KillerSites Blog

Should web designers be learning HTML 5?

April 15, 2010

html 5


I am starting to hear that all too familiar nerd-buzz of premature excitement – this time it’s about HTML 5 and all it’s cool new capabilities.

Yes, HTML 5 does have a lot of cool things it can do, and so it’s tempting to jump in and start learning. But that would largely be a waste of time … at least for now.

What?! Isn’t HTML 5 the future?

It sure is. In fact, I’ve been telling people for years that XHTML was a pipe dream (because IE would not support it) and I advised people to stick to good old HTML … even when it was heresy to say so! Here’s the problem (now) with HTML 5 – most of the browsers being used today don’t support it AND it will take a few years before the majority of people out there will have HTML 5 equipped browsers.

… Man, reality does bite!

Hard-core nerds tend to ignore reality

A time long, long ago, in an Internet that is now far, far away … back in the mid to late 1990’s, CSS was invented and naive nerds such as myself started playing with it, investing precious time that could have been spent playing video games, only to find that most of the browsers being used did not support it … so using CSS was basically useless.

… It took several years before CSS enabled browsers had penetrated enough to use CSS in a serious way. Using CSS prior to wide adoption, only ended with wasted time and disappointment, since you could not actually use it live. The same will be true for much of HTML 5 – unless you start hacking and browser sniffing and all kinds of other nonsense.

Let me conclude by quoting Coder’s Code #36:

The wise web designer shall not waste precious time on learning cutting edge technology … if said nerd wishes to earn a living.

Stefan Mischook