15 thoughts on “Earliest Web Doc is HTML5

  1. @Matt hahaha!

    @zeldman It’s kind of like wasting hours on tons of not-working code, and then realizing that you can accomplish your task with a single, well-written line. Bam.

  2. The fact that an almost-empty document is almost (!) valid is not really groundshaking.
    The document it links to, for example, is even less valid.

  3. Also, is it okay in HTML5 not to quote your attributes? And is it okay for a piece of text not to have a tag around it at all? I’m genuinely curious…

  4. @Brade:

    Also, is it okay in HTML5 not to quote your attributes?

    I believe it is.

    The validator link posted by Jeffrey defaults to using the “HTML5+ARIA, SVG 1.1 plus MathML 2.0 (experimental)” scheme which seems not to accept the non-quoted attributes but setting the scheme to HTML5 specifically stops this error from displaying.

    This means the only problem with the earliest web doc is the fact that a DOCTYPE is required.

  5. Brade, it is okay in every flavour of HTML (5 or otherwise) to not quote your attributes (assuming there aren’t any spaces in the attribute value). Only XHTML requires quoted attributes.

  6. Allow me to clarify, as the point of this post may not be obvious to everyone.

    Mr Jeremy Keith observed that the first HTML document ever written was practically valid HTML5.

    In so observing, Mr Keith was not calling our attention to the extraordinary depth or magical foreknowledge of the first HMTL document (for it possesses neither).

    He was not saying that Tim Berners-Lee’s first, simple HTML page eerily presaged VIDEO and CANVAS or used advanced structural semantics. Tim Berners-Lee’s invention may have changed the world, but whatever his other gifts, Mr Berners-Lee is not a wizard or a time traveler.

    No, the point of Mr Keith’s observation and my echo of it here was quite different.

    The point was to show just how backward-compatible HTML5 is by design.

    HTML5’s creators, observing that XHTML 2 was not backward compatible by design, and also observing that XHTML 2 did not exactly catch fire with the public, had no intention of repeating the chief sin of the framers of XHTML 2.

    By design, HTML5 is intended to be backward compatible.

    Just how backward compatible is it?

    To find out, Jeremy Keith looked at the first HTML document ever written, and found that it was near-valid HTML5.

    In other words, the focus here should not be on the merits of the first HTML document. The focus should be on the merits of HTML5 and its promise to support everything that has come before while bringing reason, structure, semantics, and power to everything that will come hereafter.

    That’s the point.

  7. With the strong focus on backwards compatibility in HTML5 this is indeed an interesting find, however HTML5 has made several changes to the semantics of some elements that could make it incompatible with earlier standards. Changes like what the small element represents, how to mark up dialogue etc. could mean that it is not possible to just change the DOCTYPE and have a HTML5 document without manually reviewing the markup.

    Then again, HTML5 isn’t finished so these could just be bugs that will be fixed when time allows.

  8. I think utilizing practices such as quoted attributes, and keeping tags the same case makes readiblity and management a lot better. One can write bad looking code in C++ or Java, so I don’t see why HTML shouldn’t have that freedom either.

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