My (so far incomplete) HTML5 conformance checker has been Open Source / Free Software all along. However, due to the lack of a publicly-accessible version control system and due to numerous dependencies, the codebase hasn’t really been approachable.
This has now changed. The code is in an anonymously accessible CVS repository. There is also a single script that you can check out and run. The script will take care of downloading dependencies, building the software and running it. The instructions are on the about page.
Yesterday I held a presentation first for Creuna and then at Geek Meet about how HTML5 can be used today. The presentation was held in Swedish, and thus the slides are also available in Swedish.
The audience was mostly people who work with creating Web sites.
The discussion afterwards was interesting, but it wasn't recorded and I can't recall all the questions, unfortunately. These are the ones I can recall for now however:
- When will HTML5 actually be used by web developers?
- That's up to you.
- When will HTML5 be finished? What is the time line?
- That's up to how fast browser vendors implement it. The W3C HTML WG's roadmap says that HTML5 will advance to Recommendation by 2010, but I don't think it is realistic to think that browser vendors will have implemented everything completely and correctly by then. Around 15 years is more realistic, however that doesn't mean that you will have to wait 15 years until you can use HTML5.
- Less work for authors, and a better user experience for users. For instance, using an <input type=email> means that the author doesn't have to write JS to validate that it is a correct email address on the client side, and the user can pick emails from her address book (something that is impossible to implement with JS).
- Can you style the new form controls with CSS?
- They can probably be styled to the same extent that existing form controls can be styled. The icon in the email control is added by Opera when the form control is styled in some way (I just set a white background color to make the icon appear.)
- Can you style or modify the form's error messages?
- I'm not sure if you can style them, however you can change the text with JS or override the error reporting mechanism and use your own custom mechanism with JS.
- Is it true that HTML5 allows <font>?
- No, authors are not allowed to use <font>. However, WYSIWYG editors are allowed to emit <font>. WYSIWYG editors have to identify themselves with a <meta> element. This has received a lot of feedback though and might be changed.
- Do you need to be consistent with the use of /> vs. >?
- If you don't specify what version of HTML a document is, how can you redefine the behavior of an element later in HTML6?
- You don't. Browsers treat all HTML documents the same way, regardless of what version they declare themselves of being. A good example of this is <plaintext>, which has been deprecated since HTML 1.0, and is still supported in all browsers even if you declare an HTML4 doctype.
- Does HTML5 deprecate anything?
- Nothing is actually deprecated, however some things are forbidden altogether. For example the <u> element is not allowed to be used in conforming HTML5 documents. Browsers will continue to support it, however.
- Can html5lib parse any tag soup?
- Does that mean that you can convert any old HTML document to XML by feeding it through html5lib?
- Can you use the <svg> tag in HTML5?
- No, you can't use namespaces in HTML5. You can however embed SVG in XHTML5, since it's simply XML.