HTML updates at last!

Although I can understand why the W3C went the XHTML route several years ago, I think it was a distraction from the beautiful simplicity of basic HTML, which essentially made the web what it is today. If it wasn’t for <B> and <I> and their ilk – yes, even <BLINK> – people like me wouldn’t have been interested in playing with HTML, creating the silly little websites we did, and in time moving onto to new toys like Javascript and Perl.

It was those toys – I’m sure the likes of Justin would crucify me for calling Perl a toy, but that’s what it was for me at the outset – that led people like Rasmus Lerdorf to create new toys like PHP, and XMLHttpRequest, and Ruby on Rails. And it was those toys that led to the likes of Digg, and Flickr, and YouTube, and thousands of other sites that you use every day. They’re not basic HTML by any stretch of the imagination, but their foundations are.

Now it looks like we’re going back to our roots, with HTML 5. New elements will be added to the spec, simple and easy-to-understand elements like header and footer, aside and figure, audio and video, details and datagrid. Guess their purposes, you’ll probably be right or not far off.

Hopefully the new generation of web addicts will embrace HTML 5 like we embraced it’s forerunners, breaking away from walled gardens like Facebook and MySpace and building their online presences in their own space, linked together with open standards like SIOC and it’s cousins. It’s not hard. If I can do it…