New HTML5 Site Gives Coding Advice to Developers

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-01-26
 
 
 

With HTML5 and CSS all the rage with developers, particularly Web developers, a new site has emerged to advise developers on the use of HTML5 and CSS 3 features: HTML5 Please.

The HTML Please site, as first reported by Webmonkey, offers up expert advice on which features to use and not use when developing apps. The site breaks its advice down into three categories: Use, Use with caution or Avoid. In addition, it tells developers which features they should use with fallbacks or polyfills. The bottom line is the new site gives developers recommendations on which HTML5 and CSS 3 elements they can safely use to create apps and sites that are effectively supported across a range of browsers.

As HTML5 is a moving target and many of its elements are too new to safely use for cross-browser support, HTML Please is a welcome aid to developers who want to color inside the lines.

"It's useful, but http://caniuse.com/ is more useful in my opinion in that it covers many more features, and in more depth," Dylan Schiemann, co-creator of the Dojo Toolkit and CEO of SitePen, told eWEEK regarding HTML Please. "What is highly useful about both services is a simple explanation of the maturity level of various new features across browsers, compared with current browser market share. It gives average developers quick and realistic data and metrics to justify which features are ready for their business to use, which should allow companies to more aggressively adopt new browser features as they mature."

"This looks like a really handy site," said Al Hilwa, program director for applications development software at IDC. "Aggregations of best practices and advice on such a granular level have to be valuable for a broad audience of HTML5 developers, and for sure much is needed at this relatively early stage of the evolution of this technology."

The HTML5 Please site is a community project created by Divya Manian, Web opener for Opera Software; Paul Irish, a developer programs engineer on the Google Chrome team; Tim Branyen, a software engineer at Bocoup; Connor Montgomery, a Web developer and computer science student at Saint Louis University; and a host of others.

According to the HTML5 Please site, these are the same people behind other, similar projects such as HTML5 Boilerplate, Modernizr and CSS3 Please. HTML5 Boilerplate is a template for HTML/CSS/JavaScript development, Modernizr is an open-source JavaScript library that helps you build the next generation of HTML5- and CSS3-powered Websites, and CSS3 Please is a cross-browser CSS3 rule generator.

A recent Evans Data survey-Evans Data's latest Global Development Survey-indicated that although the HTML5 standard is still a work in progress, software developers are already committed to it. The survey of more than 1,200 developers conducted worldwide in November and December 2011 showed current use of HTML at 43 percent in North America; 39 percent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region; and an even greater 58 percent in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Adding in planned use brought the totals to over three-quarters across the regions.

"There isn't any question about the adoption of HTML5-it's already the de facto standard," said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, in a statement. "There is special strength in HTML5 for mobile and cross-platform mobile apps, which is the direction the industry is moving for client devices, and that has made it extremely attractive to developers everywhere in the world. We see the most strength in Asia, a region that is generally quick to adopt new technologies." 

 


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