File Under: HTML5, Web Standards

Join the Early Adopters and Help Make HTML5 Better for Everyone

Whenever we write about HTML5 here at Webmonkey — whether it’s something great, like Microdata, or something not-so-great, like the flaw in WebSockets — there is an inevitable comment or two telling everyone that they should wait until HTML5 is done. Some people think even the W3C doesn’t want you adopting HTML5 just yet.

Of course all those people, including the W3C, are wrong. Not only is much of the HTML5 spec well on its way to being finalized, browsers already support much of it. The level of support varies by browser, but HTML5 is very much here today.

The real reason you should use HTML5 now is that early adopters are already helping to make it better, finding bugs and giving the browser makers a reason to fix them.

Mark Pilgrim’s site Dive Into HTML5 is a fantastic resource for learning HTML5 and it’s written in HTML5. Pilgrim recently pointed out that the site’s use of HTML5 and CSS 3 has “led to bug fixes in at least four browsers and one font.”

If we all waited to use HTML5 until it was “done” we wouldn’t know about those bugs. It’s early adopters — like many Webmonkey readers — who are helping to make the web better by using HTML5 today and helping to discover the parts that don’t work in the real world. Browser bugs aren’t always discovered by reading specs or through stress tests like ACID 3, they’re discovered in the wild, on the web. Finding them now means that than in five or ten years when HTML5 is set in stone, it will have fewer problems.

Naturally we’re not suggesting that HTML5 is right for every website. Mainstream sites don’t want to discover bugs, though that hasn’t stopped big names like Nike from jumping in the HTML5 waters.

Maybe some parts of HTML5, like say WebSockets, aren’t quite ready to be used on the New York Times homepage. But smaller sites using WebSockets are helping to pave the way so that eventually sites the size of the Times can use WebSockets and the rest of HTML5 without worrying about bugs.

Not every site needs to live on the edge, but those that do make the web a better place for all the rest.

[Note to the commenters who will inevitably point out that we don't use HTML5 at Webmonkey: those of us that write for Webmonkey do not also write the code that runs it.]

5 Mosaic photo by Leo Reynolds/Flickr/CC

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