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The jump to HTML5


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Hi. So, I wanted to be clear on a few things, so here's some questions I'm hoping you guys can answer:


1) If I want to do a website that is HTML5, am I right in thinking that it's a matter of both declaring it as such in the DOCTYPE, and being sure that my coding is HTML5 compatible? So, in other words, if I've been good about my coding, it would simply be a matter of me changing the DOCTYPE?


2) Is there currently any disadvantage to having a site HTML5? Do all browsers/platforms currently support it fully? Is there a disadvantage to staying at 4.01, aside from not being able to use some of the newer HTML5-based tags/features?


3) I've been trying to find a good solution for a multi-file mp3 player to put on my site so people can listen to some of my music (selecting songs from a list, as opposed to them just mercilessly playing when one enters the page). I found one player that is supposedly compatible on iOS (unlike the regular flash-based ones), but it seems to be implying that it is HTML5. What would I need to be sure of on my site in order to be allowed to use it? Anything?


4) If flash-based mp3 players won't work on iOS, what is the compatible alternate? Javascript-based? Jquery? HTML auto tag?

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Hello, L.Adlon.


1. To the best of my knowledge, HTML5 is declared by setting up your base webpage like this:

<!DOCTYPE html><html><head><meta charset="UTF-8"><title>Title of the document</title></head><body></body></html>

<!DOCTYPE html> is what declares HTML5 in a document.



2. So far as I know, there aren't any real disadvantages to it. It's more efficient, and I've found that some of it is actually easier to work with. Also, it hasn't thrown all of the elements of HTML4 out the window. There are certain features not supported by all older browsers; some features just require an extra bit of code to support it in a certain browser. When you're building a site, it's important to keep compatibility in mind. It's a very possible to make a website that conforms to HTML5 standards, but is also viewable on older browsers.

Personally, I like keeping everything up to date, because it makes it easier to validate a website.


I don't know much about mp3-related things, so I'll leave these questions for someone else.


Take care,


Edited by Zyggy
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Thanks, Zyggy... Ya, it just seems 'safer' (currently) to stay at HTML4.01.... as I assume that is fully supported (...well, as supported as we can expect), and HTML5 may not be (currently).


If I'm wrong, I'd love to know... but I'm assuming that's where we currently are.

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There's no disadvantage to using the HTML 5 doctype, even old browsers interpret it as a standards compliant page.


If you're planning to use HTML 5 elements, you then need to discover which browsers support them and in what ways you can make up for the browsers that don't. (For example, falling back to Flash in the case of <video> or <audio> elements. You already have shown interest in the <video> and <audio> elements, it would be incorrect to use them in an HTML 4.01 document.


Other things such as <canvas> and new input types like color picker and date also require the HTML 5 doctype.


I would recommend pushing forward as much as possible, browser vendors react more rapidly when there is a high demand for the new standard. HTML 5 isn't going to be "finished" for another eight years but it's called a "living standard" which means that as things get documented you already can start using them. W3C and WHATWG recommend not waiting.

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Yep. The HTML5 that I am using (that I'm aware of) is <audio>, as part of the MediaElement player for my demo songs. It falls back to Flash if HTML5 is supported.


I previously was using a Flash-only player, but wanted to upgrade, as I figure a lot of my visitors may be on Mac devices.


So, I guess by what you're saying, I can safely set all my pages to an HTML5 doctype, rather than just the music page? I was a bit concerned about the whole self-closing tag thing, as there seems to be controversy about whether it's supported or what... From the latest I'm reading, it 'ignores' self-closing tags' <image ...... /> = <image.... > , but it closes standalone tags automatically... so, ignored, but it doesn't matter, from what I'm understanding.


Ya, this forum and the W3Schools site is my reference place for HTML and CSS.


As long as my pages work, I have no problem moving to HTML5.

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