Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By webdesignerdepot (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Is It Time to Reset HTML?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


HTML is one of the foundational building blocks of the Web. But just as web design best practices and techniques change over time, so does the code we use. As HTML evolves, some of its older markup has been deprecated while other parts have been repurposed.

Does that create more problems for us, though? Would we be better off starting over so we can make sure we’re all working from the same language rather than trying to edit out the bits we don’t want or need?

Problems With Holding Onto Legacy HTML

Let’s take a look at what happens when we amend the rules of HTML over time and how it impacts the Web:

1. It’s Risky to Leave Deprecated HTML Behind

Whether certain features have become outdated and need to go, or browsers have stopped supporting certain tags altogether, deprecated code eventually becomes a problem.

You’ll find a long list of deprecated HTML on the HTML.com website:

For many of these, HTML tags and attributes have been replaced by more efficient CSS styling. There are also examples of HTML deprecation because the features have become outdated (like frames).

Yet, there are still websites out there that contain deprecated HTML.

In some cases, the HTML sits silently on the other side of the website. If there’s enough of this errant code hanging around, though, those extra characters and directives could slow down your server’s processing time and render pages more slowly than usual.

In other cases, the HTML breaks features on the front-end of a website. Take, for instance, this warning from Mozilla regarding the tag:

Using deprecated code can create inconsistent and poor experiences on the front-end. And when all browsers finally get on board and decide not to support an HTML tag anymore, all visitors will be left with a broken UI.

So, while it’s great that HTML5 has deprecated legacy HTML that’s no longer useful or necessary, that’s not to stop everyone from using it or leaving it behind on older websites. 

2. Legacy Code Focuses on Style; Not Semantics

As I mentioned, a lot of deprecated HTML has been phased out and replaced by CSS styling. And that’s a good thing.

Let me give you a simple example of this…

My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. The first time I read it, I didn’t sleep for three days. Thankfully, when I revisit it every year, I have fewer nightmares and can more greatly appreciate the storytelling aspect of it.

In the above paragraph, I’ve used the tag to italicize several words.

In the early days of HTML, stood for “italics” (the way stood for “bold”). With HTML5, however, will still render as italics, but its semantic meaning isn’t as broad. It’s been repurposed to indicate a stylistic change, which is important for things like book and film names, foreign words, and so on. To express emphasis, we use the  tag instead. 

Keeping the legacy  and  tags can lead to issues, though. 

In the statement above, I’ve italicized the name of the book (The Stand) as well as the number of sleepless nights I had (three days) with. Whether the designer decides today, tomorrow or ten months down the road that they want to change the way literary or cinematic references are styled, my choice of HTML will stand in their way.

Because all of my italic text is indicated by , styles can’t universally be applied to specific content (like book references). Instead, the designer would have to go through and clean up my code so that it looks like this:

My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. The first time I read it, I didn’t sleep for three days. Thankfully, when I inevitably revisit it every year, I have fewer nightmares and can more greatly appreciate the storytelling aspect of it.

This would then allow the semantically italicized content to remain intact while the designer or developer adjusts the styles of the book title here and across the site. (Though, really, the first italicized phrase should be surrounded by  as it would be more semantically accurate.)

While it’s great that we’ve created guidelines for using legacy HTML today, keeping old code around can confuse writers, designers, and others who are familiar with the previous way of formatting content. By resetting HTML, throwing out old styles, and creating one language we use consistently across the web, we won’t create more work for ourselves later on.

3. Deprecated Code Hinders Accessibility

Another big reason why repurposed and deprecated HTML is a problem is because of accessibility.

For starters, when you leave deprecated and unsupported code behind, it’s likely to cause issues for screen readers, search engines, and browsers that use HTML for clues about the content.

Header tags (e.g.



), for instance, aren’t just used to visibly break up large chunks of text. Header tags and, more specifically their hierarchy, present important information about the relationship between subjects on a page — and this is the kind of thing that screen readers and search engines pick up on.

That’s why we need to be very careful about the code we leave behind the scenes, even if readers on the front end can’t visibly see it. Let’s look at an example of how this can affect accessibility:

Is there an à la carte menu or is it just prix fixe tonight?

If a screen reader were to read over this sentence, the French phrases would be said with the same emphasis as any other italicized words on the page.

This is why HTML5 encourages semantic coding instead of purely stylistic.

The proper way to write HTML in the line above would be:

Is there an à la carte menu or is it just prix fixe tonight?

There are two reasons to do this:

  1. To indicate to screen readers that there’s a language change.
  2. To make it easier for designers or developers to create a custom style for foreign phrases.

Semantic coding is essential for designers that work on multilingual websites.

As the World Wide Web Consortium explains, languages like Japanese don’t use italicization or bolding for emphasis — at least not the way English speakers do.

So, to properly translate a page from English, a Japanese designer would need to remove the italics or bolding and add surrounding brackets to the words. However, if everything is coded with and , or there’s a mix of  and  and and , it’s going to be really difficult to Find-and-Replace the correct HTML with ease.

So, if accessibility or internationalization are concerns for you at all, getting clear on the HTML you write with is going to be really important.

Wrap-Up

The fact of the matter is, it requires a lot of work to have the rules of HTML rewritten. So while it would be great to reset HTML, I don’t know that it’s all that practical.

All we can really do is stay abreast of what’s happening with the language, edit out legacy code from our websites the second it becomes deprecated, and always use tags and attributes that are supported. By playing around with deprecated or repurposed code, we only put the website visitors’ experience in jeopardy, so it’s best to take the time to clear out the old any chance we get.

If we can all get on the same page about this, problematic legacy HTML will eventually disappear from our websites and memories.

Featured image via Unsplash.

Source

The post Is It Time to Reset HTML? first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.



Source: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2021/06/is-it-time-to-reset-html/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

MOST RECENT
Load more ...

SignUp

Login

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.