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HTML5 – Opera’s Bruce Lawson has some
key tips

Yesterday I went to see a Skills Matter HTML5 talk by Bruce Lawson, a member of the HTML 5 User Group, self proclaimed ‘open web standards evangelist’ for Opera and co-author of ‘Introducing HTML5‘.  Here are some of his tips for using the new markup language:

  • HTML5 doesn’t require quotes like XHTML1
  • Use html5.validator.nu to validate your code, it’s one of the most up to date validators available
  • The ‘language’ element isn’t essential in the spec, but do use it so that screen readers can ascertain what language to read
  • No <head> and <body> tags are required
  • You can use HTML5 tags now is all browsers, as they simply ignore tags they don’t understand, rather than throwing error messages like php or xml
  • There are a new array of tags to use, but the <div> tag still has a purpose.  Use it to group together items which you want to apply the same style to.
  • <small> has been redefined, it’s now used for small print, such as the copyright notice in the footer
  • Think of <article> as an item of clothing, rather than a newspaper piece
  • You can have multiple <header> and <footer> tags
  • The <time> tag is a place for you to put a date which can then be read by computers (useful for indexing content for instance)
  • In current browsers (bar IE), use the following code to show any HTML5 tags you use:

header, footer, article, section {
      display: block





  • With Forms:
    • Error checking is built in.  Add the ‘req’ attribute for required fields, ‘type=email’ and ‘type=url’ to validate email addresses and links
    • There are some new input types too: ‘type=range’ gives you a slider and ‘type=date’ gives you a calendar
  • The <video> tag enables you to embed video without the need for flash.  The codecs used in the browsers vary at the moment which means you have to encode the browsers in two different ways to ensure it is cross browser compatible.  However as the video is rendered by the browser rather than Flash, this means you can manipulate the video itself, for instance reversing the pixel colours of the video – very interesting indeed!

Anyway, it was a great introduction to the new language, showing that it effects which are currently difficult to achieve will become much easier, in turn giving us the opportunity to push the boundaries further again.  I imagine when IE9 is released the usage of HTML5 will increase dramatically.  Looking forward to it.

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  • Neon provided Suttles with an excellent, professional service from start to finish of our project and the results are amazing. We now have a brilliant new website that massively improves and updates on our previous site. Charlotte was extremely helpful and easy to deal with and we can recommend Neon Web Design highly!
    John Suttle, Suttles Group
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    The work is always on time, of the highest quality, and very reasonably priced. I can highly recommend Charlotte and her team, they are also very flexible, always available to talk and open to new ideas.
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    The price was reasonable for our requirement, and the deadline was met comfortably. If you require a high quality website, especially with enhanced functionality, you'd do well to contact Neon. We're delighted, and would recommend Charlotte whole-heartedly.
    James Nash, UK Sales Director, Shadehaus Ltd
  • Charlotte, I would like to say that I am delighted with what we have achieved here. I showcased my funky new website to a select number of clients, family, and friends to gauge reaction... I have been absolutely delighted with the feedback so far.

    Every person who has seen my new site has reacted in the same way. “WOW” “Your new site looks amazing” we'd like to thank you for listening to the brief, and delivering a funky, slick new website that gets the Total Creative Talent message across perfectly... We’re Absolutely Chuffed!
    Steven Martin, Director - Total Creative Talent
  • I am thrilled with the new website Charlotte has created for our company. We have received great feedback from colleagues and I will not hesitate to endorse her.

    In particular, Charlotte provided extra value with her continued advice throughout the project based on her prior experience. I am very impressed with the service received.
    Richard Field, Chief Executive, Richard Field Property Search Ltd
  • We are extremely pleased with our new website. The team worked hard to ensure all our requirements were fulfilled, including creating a user registration and log-in area.

    They were committed and professional throughout this long-term project and Charlotte was always more than happy to be flexible to fulfill our changing demands.
    Oliver Scott, Partner and Fund Manager, Kestrel Partners
  • Just a note to say that I am extremely pleased with the new website you created for me. It was done very efficiently, with the minimum of fuss and incorporates many features which I have not previously considered were within either my competence or reach.

    You made the whole process very easy and used considerable flair in envisaging how it would best be presented. I shall not hesitate to tell my clients of your excellent service.
    Roger J Gould, Copywriter
  • Charlotte’s advice and recommendations in putting together the initial website for our new event and wedding planning venture were terrific. From the outset she understood absolutely what was required, but also she added that certain indefinable “je ne sais quoi” which helped to elevate the project beyond our most ambitious expectations.

    Not only would I recommend her to anyone looking for the design and build of a new website, I would also unhesitatingly go back to Charlotte in the future, knowing that I could expect the best possible results.
    Nigel Passingham, Director, Infoplan Event & Wedding Planning
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    Her proprietary approach to online marketing and web design was results-oriented and focused on our individual needs. She was utterly committed to doing things right the first time.
    Isabel Camano, Shave the Bush
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    She provided a very prompt and efficient service – often pushing us to adhere to deadlines and assisting with corporate redesign in addition to the original brief.
    Janet Sealy, Director, Janet Sealy Partnership Ltd
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    I’m very pleased all round.
    Graeme Ogilvy, Jardine Lloyd Thompson
  • Charlotte helped our small business define our requirements and vision, and then personally built our web-site. We had the opportunity to review the progress and direction during check points in the process.

    Charlotte was great to work with, shielded us from the technology, and delivered a great result.
    Jack Barnett, Jordans Village Store

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