A List Apart

Menu Issue № 275

Duty now for the future: HTML 5 and extensible semantics; plus the ins and outs of mobile CSS.

Return of the Mobile Stylesheet

by Dominique Hazaël-Massieux · 35 Comments

At least 10% of your visitors access your site over a mobile device. They deserve a good experience (and if you provide one, they'll keep coming back). Converting your multi-column layout to a single, linear flow is a good start. But mobile devices are not created equal, and their disparate handling of CSS is like 1998 all over again. Please your users and tame their devices with handheld style sheets, CSS media queries, and (where necessary) JavaScript or server-side techniques.

Semantics in HTML 5

by John Allsopp · 107 Comments

The BBC's dropping of hCalendar because of accessibility and usability concerns demonstrates that we have pushed the semantic capability of HTML far beyond what it can handle. The need to clearly and unambiguously add rich, meaningful semantics to markup is a driving goal of the HTML 5 project. Yet HTML 5 has two problems: it is not backward compatible because its semantic elements will not work in 75% of our browsers; and it is not forward compatible because its semantics are not extensible. If “making up new elements” isn't the solution, what is?

More from A List Apart


Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Analog Revolution

Back in the day, when software was released (on physical media), it was considered done. In the present, some products could benefit from a limitation like that. To tie development to something immutable, such as a physical thing or a hard deadline, might just foster a sense of responsibility to design our product so it has what it takes to last a few years.

From the Blog

URLs Beyond the Web

As the newest operating systems for Android and iOS enable deep-linking directly into third-party apps, Anthony Colangelo sees an expanding definition of “the web” and an opportunity to better serve our users.

It’s Time We #FEDtalk

One person focuses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Another writes JavaScript tests all day. And they both have the same job title: front-end developer. Mat Marquis talks about why that’s okay, and introduces our latest event, "The State of Front-End Dev."