Top 10 Reasons to Start Using HTML5 Right Now…

So you’re still not using HTML5, huh? I guess you probably have your reasons; it’s not fully adopted yet, it doesn’t work in IE, you don’t like users, you’re out of touch or you are just passionately in love with writing strict XHTML code. HTML5 is the revolution that the web needed and the fact is, it is the future whether you like it or not — suck it up and deal. HTML5 isn’t hard to use or understand and even though it’s not fully adopted yet, there are still plenty of reasons to start using it right now — like right after you get done reading this article.

html5-reasons

There are lots of articles touting the use of HTML5 and praising the benefits of it, yes this is another one of those. With all these articles, with Apple pushing it, with Adobe building new dev products around it, and with so many web sites devoted to it, I still talk to fellow designers and developers who haven’t or won’t adopt it for a variety of reasons. I think the main problem is, it still seems like a mysterious creature to many. To many it feels more like the jet pack or the flying car — an awesome idea that is fun to think about but still not practical in its use. Wrong, the reality is that it is extremely practical right now! It’s not the latest Mercedes concept car being towed around form car show to car show, it’s a reality and it’s not going anywhere.

In order to further demystify HTML5 and help these knuckle dragging designers and developers to jump on the bandwagon I’ve put together a top ten list of reasons why we should all be using HTML5 right now. For those that currently use HTML5 this list may not be anything new or ground breaking, but hopefully it will inspire you to share the benefits of HTML5 with others in the community. We’ll do this Letterman countdown style (minus the celebrity presenter) and start with number ten – accessibility.

10 – ACCESSIBILITY

HTML5 makes creating accessible sites easier for two main reasons: semantics and ARIA. The new (some currently available) HTML headings like <header>, <footer>, <nav>, <section>, <aside>, etc. allow screen readers to easily access content. Before, your screen readers had no way to determine what a given <div> was even if you assigned it an ID or Class. With new semantic tags screen readers can better examine the HTML document and create a better experience for those who use them.

ARIA is a W3C spec that is mainly used to assign specific “roles” to elements in an HTML document – essentially creating important landmarks on the page: header, footer, navigation or article, via role attributes. This has been well overlooked and widely under-used mostly due to the fact that it wasn’t valid, however, HTML5 will validate these attributes. Also, HTML5 will have built in roles that can’t be over-ridden making assigning roles a no brainer. For a more in depth discussion on HTML5 and ARIA please visit the WAI.

9 – VIDEO AND AUDIO SUPPORT

Forget about Flash Player and other third party media players, make your videos and audio truly accessible with the new HTML5 <video> and <audio> tags. Getting your media to play correctly has always been pretty much a nightmare, you had to use the and <object> tags and assign a huge list of parameters just to get the thing visible and working correctly. Your media tags just become these nasty, huge chunks of confusing code segments. HTML5′s video and audio tags basically treat them as images; <video src=”url”/>. But what about all those parameters like height, width and autoplay? No worries my good man, just define those attributes in the tag just like any other HTML element: <video src=”url” width=”640px” height=”380px” autoplay/>.

It’s actually that dead simple, however because old evil browsers out there don’t like our HTML5 friend, you’ll need to add a little bit more code to get them working correctly… but this code isn’t nearly as gnarly and messy as the <object> and tags:

<video poster="myvideo.jpg" controls>
 <source src="myvideo.m4v" type="video/mp4" />
 <source src="myvideo.ogg" type="video/ogg" />
</video>

Some resources worth checking out:

8 – DOCTYPE

doctype html

<!DOCTYPE html>

Yup that’s it, that is the doctype, nothing more, nothing less. Pretty simple right? No more cutting and pasting some long unreadable line of code and no more dirty head tags filled with doctype attributes. You can simply and easily type it out and be happy. The really great thing about it though, beyond the simplicity, is that it works in every browser clear back to the dreaded IE6.

7 – CLEANER CODE

If you are passionate about simple, elegant, easy to read code then HTML5 is the beast for you. HTML5 allows you to write clear and descriptive code, semantic code that allows you to easily separate meaning from style and content. Consider this typical and simple header code with navigation:

<div id="header">
<h1>Header Text</h1>
<div id="nav">
<ul>
<li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
<li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
<li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
</ul>
</div>
</div>

So this code is pretty clean and simple? But with HTML5 you can clean this up even more and at the same time give your markup more meaning:

<header>
 <h1>Header Text</h1>
 <nav>
  <ul>
   <li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
   <li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
   <li><a href="#">Link</a></li>
  </ul>
 </nav>
</header>

With HTML5 you can finally cure your “divitis” and “classitis” by using semantic and HTML headers to describe your content. Previously you would generally just use div’s for every block of content than drop an id or class on it to describe its content but with the new <section>, <article>, <header>, <footer>, <aside> and <nav> tags, HTML5 allows you to code your markup cleaner as well as keep your CSS better organized and happier.

Some resources worth checking out:

6 – SMARTER STORAGE

One of the coolest things about HTML5 is the new local storage feature. It’s a little bit of a cross between regular old cookies and a client-side database. It’s better than cookies because it allows for storage across multiple windows, it has better security and performance and data will persist even after the browser is closed. Because it’s essentially a client side data base you don’t have to worry about the user deleting cookies and it is been adopted by all the popular browsers.

Local storage is great for many things, but it’s one of HTML5 tools that are making web apps possible without third party plugins. Being able to store data in the user’s browser allows you to easily create those app features like: storing user information, the ability to cache data, and the ability to load the user’s previous application state. If you are interested in getting started with local storage, check out Christian Heilmann’s great 24 Ways article from last year —Wrapping Things Nicely with HTML5 Local Storage.

Some more resources worth checking out:

5 – BETTER INTERACTIONS

Awe, we all want better interactions, we all want a more dynamic website that responds to the user and allows the user to enjoy/interact your content instead of just look at it. Enter <canvas>, the drawing HTML5 tag that allows you to do most (if not more) interactive and animated possibilities than the previous rich internet application platforms like Flash.

Beyond <canvas>, HTML5 also comes with a slew of great APIs that allow you to build a better user experience and a beefier, more dynamic web application — here’s a quick list of native APIs:

  • Drag and Drop (DnD)
  • Offline storage database
  • Browser history management
  • document editing
  • Timed media playback

For way more info on these APIs and more native interactive features of HTML5 visit HTML5Doctor.

Some resources worth checking out:

4 – GAME DEVELOPMENT

Yup, that is correct, you can develop games using HTML5′s <canvas> tag. HTML5 provides a great, mobile friendly way to develop fun, interactive games. If you’ve built Flash games before, you’ll love building HTML5 games.

Script-Tutorials has recently offered a four part series of lessons focused on HTML5 game development, head on over and check out some of the sick stuff they have created:

Some more resources worth checking out:

3 – LEGACY/CROSS BROWSER SUPPORT

modern browsers support

Your modern, popular browsers all support HTML5 (Chrome, Firefox, Safari IE9 and Opera) and the HTML5 doctype was created so that all browsers, even the really old and annoying ones, er, IE6 can use it. But just because old browsers recognize the doctype that doesn’t mean they can use all the new HTML5 tags and goodies. Fortunately, HTML5 is being built to make things easier and more cross browser friendly so in those older IE browsers that don’t like the new tags we can just simply add a Javascript shiv that will allow them to use the new elements:

<!--[if lt IE 9]>
<script src="http://html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
<![endif]-->

Some resources worth checking out:

2 – MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE

Call it a hunch, but I think mobile technology is becoming more popular these days. I know, that is a pretty crazy assumption and some of your are probably thinking — mobile is just a fad… right. Mobile devices are taking over the world. The adoption of mobile devices continues to grow very rapidly and this means that more and more users will be using their mobile browsers to view your web site or application. HTML5 is the most mobile ready tool for developing mobile sites and apps. With Adobe announcing the death of mobile Flash, you will now count on HTML5 to do your mobile web application development.

Mobile browsers have fully adopted HTML5 so creating mobile ready projects is as easy as designing and constructing for their smaller touch screen displays — hence the popularity of Responsive Design. There are some great meta tags that also allow you to optimize for mobile:

  • Viewport: allows you to define viewport widths and zoom settings
  • Full screen browsing: IOS specific values that allow Apple devices to display in full screen mode
  • Home Screen Icons: like favicons on desktop, these icons are used to add favorites to the home screen of an IOS and Android mobile device

For more info on how to mobilize your site via HTML5, check out “Mobifying” Your HTML5 Site.

Some resources worth checking out:

1 – IT’S THE FUTURE, GET WITH IT!

The number one reason why you should start using HTML5 today is this: it’s the future, start using it now so you don’t get left behind. HTML5 is not going anywhere and as more and more elements get adopted more and more companies will start to develop in HTML5. HTML5 is essentially just HTML, it’s not scary, it’s not anything you really need to figure out or relearn — if you’re developing XHTML strict right now you are already developing in HTML5 so why not take full advantage of it’s current capability?

You really don’t have any excuses not to adopt HTML5 and begin your new love affair with it. Truly, the only real reason I prefer to use HTML5 is just to write cleaner code, all the other benefits and fun features I haven’t even really jumped into yet, but that is the great thing about it, you can just start using it right now and not even change the way you design. So, start using it right now, whether you are just simplifying and making your markup more semantic OR you are gonna build some sick new mobile game that will take over the world — who knows, maybe you can start selling stuffed animal versions of your gaming characters too.

GREAT HTML5 RESOURCES

http://html5doctor.com
http://html5rocks.com
http://html5weekly.com
http://www.remysharp.com
http://www.script-tutorials.com

Posted by: Dhiraj kumar

Cool Animated Fire Effects with CSS3 and jQuery

This effect has been created with some jQuery for setting different CSS3 text-shadow’s in a div. You can check the demo code to see how it’s done. Basically, the Javascript function creates 3 text-shadows (white, yellow and red) with coprime “cycle durations” so the effect looks more random even though it’s totally deterministic.

css3-jquery-animated-fire-effect

Each shadow moves in the Y axis with a linear function and in the X axis with a cosine function. Pretty simple, but effective.

The CSS

#onfire{
      height:auto;
      padding-top:3em;
      font-size: 42px;
      font-weight: bold;
      text-align: center;
      color:brown;
}

The jQuery

<script type="text/javascript">
var step = 1;
function nextShadow(){
	$('#onfire span').each(function(){
	    y = parseFloat($(this).attr("y_pos"));
	    y += step + Math.random()*3;
	    $(this).attr("y_pos", y);
	    shaking = Math.random();
	    shadow1 = "0px 0px "+(y%5)+"px white";
	    shadow2 = shaking*24/y*Math.cos(y/5)*15+"px -"+(shaking*4/y+(y%17))+"px "+(shaking+(y%17))+"px red";
	    shadow3 = shaking*24/y*Math.cos(y/7)*15+"px -"+(shaking*4/y+(y%31))+"px "+(shaking+(y%31))+"px #993";
	    shadow4 = shaking*24/y*Math.cos(y/13)*15+"px -"+(shaking*4/y+(y%41))+"px "+(shaking+(y%41))+"px yellow";
	    $(this).css("text-shadow", shadow2+", "+shadow1+", "+shadow4+", "+shadow3);
	});
}
$(function(){
    $('#onfire span').each(function(){$(this).attr("y_pos","0");});
   setInterval(nextShadow, 50); 
});
</script>

view demo

Update:

I’ve added some randomisation to the algorithm, as well as an individual animation to each of the letters (which, as a drawback, makes the effect run less smooth). I’ve also added a fourth shadow in dark yellow. You can freely use the code by keeping the mention to this site on it.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to read your thoughts!

Posted by: Dhiraj kumar

Clearing floats methods nowadays

At my beginnings as a web designer using Div tags, when I first discovered clear floats I was so happy and it was for sure an “a-ha” moment. Since then, so many things have changed and new clearing methods have appeared. One thing remained the same: the need to clear floats.

In this article, we’ll see some effective solutions for clearing floated elements.

clearing-floats

But first, what is float?

Arranging website page elements was always a struggle for you as a web designer. To achieve your desired website layout, a lot of calculation of box dimensions are needed, and various implementation decisions must be taken as well.

At the beginning, perhaps you used table elements to structure your layout, and even if tables are very intuitive, the table purpose is to list tabular data. You also tried the CSS display values like: tabletable-cell or table-row to build structures, but shortly you gave up as there wasn’t enough support for that.

In the end, you got rid of table markup and skipped to div floats.

So, float is a CSS property which help you aligning and positioning your web page elements.

clearing-floats-simple-example
Simple floats example

Clearing floats

Elements placed after a floated element will wrap around the floated element. To avoid this behavior, you must clear floats. To do that, generally you use the clear property which has four values: leftrightboth and none.

<div style="float:left"></div>
<div style="float:right"></div>
<div style="clear:both"></div>

The above is a common example.

Beside the above example that requires extra HTML markup, below is a list with some clearing methods that I found very useful (and they do not require extra markup):

Clearfix reloaded by Thierry Koblentz

clearfix-reloaded

.clearfix:before,
.clearfix:after{
  content: ".";
  display: block;
  height: 0;
  overflow: hidden;
}
.clearfix:after {clear: both;}
.clearfix {zoom: 1;} /* IE < 8 */

New clearfix hack by Jeff Starr

new-clearfix-hack

.clearfix:after{
  visibility: hidden;
  display: block;
  font-size: 0;
  content: " ";
  clear: both;
  height: 0;
}

* html .clearfix             { zoom: 1; } /* IE6 */
*:first-child+html .clearfix { zoom: 1; } /* IE7 */

Micro clearfix hack by Nicolas Gallagher

micro-clearfix

.cf:before,
.cf:after{
  content:"";
  display:table;
}

.cf:after{
  clear:both;
}

/* For IE 6/7 (trigger hasLayout) */
.cf{
  zoom:1;
}

CSS clearing floats with overflow by Nick La

clear-overflow

That’s it!

You may already know the above techniques and my questions is:  Which one do you use most? Share your opinion with us!

Posted by: Dhiraj kumar

Reference: Useful HTML tags and their attributes

html
This tutorial is intented to introduce the HTML code basics to users that have never written a web site manually. Writing HTML code is pretty much writing tags, attributes and content. That’s why we’ll focus on how a tag and it’s attributes and contents are defined. Please Note that  In older versions of HTML, some tags did not require ending tags. With the emergence of XML and XHTML, you should be sure to include both beginning and ending tags.

Elements and tags

HTML is composed by a set of elements that are the basis of its structure. Elements are designed to give special information that will be used to compute their final representation. This means that where a tag is defined in the HTML code, something will happen in the representation of that document, that may be visual or not.

Body tag and attributes

<body>...</body> Contains the viewed portion of the document
<body bgcolor="color"> Sets the color of the background in hexadecimal code
<body background="filename.xxx"> Sets an image as a page’s background (wallpaper)
<body text="color"> Specifies the color of normal text in hexadecimal code
<body link="color"> Specifies the default color of unvisited links in hexadecimal code
<body alink="color"> Specifies the color of links on click in hexadecimal code
<body vlink="color"> Specifies the color of followed links in hexadecimal code

Font tag and attributes

<font>...</font> Changes font attributes for text within the tags
<font size="value">...</font> Sets the font to a size from 1 to 7, with 1 the smallest and 7 the largest
<font face="name">...</font> Sets the font face
<font color="color">...</font> Sets the font color using hexadecimal code

Image tag and attributes

<img> Embeds an image in the document at the location of the tag
<img src="url" alt="text"> Adds an image with a text description
<img src="url" alt="text" align="direction"> Aligns an image to the left, right, center, bottom, or top
<img src="url" alt="text" border="number"> Sets the size of the border around an image
<img src="url" alt="text" height="pixels"> Sets the height of an image
<img src="url" alt="text" width="pixels"> Sets the width of an image
<img src="url" alt="text" hspace="pixels"> Sets a horizontal margin to be placed around an image
<img src="url" alt="text" vspace="pixels"> Sets a vertical margin to be placed around an image
<img src="url" alt="text" usemap="map-name"> Designates an image as a client-side image map

Anchor tag and attributes

<a>...</a> Designates the origin and destination of a hyperlink
<a href="url">...</a> Creates a hyperlink
<a href="#name">...</a> Links to a target location in the current page
<a href="URL#name">...</a> Links to a target location in a page outside your site
<a name="name">...</a> Sets a target location within a document
<a href="mailto:email">...</a> Creates a mailto link
Optional attributes:
<a href="?" target="?">...</a> Specifies where the linked-to document is to be placed
<a href="?" rel="?">...</a> Sets up a relationship between the linked-to document and the current page
<a href="?" rev="?">...</a> Sets up a reverse relationship between the current page and the linked-to document

Table tags and attributes

<table>...</table> Generates a table
<table border="pixels"> Sets the size of cell borders
<table cellspacing="pixels"> Sets the amount of space between cells
<table cellpadding="pixels"> Sets the amount of space between a border and cell content
<table height="pixels" or "%"> Sets the height of a table
<table width="pixels" or "%"> Sets the width of a table
<td>...</td> Defines a table data cell
<td colspan="columns"> Sets a cell to span columns
<td rowspan="rows"> Sets a cell to span rows
<td nowrap> Prevents the lines within a cell from wrapping
<th>...</th> Defines a table header with bold, centered table data
<tr>...</tr> Defines a table row
<tr align="?"> or <td align="?"> Aligns the contents of a row or cell to the left, right, or center
<tr valign="?"> or <td valign="?"> Sets the vertical alignment of a row or cell to the top, middle, or bottom

Frame tags and attributes

<frameset>...</framesET> Specifies the layout of subsections in the main browser window
<frameset rows="value,value"> Defines the rows within a frameset
<frameset cols="value,value"> Defines the columns within a frameset
<noframes>...</noframes> Provides alternate content for browsers that do not support frames
<frame src="?"> Defines the appearance and content of a single frame
<frame name="name"> Labels the frame for targeting by other frames
<frame marginwidth="#"> Sets the margin width of a frame
<frame marginheight="#"> Sets the margin height of a frame
<frame scrolling="value"> Creates a frame scrollbar
<frame noresize> Prevents the resizing of a frame

Form tags and attributes

<form>...</form> Generates a container for all form elements
<form action="url"> Designates the path of the script to process input from the form
<form method="get|post"> Instructs the browser how to interact with the form URL
<form accept="media type"> Defines which MIME types are supported by the server processing the form
<form accept-charset="text"> Defines which character sets are supported by the server processing the form
<form enctype="media type"> Defines the format of the submitted data
<option> Defines each menu item
<select name="name">...</select> Generates a pull-down menu
<input type="checkbox"> Generates a check box
<input type="hidden"> Conceals a field from view
<input type="image"> Generates an image that acts like a Submit button
<input type="password"> Generates a one-line password box
<input type="radio"> Generates a radio button
<input type="text"> Generates a one-line text box
<input type="submit"> Generates a Submit button (send form)
<input type="reset"> Generates a Reset button (clear form)

Posted by: Dhiraj kumar