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Ian Devlin

Making HTML5 work in old versions of Internet Explorer

Monday, March 7th, 2011

HTML5 and Legacy Browsers

One of the main reasons why developers may not be making the move to HTML5 as yet is the perceived lack of support for legacy browsers. This is actually untrue, and whilst there might be some jiggery pokery required for proper backwards compatibility, it’s still possible.

Of course, by legacy browsers I mean Internet Explorer, as all the other major players update regularly and their users tend to follow suit: browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Opera have supported HTML5 for a while. Some developers may decide to stop supporting IE6, but for some that’s not an option and, at any rate, neither IE7 nor IE8 support HTML5 either. IE9 will, but it runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7 only, so the other versions will still be around for a long time to come, as we have seen with IE6.

So what needs to be done to get HTML5 working in Internet Explorer?

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Why the HTML5 logo from the W3C only adds to the confusion

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

HTML5 Logo

Yesterday the W3C decided to release a logo for HTML5. Nothing wrong with that you might say, and I would agree with you. They have created a badge builder which allows you to specify which specific parts of HTML5 your website uses and enable users to see at a glance (provided they’re familiar with the icons of course) what you have used when building your site.

Great. Splendid.

The W3C has always provided icons in the past to place on your website to indicate validation for the various versions of HTML, XHTML, CSS and others. And although this particular logo doesn’t indicate validity, it is in fact an improvement on it.

But. There’s a problem.

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Posted in: Rant

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Displaying a location marker on a Google Map

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Google Map

One of the most popular features on websites today is a marker pinpointing a location on Google Maps. It’s incredibly easy to add such a map to a website and I’m going to show you how.

I said it was easy, and with the recent release of version 3 of the Google Maps JavaScript API, it’s become even easier. With the previous version of this API, you had to register your map to receive an API key, but that’s now no longer necessary.

Naturally Google provide a comprehensive guide to the Maps API, but I will run through the basics here.

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Should you be using HTML5 today?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

html5 code

Despite all the hype about HTML5, there are still many people (mainly web developers!) out there who are wondering whether or not they should use it in their next site. The main issues seem to be browser compatibility and the myth that HTML5 won’t be ready for mainstream usage until 2022.

To begin with, let’s bust this myth once and for all. For any specification to be deemed “ready”, it supposedly needs to be fully implemented in two browsers. If this rule was true, CSS2.1 also wouldn’t be “ready”, and do you hear people advising you to hold off on using that? No, and quite rightly so too. And the same should go for HTML5.

As for browser compatibility, the latest versions of browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera all support various parts of the HTML5 specification, and older versions of these browsers support bits of the spec. The major headache, as always, is Internet Explorer. However, with the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 9, which will support HTML5 features, this is improving. That said, there will of course be many people who remain on older versions of IE and how will they cope with HTML5?

Pretty well, actually, and there are a lot of things you can do to ensure browser compatibility.

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How to store website data with HTML5

Monday, September 27th, 2010

html5 storage

Throughout your web browsing careers I’m sure you’ve come across the notion of cookies, pieces of text stored by the browser to be retrieved and used at a later date. These vary from simply remembering your name to welcome you personally next time you visit, to more complicated storage of authentication and shopping-cart contents.

Cookies generally work well but can be fiddly to implement, as they are set to be deleted by default once the browser is closed. If a website owner needs the data to be stored for a longer period, a cookie can be given an expiry date. Again this isn’t as clean as it could be: how far into the future do you set the date, for example? And what happens when a user flushes out their cookies?

HTML5 attempts to clean this up with the introduction of web storage.

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Adding your Twitter feed to your website with jQuery

Monday, September 13th, 2010

PC Pro Twitter page

If you or your company has a Twitter account, chances are you’d like to promote it and display your latest tweets from your website. Since many websites – both personal and increasingly business – are built on blogging software such as WordPress, this is usually achieved via a plugin, of which there are many out there.

But what if you simply want to add your live Twitter feed to a “normal” web page? Twitter itself provides a number of HTML widgets, but in this article I’ll show you how easy it is to achieve with a little bit of JavaScript, CSS, and jQuery.

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Adding audio to your website with HTML5

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

old gramaphone
With all the furore around the HTML5 video element, the poor audio element sits in the background wondering what it’s done wrong to receive so little attention. So in an attempt to redress the balance, I’m going to show you how you can stream audio to your website visitors without any additional plugins.

As with the video element, in the past the only method of embedding audio files into a web page was to use Flash or another third-party plugin. There simply was no other way. With the introduction of the audio element, this has changed.

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Posted in: How To

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Seven of the best HTML5 resources

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

There are plenty of articles out there that explain the principles of HTML5, including Davey Winder’s Everything you need to know about HTML5.

But how do you actually go about using it? This article introduces my recommended list of HTML5 resource websites, where a large number of tutorials, experiments, information and examples on using the various bits and pieces of HTML5 can be found.


HTML5 Doctor


HTML5 Doctor
HTML5 Doctor is a collaboration featuring some of the top advocates of HTML5, notably Bruce Lawson, Remy Sharp, and Rick Clark.  On the site you’ll find articles relating to HTML5, its semantics, and most importantly, how to use it right now. In addition, they also invite users to ask questions which they answer at regular intervals.

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How to make your website more attractive with @font-face

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

typewriter type

photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski

In my last blog entry I briefly mentioned CSS3 when talking about the confusion surrounding HTML5. In this post, I’m going to talk about one of the new features of CSS3 and one which will possibly be noticed most by the non-web developer.

Allow me to introduce @font-face.

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The confusion surrounding HTML5

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

question mark

There seems to be a lot of confusion lately with regards to what HTML5 actually is. Those in the web development community generally have a good idea of what it entails, if not the nitty-gritty, at least what it may contain. Not so outside of the web development world.

As generally tends to happen, external parties grab hold of these new phrases, half-heartedly look into what they mean, jumble them together and cause a wave of confusion. The latest wave is the lumping together of HTML5 and CSS3 into the general heading of HTML5. (more…)

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