I created this purposely 'hidden' page especially for those who have clicked the HTML5 logo at the bottom of the PC Anytime Limited index page, which is the only link to this page on the site. If you have clicked through this far, you have likely come here to check things out before kicking up a fuss about HTML5 being neither an accepted web standard (yet) nor officially certified by the W3C, as I have cheekily implied by the use of a realistic-looking W3C/HTML5-certified logo. I openly confess to making this logo by superimposing an HTML5 logo onto one of their standard certification logos. Why? While the pages on this site are fully HTML5 validated by the W3C's web-based validation service, that organisation does not yet officially support tagging pages as validated with their logo, hence my effort. I suppose it is a bit naughty, so anyone wanting to complain about it is welcome to contact me and if your reasons for wanting me to remove this logo are valid, I will gladly remove it. The only thing I ask is to listen to my side before swinging into action.
When I was recently redesigning the PC Anytime site, I decided to follow HTML5 guidelines for maximum forward compatibility, even though HTML5 isn't an officially accepted standard yet. After all, why do all this work just to comply with already-superseded (X)HTML standards? I therefore brushed up on current HTML5 thinking and implemented this new site accordingly. My web browser of choice, Opera 12, (as of October 2011 still a "bleeding-edge" pre-Alpha version), is already adhering to the "new" standards, as are the later builds of Firefox and both render this site perfectly, which is good enough for me. It isn't that I don't care about Internet Explorer users, I'm just not about to try writing a bunch of non-standard/proprietary code just to shoe-horn the site into rendering correctly in that browser. If surfers using IE-based browsers don't see the site as it was intended to be viewed and aren't concerned their browser breaks or doesn't render a standards-compliant site properly, I'm afraid that's up to them. There has been much written over the years and enough anecdotal evidence out there for people to know that Internet Explorer is forced down Windows user's throats by a company more interested in self-branding, shotgun marketing and monopolising cyberspace than it is with compliance or even usability. If such users know all this and still want to keep using this software there is nothing further I can do about it. All many users need to know is that they do have a choice and don't have to stick with what came with the operating system; there are several freely available alternatives which are superior in speed, usability, security and standards compliance, so there is no excuse for not trying at least one of them. A Japanese philosopher once reasoned: "if a man is shown a better path, is he not obliged to follow it?".
Enough about that; how did I validate these pages if there are no set HTML5 standards yet? Three ways; first, I use the compatibility checking feature of Karlis Blumental's WeBuilder 2011, the powerful HTML/CSS/PHP editor I use to cut these pages. In my opinion WeBuilder 2011 is by far the best HTML editor available, however like many other editors it is not quite up to doing everything HTML5 yet. This is because just about every HTML editor developer out there is reluctant to pump often limited resources into coding and implementing features into their software that may or may not make the HTML5 cut. They have likely learned from past experience that spending hours thinking about, designing and then coding a new feature into their software just to see the whole thing dropped or changed significantly when the standard is confirmed is not worth the hassle. And rightly so; the vast majority of these companies don't have the mega-millions of dollars companies like Microsoft or Adobe can raise to pour into R&D, meaning every new feature they implement has to be worth all their development time and investment. As it stands, not even those company's editors (Web Expression 4 and Dreamweaver) fully support HTML5 either, which is why there is no point shifting allegiance to another editor.
That's not to say other tools don't exist; I have recently discovered a very cool program from AI Internet Solutions called CSE HTML Validator and have used it to check my work. While the HTML5 side of things is also not completely finalised in this software, it at least covers the basics as things stand today. This software not only validates pages but offers suggestions on everything from simple spell-checking to standard coding practices and search engine optimisation; in fact, to outline the complete range of features is beyond the scope of this page. If you want to know more about it, I suggest you follow the link(s). Needless to say it is very comprehensive and, unlike many similar tools available for download, is realistically and reasonably priced. While there is a risk of this sounding like a gushing affiliate sales spiel, the only thing I will say further is if you want to check your pages for compatibility and standards compliance, nothing I've seen or tried even comes close to CSE HTML Validator. For those suspicious or inclined to conspiracy theories, I have no sales or any other type of agreement with any software vendor mentioned on these pages; I am simply a satisfied customer who, if asked, will recommend something I also find useful. I also recommend downloading and trying whatever software you think will be useful to you; it is all very well listening to me going on about something but what I find good may not be something you'll like and vice versa; we all have choices, which I guess is what life is all about.
The rest of my page validation is done using the W3C's own markup validator, which at this stage is an experimental tool using the standards as they are defined today. This is why there are no official links or images available for us to put on our pages to let people know they are HTML5 standards compliant; I imagine once the standard is set in stone, tools like those mentioned above will be updated and will offer us various means of displaying compliance. On their site, the W3C clearly explain that HTML5 conventions can (and likely will) change at any time, though because the PC Anytime site is in an almost perpetual state of flux as I add and remove relevant content anyway, this suits me fine. If the standards change I will simply jump in and update things to comply with whatever the HTML5 standards may be at that time.
If your browser complains about anything on this site, or renders it badly, you are likely using an outdated or non-compliant browser and should consider using a better one. There is nothing overtly challenging to any of the major browsers here, in fact, the site could have just as easily been coded using the older HTML 4.0 Transitional standard. However, as I said, it is about future compatibility and since I am updating the site, why look backwards? Whatever the code-base used on this site, it will work far better if you use a decent browser. Changing browsers isn't as harrowing as you probably think. It's a bit like changing cars; everything you are used to is pretty much in the same place so the learning curve isn't that steep. Even if you have hundreds of bookmarks (only Internet Explorer calls them favourites), these can easily be imported - along with your saved passwords and other important data - into any new browser either during installation or afterwards. If it is time for a change and you want to know more, click here to contact us and ask about it; after all, that's exactly what we are here for.
Thanks for stopping by to learn about the core of the PC Anytime Ltd. web site. Dave is available for everything web-related, from blogging to site building, web-hosting advice and search engine optimisation; if it has anything to do with the Internet, Dave has 15 years of hands-on experience available to help you start or increase your presence on the web. Contact us for all your Internet-based needs and I'll see you in the webosphere!