HTML5 Jungle – Semantic Markup


Last few weeks I’ve been looking deep in to various issues related to web. One specific area which I am militant about is semantic markup. I strongly believe that documents should be laid out in proper manner in a way that machines can understand and interpret it. Even though for the layman may not realise this.

With HTML5 designers/developers are really spoilt with markup (there are 104 HTML5 compatible tags). But that’s just the easy part! Throw in Global attributes and values then it becomes more interesting. Then add other markups like schema, WAI-ARIA spec etc… then things can drive you insane.

I am pretty sure those who actually care sometimes struggle to determine how this new markup should be used. Easier option for us it to ignore the markup and go back to the basics. However this does not help the progress. So this mean we spending time to understand the content as well as deciphering HTML5 spec in order to find best fit markup.

Boilerplates

There are plenty of boilerplates out there which we can use readily. Danger is it’s very easy to take this for granted and be lazy and build a website/app and ignore the website use cases also miss out on rich experiences we create because we are not aware of it since it’s not in boilerplate.

Truly understanding the HTML5 spec (and browser capabilities) allow designers/developers to implement well thought site architecture.

For example how to design layout of an article with headings content and pictures. Like we do with a print design to put in to perspective. Then use appropriate tags to mark sections like <time> so that machines and robots (SEO, Screen readers etc) can understand and in turn allow us to build better rich user experience for users.

So I’ve decided to spend time building/compiling an extensive snippet library and concentrate on Semantic markup to explore all the possibilities of HTML5 and how it can be used in different contexts/user case without bloating the code.

SemanticSnips

There are plenty of tutorials and discussions revolving around HTML5 Semantics like HTML5 Doctor, HTML5 Rocks etc.

Issue I personally have with these kind of posts is they can be sometimes too long to read. So idea here is compile list of markups which can be mixed and matched.

I will be doing these snippets as modules which can be interchanged without upsetting semantic markup and  allowing the code to be adopted to rapidly to work with overall unique user cases that may arise.

Github: https://github.com/Shavindra/SemanticSnips

A word of Caution

I like to iterate a point regards to this. That these snippets can be subjective and depend on how you perceive the content and may not work out.

For example just look through here you will understand what I mean and Dr Richard Clark perfectly summed it up.

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