HTML 5 The DOCTYPE

In my last post I stated “by introducing the new version of HTML 5 developers will find it much easier to build sites”. So I guess a good place to start with making HTML 5 simpler is to start from the top, which actually is probably the most complicated part of XHTML and HTML.

Most developers working with HTML/XHTML are quite use to the the DOCTYPE declaration at the start of their code. The DOCTYPE tells the browser or other application how to interrupt the mark up language of the page. There is a massive list of the various DOCTYPEs on W3C.

These DOCTYPEs are pretty unforgiving. They are case sensitive and had to be spelt perfectly. The worst part is, most browsers ignored them as they were commonly incorrect.

HTML 5 fixes this problem. Instead of trying to find the DOCTYPE snippet from the last site you built, you now just declare [cc lang=”html”][/cc]. No fluffing around with ridiculous long definitions which you will mess up anyway.

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Quick Tip – Simple HTML5 Video

HTML5 is awesome. It extends the DOM to be ready for the future once broadband is wide enough to replace your old broadcast TV in full HD.

Video is obviously the most exciting element. Now you can directly interact with the video in the DOM which can mean you can make a fully, easily to update scripted site which does not rely on plugins.

There is a few things to note about HTML5 video:

  1. There is no standard video format so you will need to encode your videos using both MP4 and OGG Theora. Google has WebM which may become the standard. Use Handbrake to encode the MP4 version and ffmpegtotheora to encode the OGG. Google this, it will take you less then 5 minutes to encode your video in the formats.
  2. You will want to use a fall-back for older browsers. I like Flowplayer which is a Flash video player
  3. Progressively enhance your site. If you want to do some cool stuff with the video ensure that you still have a working site for those using a 9 years old browser.

If we want to have a video with is 843×480 which preloads, plays once it is buffered and contains controls we will use the below

<video width="843" height="480" preload autoplay controls>
 <source src="/video.mp4" type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"'>
 <source src="/video.ogv" type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, vorbis"'>
</video>

That is exactly how simple HTML5 video can be. Of course you may want to add poster or change the settings.

Since we want fallback for IE we will use Flowplayer by embedding it after the other sources. This is a cool thing about the element is that it has fallback.

<video width="843" height="480" preload autoplay controls>
 <source src="/video.mp4" type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"'>
 <source src="/video.ogv" type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, vorbis"'>
 
</video>

If you want a real in depth look at HTML5 video I recommend you read: