HTML5 is a result of truly marvelous engineering. There is a debate about whether it is easier or harder to write a web browser compared to the past, but it is definitely, approximately infinitely easier to parse HTML now.
Is there a debate? I can’t imagine arguing for the “easier” side. It’s gone from “a reasonably smart person can do it” to “it takes a billion-dollar organization, and actually, most of the billion-dollar organizations have given up.”
Parsing HTML is just one part of that. While the spec is large, it’s at least fully specified and I’d say makes it easier to write that part of a rendering engine.
I was replying to the part of the comment that said “there is a debate about whether it is easier or harder to write a web browser compared to the past”.
Ah I see, I missed that. Yes I definitely agree it’s way harder to write a web browser!
At least the problem of parsing is cleaned up as much as it can be though :) Too bad you can’t ditch the XHTML stuff since I think there must be old content still out there, and will be forever …
The amount of oddities and backwards compatibility hacks to support existing content are a bit saddening, but at least they are specified :)
Yes I like using HTML5 directly (or via Markdown which supports HTML), but I think a lot of people don’t like to use it that way.
Before HTML5, there was a strong motivation to use layers of generators, tools, and frameworks on top of the web. It was less compatible, especially CSS, and it was useful to have that abstracted away.
But then HTML got good, but the habit of covering it up remained!
One of my favorite things about HTML5 is that I can just type <!DOCTYPE html> and not all the nonsense with HTML4 :)
Also it’s funny that I remember people complaining that HTML5 won’t be ready until 2022, but now we’re almost there :) https://www.wired.com/2008/09/html-5-won-t-be-ready-until-2022dot-yes-2022dot/
It’s turned out very well in the long term and the effort should be appreciated more! They really cleaned up a big mess.