the largest London design agencies persuaded a corporate
client that they could build a complex website using pure CSS layout. We
did the compatibility testing (Netscape 6, IE6, Opera 6 etc) and it was
disastrous. The site eventually launched months late, over budget and it
still looked awful in some major browsers. It was years too early to try
anything like that, and they could see that from the alpha test results
but they ploughed on.
Around the same time, everyone including us started to move to using
XHTML. In recent years we all stopped because it was mostly pointless,
especially since you cannot serve it with the correct MIME type. These
days a lot of us have gone back to HTML4 Strict. Why did we use XHTML?
Because it was cool and everyone else was doing so, not because there
was any value in it.


From: []
On Behalf Of designer
Sent: 27 January 2011 13:14
Subject: Re: [WSG] HTML5 v. HTML 4.x

I hear what you are saying Steve, but isn't that always the case?  
The HTML5 scenario is becoming de rigueur now, just as a) tables vs divs
and floats and b)XHTML were years ago. It's only by becoming familiar
with 'changes' that one can decide for oneself if there are advantages
(or not). It's not just 'cool', it's advisable - if you want to make an
informed decision.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Steve Green 
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: [WSG] HTML5 v. HTML 4.x

In my view it depends on who you are and who is paying for the website
development. If you are building a website for yourself, by all means
spend as much time as you like learning about the new technologies and
implementing them.

However, if you are building a website for someone else, you should
obtain their consent before spending more than is necessary to meet
their needs. HTML4 and XHTML1.0 already meet most needs. At first it
will take developers longer to build sites using HTML5 because they are
less familiar with it, and the client should not have to pay for that if
they are deriving no benefit. If you think there may be some
unquantifiable benefit in the future, ask the client if they want to pay
more now in order to reap that benefit.

I am all for the advancement of accessibility but I feel that a lot of
developers want to use these new technologies because they are cool and
interesting, not because they provide better value for their clients.


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