There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the implementation of HTML5 amongst some developers. Some believe that we shouldn’t be using HTML5 because it’s not ‘ready’, and that using the HTML5 doctype is dangerous because older browsers don’t support HTML5.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
is that standards mode is triggered. There’s no excuse for not using a strict doctype in either case.
So why make the switch? There are two main reasons, the first is to simplify your markup. You get to write less code, and shave a few bytes off the document size. The second is to enable you to use some of the features of HTML5 in newer browsers now, whilst ensuring graceful degradation in older browsers.
Just because some features aren’t supported by older browsers, doesn’t mean we can’t use them! If we thought like that then we’d all still be limited to CSS1, as IE8 is the only browser to support CSS 2.1 completely.
What I’m listening to right now: Radiohead – “Where I End and You Begin”