KillerSites Blog

HTML5 and Academic Shills.

April 21, 2012


Anyone who has read anything I’ve written (or watched my video blogs,) knows that I can’t stand academics. I was particularly vocal against the Web Standards zealots of the early 2000’s, wherein reality was pushed aside in favor of code purity.

These nerds would ignore reality – for example:

  • They would ignore how the most popular web browsers would interpret HTML and CSS code – which often times, was in a method contrary to their nerd wet-dreams. As such, they would come up with harebrained hacks to jam in their ‘compliant’ code … hacks that eventually broke in many cases, defeating the supposed original purpose of the Web Standards movement!
  • They would also obfuscate what the actual browser use was in terms of real people surfing the Web. They would come out with numbers that did not reflect the reality they were desperately trying to ignore: that the vast majority of people surfing the Web were using web browsers (Internet Explorer) that did not play nice with their ideas of how a web browser should read code.

… It gets even more stupid: even the basic web design cycle seemed to be ignored, where their recommendations would actually get in the way of productive web design and development. I am convinced many of the big names in this movement barely created websites in, or for the real-world – they were academics.

HTML5 and the Rise of Pragmatism

Just like with Java, the client-side web nerds finally got their act together, and started to pay attention to reality when putting together the HTML5 specification. Much to the displeasure of the aforementioned Web Standards zealots (I’m sure), academic purity was replaced by pragmatism: HTML5’s specification was heavily influenced by the browsers being used and by the way people where actually building web pages!!!

…. They realized that the true ‘validator’ of web pages, were actually the browsers people where using and not some piece of software on the W3C’s website that only academics cared about. Nobody surfs the Web with the W3C code validators!!

They even took a step further, where they actually scanned millions of random web pages and based on those results, HTML5 tags and behavior was engineered. Again, what a concept!

HTML5 is Important

Even beyond what I would have ever thought, HTML5 has become super important today ( most likely for years to come) where you see it being deployed for desktop browsers and on mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android devices and even now, it’s built into the core of Windows 8. This is a testament to pragmatic design.

If you are a web designer or programmer/developer, you need to learn HTML5.

Thanks for reading.

Stefan Mischook