This is probably my biggest problem with most of the ideology behind HTML 5. You learn from past mistakes and HTML has no way to teach you anything because there is no error-correction-test feedback cycle.
How do you learn proper HTML? You write something, you load it in a browser, does it show properly? It was right. Does it show in a funny way? There must be something wrong. What? Who knows. Nobody knows because you cannot, by definition create _wrong_ HTML 5. It is just that you did not write what you think you wrote.
There are validators you can use to validate your page. But most of the times they will tell you that your page is wrong while it actually looks perfectly as you wish in the browser. The browser is not complaining and the page looks good... these validators must be too picky, a waste of time.
The problem that killed XHTML was the draconian error handling in most browser. Only Opera had a good way to handle XHTML errors: a banner that told you that the page had an error and which error. Under that banner the page, rendered as best as possible. That was a good way to learn (and to tell people that the person who wrote the site is not a pro).
It might have been a good thing until about 1997, but at that point there was no shortage of people creating new web content, and raising the barrier to entry would have done no harm. And a lot of innovation in browser features might have happened sooner (due to increased competition between browsers.)
"[W]hy do we have an <img> element? Why not an <icon> element? Or an <include> element? Why not a hyperlink with an include attribute, or some combination of rel values? Why an <img> element? Quite simply, because Marc Andreessen shipped one, and shipping code wins."
I'd argue just the opposite. Browsers treated XHTML doctypes as "tag-soup" HTML4. Firefox would only validate the document if you used the xhtml mime type, in which case you lost progressive rendering and your site would seem slow to the user.
The key point here is that XML wasn't doing any favors to the browser vendors - their rendering model just didn't work that way internally.
Net result is a gazillion 'XHTML' documents which aren't actually XML. Now you can't start to throw up end-user warnings or half the web would appear to be broken. So, admit it was a dubious idea to begin with and start over.
HTML5 defines pretty strict conformance requirements for authors. That's separate thing from defining error recovery mechanisms for UAs.
You can easily learn what is wrong with your code using the W3C Validator.
which is a big improvement over the old DTD-based one which couldn't verify contents of attributes or structures more than one level deep:
What you are referring to wrong as in is _non valid_, what I was referring to was _non working_.
Invalid HTML 5 _works_, so does invalid HTML. At no point your browser will stop and say "Come on, that is not HTML, that is garbage". If there is no such point, then there is no _wrong_ HTML 5.
Take this code, it is valid HTML 5 (may the XML gods forbid me)
I love HTML
The following is invalid HTML5
I love HTML
Once such a lax error recovery mechanism is in place _without additional warning in the UI_, how is one able to define what is wrong and what is correct?
There are many arbitrary lines there. There were huge bikeshedding debates on HTML WG just how much must be quoted, escaped, declared and closed.
Generally the correct/valid subset is chosen to be free from gotchas as much as possible (only things that behave as expected are allowed).
It's a compromise between best practices and not so pretty, but very common code out there.
It's counter-productive to declare 99% of working pages "invalid". With less nitpicking errors validators can have better signal to noise ratio and flag errors that are more likely to cause trouble, and authors are more likely to take those seriously rather than assume validator is impossible to please.
e.g. misnested tags are disallowed, because it's hard to understand how they are interpreted.
DOCTYPE is required, because it disables emulation of IE5 bugs (Quirks Mode).
OTOH unquoted attributes and some unescaped ampersands are allowed, because most often they're parsed unambiguously in a way that authors expect.
I love HTML
An average Joe is supposed to feel great about writing something that renders the way he/she wants without having to go into deeper stuff like semantics, validity or even cross-browser.
This is something that should be left to people who need to know it in their strata, isn't it?
Indeed HTML is great for that, but the problem is that you never "level up". Once your content renders, you are done. A lot of Joes may be interested in how things work behind the scenes or in making things "correct" more than "just working". It would be great, from a pedagogical point of view, to have browser render Joe's content (for instant gratification) but also to point out that "Ehi, on line 32 you closed </p> before </i>. It should be the other way around because of this rule called nesting, have a look at it". I think we are wasting a lot of man-years around the globe for the lack of such warnings.
In the education of many people, compiler errors and warning had exactly this function: they made you do whatever you wanted (as long as decent) but they would also pointed out the basic mistakes ("Ehi, on line 14 you print the variable prg_name, but that variable has not been initialized, beware").
- Market floods with professionals who antagonize proper web developers, since, to unknoweledgeable clients, the result appears to be the same
- Web floods with sites that behave in unpredictable ways in different browsers
- Proper developers carry the burden of dealing with idiosyncrasies of various browsers
- Browser developers carry the burden of trying guess through amazingly creative atrocities
Although, to be honest, things don't look as grim as they used to regarding the middle two.
(If you weren't online/sentient back then, sites commonly had these 'Best viewed in Netscape' badges on them.)
Update: so, i removed the dot texture on the page and also changed the google webfont to "gudea" instead of "open sans" and it seems to be a lot more readable. i think if the authors of the site changed the font to something more readable, all would be good. the font i choose was just picked at random.
see my edits: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/103326/after_Gudea.png
Changing it to Helvetica (or Arial) make a little bit easier to read (Putting above code into URL bar does this).
"It is important to note that Chrome, unlike most browsers, holds multiple instances of the rendering engine - one for each tab. Each tab is a separate process."
This is not true and has never been true to my knowledge without restricting the statement. Chrome will open links opened in a new tab/window which point to the same domain in the same content process and it will start mixing different domains in the same content processes once a certain threshold is reached (whether this is a hard-coded upper limit on how many content processes may exist simultaneously or if this is calculated dynamically I do not know).
Personally, I'm happy for the repost - I was looking for this, but couldn't find it, just yesterday.
Also, it gives a chance to add to the discussion of what's been happening in the domain in the past 181 days!
"Firefox blocks all scripts when there is a style sheet that is still being loaded and parsed. Webkit blocks scripts only when they try to access certain style properties that may be affected by unloaded style sheets."
"WebCore simply throws a global switch when any sibling selector is encountered and disables style sharing [optimization] for the entire document when they are present. This includes the + selector and selectors like :first-child and :last-child."
"After parsing the style sheet, the rules are added to one of several hash maps, according to the selector. There are maps by id, by class name, by tag name and a general map for anything that doesn't fit into those categories." Every element then looks in these maps to find rules which might apply to it.
This is gonna get corny very soon.
From a high-level view, I hope we see super-intense competition of tablet browsers soon. Because looking at -webkit-on-iPad, I feel IE6 has just been re-invented.
But when it comes to creating the content, such as having an email done with browser based rich text-editing, or file-input for attachments it falls flat on the face.
Example of a discussion: http://answers.37signals.com/basecamp/2659-ipad-file-uploadi...