“Same Markup” makes sense

For what it’s worth, I deeply agree with Microsoft’s insistence on “same markup“, and appreciate their work in conformance testing. Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch has an overview of how this applies to a particular “HTML5” showcase example.

Why is this important? Because every instance of willful fragmentation increases content development costs, increases content support costs, and increases content maintenance costs.

This is also why it’s so counterproductive to natter on about “HTML5”. It’s really HTML. We know how to work it, with fifteen years of experience. The dynamic hasn’t changed. You figure out what rendering engines your audience has, and design a good experience for all of them. Consider the emotion the past two years about designing for IE6. Every extra bit of fragmentation hurts.

From a browser vendor’s point of view they can conduct campaigns around “HTML5” because their concern is only their own browser, sometimes even their own device. But that’s distinct from what creative professionals need to think about.

Talking about “HTML” unifies. Talking about “HTML5” divides. Think it through. It’s true.

Adobe’s about bridging the different silos. But even if you don’t use the Adobe work, you shouldn’t have to pay a “developers tax” to reach different devices.

Microsoft is to be commended for their “same markup” initiative.

(btw, I think TechCrunch comment sections would greatly benefit from weeding out the anonymous stuff more heavily… if they won’t own their words, why should we?)

3 Responses to “Same Markup” makes sense

  1. Kevin Newman says:

    To me, HTML5 has come to represent the various browser makers finally coming together on the next iteration of HTML – even MS and IE. HTML as it exists now is a divided mess of inconsistency and incomplete “standards” and HTML5 is the hope that it will be finally cleaned up. The term also provides a nice milestone, so clients and developers alike will know when they can start to ship applications and documents based on the new standard – when enough HTML5 supporting browsers reach enough market share. I can’t see HTML5 as divisive in any way at all.

    • John Dowdell says:

      ” I can’t see HTML5 as divisive in any way at all.”

      What do you suspect may be preventing you from seeing how “HTML5” demos from various browser vendors so often fail to perform properly in browsers from other vendors?

      The HTML world learned long ago that “Looks Best in Browser X!” is not practical. Why has this recently been lost…?


      • Kel says:

        HTML5 & CSS3 are two different emerging incomplete standards and the fact modern browsers support implementations of these is cool, it lets us use these newer technologies before they are finalised. The fact that some browsers support it and some don’t is beside the point. Should we hold back using HTML5 until all browsers support the full spec? No, this limits innovation and holds back cutting edge web design. Designers who use HTML5 and CSS3 are aware that their content may not be usable or viewable by people on specific browsers and they choose to use it because it fits their needs.

        “Looks best in browser X” is not practical when you’re talking about code which is a standard, HTML5 & CSS3 are not finalised standards which is why we have -webkit & -moz prefixes on some CSS3 classes because their engines support them.