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Using an HTML5 Validator

HTML5 is the next big thing in the web design world. The main difference with HTML5 compared to its predecessor, HTML4, is the presence of semantic markup. In previous versions of HTML, specific tags such as

(for a block element), (for an inline element), (for an element in the footer section of a page), etc. were used. In HTML5, you’ll be able to use markup such as Example Item to define arbitrary elements and their relationships.

RDF, OWL, and XML

The Resource Description Framework (RDF), Web Ontology Language (OWL), and Extensible Markup Language (XML) are used to semantically describe elements, ie. arbitrary things such as people, events, car parts, etc. HTML on the other hand, was limited to describing documents and their relationships (links) to other documents. While XHTML attempted to make more use of semantic markup, HTML5 plans on taking full advantage of these object-oriented attributes.

How Long Before We See HTML5?

It has been ages since the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) specification and technology has been upgraded, and it appears it will be ages before HTML5 is fully implemented and used in the broader web market. In fact, the editor of HTML5, Ian Hickson from Google, did not see HTML5 reach the “W3C Candidate Recommendation Stage” until December 2012 (the original planned date was the end of 2010, and W3C Recommendation (official implementation) until 2022!

HTML5 to Replace Proprietary Technologies (ie. Flash)

Nevertheless, as with past HTML releases, many parts of the HTML5 specification, particularly those that will replace proprietary plug-in technologies such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun JavaFX, are stable and are in the process of being implemented in products. The

HTML5 Validator

Like the industry standard for all web design coding, with the new HTML5 comes the need for an HTML5 Validator. While there are plenty of third-party validators out there, you’re best off using the official W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) engine at validator.w3.org. Most third-party validators either use this engine or are based off it. But since the W3C ultimately determines the standards and specifications of HTML5, you’re best off going to the source.

html5 validator

As you’ll see, you can validate by URI (web address), File Upload (upload your HTML5 file), or Direct Input (copy and paste your HTML5 code). You’ll see that an HTML5 (experimental) validation option is available already. By using this HTML5 validator on a regular basis as you begin to adopt elements of the HTML5 standard in your projects, you’ll be kept abreast of the technology as it evolves and matures, and will be ready to implement it in full once it reaches its final release/ acceptance stage.


About Alex Schenker

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.
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  • Anonymous

    I really hope browser support improves for the new tags in html5, especially Internet Explorer. Because all those leftovers from the browser wars mix with the large amount of usage on IE and that forms one of the biggest things that are limiting the number of sites using html5.

  • Anonymous

    Seeing HTML finally make some updates to the coding language is a positive thing as far as how the internet will change because of this. Among other programming languages, those for CSS and JSON were beginning to make up a lot more of the internet code than in the past. CSS in particular was gaining popularity with many web content servers and host software programs. When I first began coding web pages and blogs back in 1995, HTML was the best and only real choice for coding web content. Now, as technology continues to advance, it has become much more clear what the limitations of HTML are and what might be done in order to solve those issues. HTML5 is nice because it seems to finally take all of the limitations into account and create a way to remove those limitations. At the same time, the new coding will create advances as well as a user-friendly non-proprietary interface that will be universally recognized.

    Validating your code with the HTML5 Validator is the best thing you can do personally to ensure that the new coding system will be available by the date set for recommendation. By starting now, you will also be able to learn with HTML5 as the technology matures, and you will begin being fluent in this computer language by the time it is ready for implementation. This is all very interesting and exciting, and I cannot wait to see where this new technology will take us.

    As more people begin to use the validator and adopt the code as part of their work, it will become more readily apparent that there will be more HTML5 in use, which will force other technology to accommodate for the increase in the prevalence of that code. Plus, it will be easier for you as the user to begin using HTML5 instead of the proprietary technology, thus saving some money in the long run by not having to pay for special plug-ins.

    Even though I really doubt that everything will be ready for the change over by the specified date, it is still a very real help to use such a code validator. It is important to understand that many of these code validation services are still considered highly experimental in nature. Therefore, check your code, but still be ready for further changes in both standards as practice as we all continue down the road to HTML 5. It may even be better to think of the common code validators now as more of a conformance checker.

    I love the fact that many of the sites used to perform these checks even throw up a warning saying how this information should not be relied upon. Then again, I do not think people should really worry about all of this too much, since HTML 5 is intended to be backward compatible with almost all of the older existing types of code. Some experts have even remarked that the oldest web page has code which is very close to being valid according to the HTML5 standard.

  • Anonymous

    My first question to the author of this article, or to anyone who has the information about HTML5, is: Why will it take so long to reach the official implementation stage? With the expected recommendation in 2022, you would think that by that time HTML5 will be more than obsolete, and most of the machines that are coming out will not be able to read it anyway by then. Ten years in the technology world seems quite excessive for an official implementation, although perhaps I am mistaken and this is actually quite standard for such technology.

    One reason that the long waiting period might be so necessary is the proprietary software programming companies. I sense that there may be a controversy, in that the proprietary plug-in technologies are probably not eager to see themselves made obsolete by the new standard HTML5 browser rendering technology. Companies, such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, as well as others, are making a lot of money off of the fact that they ‘own’ certain web functions for the most part. This will be a difficult transition period for these companies, which will probably mean that over the next decade or so they will need to step up their own technology advancements to keep themselves from being made obsolete by HTML5. I think of it like a patent on a pharmaceutical drug. The patents last for a specified amount of time, after which they expire and the competition can then flood the market with generic. Drug companies must then have a plan for what they will do to continue to grow and earn revenue when the patent expires and they do not have that windfall income anymore. While the situation is not exactly equivalent here, there are obvious similarities. When viewed in that light, the ten year holding period before HTML5 receives its recommendation is a fair amount of time for the competition to step up to the plate or renew its game plan.

    I feel certain that there will be some HTML5 Validations that will be out soon that will have different capabilities, although at this time, I agree that the official W3C is the best option. I personally am not trained in how to use any other type validation, so if I need to use one for my code I go to this source, and I think this is solid advice unless you happen to be familiar with the other validations that are out there. The truth is, the HTML5 Validation itself needs to be used and examined during the process of people switching to the new coding.

    I feel certain that there will be some HTML5 Validations that will be out soon that will have different capabilities, although at this time, I agree that the official W3C is the best option. I personally am not trained in how to use any other type validation, so if I need to use one for my code I go to this source, and I think this is solid advice unless you happen to be familiar with the other validations that are out there. The truth is, the HTML5 Validation itself needs to be used and examined during the process of people switching to the new coding.

    The final paragraph here really hits home as to the advantages of the W3C, as well as getting to the root of why this system works in the long-term in order to create the transfer from HTML4 to HTML5.

  • Anonymous

    Good article, although let’s get real here – just as with HTML/ HTML Transitional/ XHTML and the various associated minor revisions to these specifications – it will probably take eons for HTML 5 to become a reality. Not the specification, mind you – but the adoption of the new method by the Internet and web designers at large.

    Just look at how many websites continue to use deprecated HTML 4.0 elements (such as <font> tags instead of inline style elements, <b> instead of <strong>, <i> instead of <em>, etc.)…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the good information…very good blog site.