I’ve helped David Snyder to write an article for .net magazine about responsive grids that was published on the issue 207 (helped with some code samples and technical consulting). At the end of the article I’ve also gave an interview about HTML5, here is it:
.net: What is your favourite HTML5 feature?
A lot of people are really excited about the canvas and video tags but if I had to pick something it would be the semantic changes, which aren’t really a feature. With HTML5 the markup describes the content of the document much better and it also helps reduce the number of classes and ids required to style the content. I think in the future it will be a key factor for search ranking and also for accessibility.
.net: What do you find to be the most frustrating thing surrounding the introduction of HTML5?
The debate about HTML5 vs Flash. A lot of people are misinformed about what HTML5 really is and the pros and cons of each technology. They simply forget that most of the basic features are not even supported by all the browsers, yet they expect that the newest and more complex features are going to be implemented correctly and quickly by all the vendors. They also think users are going to abandon Internet Explorer.
.net: What are the practical, real-word applications of HTML5 at the moment?
Nowadays the only places HTML5 can actually be used for real client projects are websites and applications for smartphones and the iPad. But even this kind of development has bugs. For example, there are a great deal of cross-browser issues and even these devices don’t support all of the features yet. Still, “HTML5 is the future”.
.net: Are we in the middle of another “Battle of the Browsers” and should we care?
Yes, we are. Microsoft is back in the game pushing hard with Internet Explorer 9; Apple is drawing attention with all the HTML5 hype; Google is making advertisements for Chrome; Firefox and Opera are investing in new features; and the differences between browsers are increasing every day with all the proprietary features and APIs.
To add to the mix, the different implementations of working draft specs – which may be changed in the future – are causing inconsistencies and breaking many websites.
Differences in implementations across browsers aren’t good for users and are especially frustrating for designers and developers. A lot of time is lost fixing incompatibilities. Sites are designed and developed so they’ll work on the worst browsers, which strips down many cool features that could be utilized. Plus, file sizes are larger since a lot of frameworks and hacks are required to fix those differences.
I’m really afraid of the strategies adopted by companies like Microsoft and Apple to conquer and close the market. I fear it will be like the old days (Netscape versus Internet Explorer) when we had to code different versions of the same site for each browser.