The Truth About HTML5

Fortunately, this book (and hopefully your experience as a reader!) is infinitely better for it. And I hope once you’ve read it you’ll share my concern about the strange direction basic markup has taken, and my excitement for the new HTML5 (and related) technologies that are coming soon to a browser near you. That includes Internet Explorer
10—Microsoft finally, truly gets web standards.

What seemed impossible just a few years ago—a far-fetched, almost utopian ideal of all browser vendors, including Microsoft, competing for tooth-and-nail to support bleeding-edge web standards—is now a reality. Innovation in web standards is happening at a break-neck speed, and my hope is this book gets you up to speed not only with the
fundamentals of HTML5, but with the broader picture of where the web as a whole is heading, especially as we look towards a post-Flash future.

As you make your way through the following chapters, please keep in mind this book is as much of a critique as it is an explanation of HTML5. By taking a critical look at why things are the way they are, my hope is you save hours by not having to worry about things that don’t matter (particularly when it comes to basic markup), and your

Eyes are opened to how the HTML5 sausage gets made. It may not always be pretty, but if you spend your days in the trenches building websites, knowing why things are the way they are will help guide your design and development decisions in a very direct way.

That said, there’s plenty of exciting technology in and around HTML5 too, so be sure not to miss the later chapters on graphics technologies like Canvas and SVG; the state of audio and video in HTML5; and the more developer-oriented HTML5 features that includes a new way of handling something as fundamental as a page request.

(Also note we will be focusing almost entirely on HTML5 as defined by the HTML5 spec, with the addition of SVG, and a few other related initiatives such as and WebGL. “HTML5” has become a buzzword which can mean everything from the HTML5 spec itself to CSS3 and modern JavaScript, to just “cool and new and not Flash.”
We’ll be mostly sticking with the features in the actual HTML5 specification.)

I love the web design community because it’s filled with smart, excitable, curious, opinionated folk who will call you on your BS.

This is an opinionated book, not a dry explanation of the technology, and I’ll be stating my views pretty strongly. I look forward to you doing the same. Passionate, considered debate makes us all smarter.
So please, write it up on your blog, send me happy/sad/angry emails (, talk to me on Twitter (@lukestevens), or whatever you like.

I look forward to the discussion.
And now I’d like to ask a couple of favors.
First, if you enjoy my writing, then please tell your friends, colleagues, Twitter followers, blog readers, and pretty much anyone who will listen to this book. Like a lot of authors, I rely entirely on readers like you to spread the word (and the links). If you can help me out by spreading the word about this book via good old fashioned word of
mouth I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

And second, if you use Google Analytics (and who doesn’t?) and want to get more out of it, I’d love you to check out my web app Ninja for Google Analytics at Google Analytics is a big, complex beast, but it has the best data on how your website performs, it’s just buried deep, deep down. Ninja for GA brings that data to the surface through a simple, elegant interface.

It’s web analytics for web designers, and I think you (and your clients) will like it. My hope is it will make your design practice (and your client’s sites) more productive and profitable. After all, all the HTML5 in the world won't help you if your conversion rates are lousy and your bounce rates are sky-high. (We’ll return to this theme in the final chapter of this book when we look at Performance-Based Design.)

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