DISCLAIMER/WARNING: Medium-high nerd content.
“What did you learn on the web today, Rich?” It was with trepidation that I dared peak behind the scenes to the source of sleek HTML5. I’d grown so appreciative of the look and feel… mostly due to an unhealthy Twitter obsession… wanted to understand how it was done. What sorcery was this!? It was with similar excitement that I dove into first generation HTML in the nineties. How thrilling it was then going from text information to presentation with graphics, fonts and colors. The notion was mind blowing. I quickly mastered the protocol and proudly added it to my resume.
Then something unfortunate but inevitable happened. Different people wanted to take something so elegant with simplicity and complicate it. Along came frames, which never worked as designed, flash and a plethora of necessary plug-ins. “This site best viewed with…” became a standard disclaimer, literally meaning “this just got too ridiculous”. When style sheets came into the mix, a concept I might have embraced had it not been a final straw, threw in the towel. Web design became an industry in itself and my sad HTML resume tag became an admission of incompetence.
So I was relieved to discover HTML5 has in a sense reverted back to basics. The best aspects of previous generations remain with annoying elements, including frames (yes!) relegated to obsolescence. It is again a functional mix of tags and script for the purpose of making presentation and dissemination palatable. As it should be. While still too complex to take on with more than a passive interest, what I learned spending just an hour researching at least offered encouragement.