HTML5, CSS3, and IE6

So it’s been a few weeks and we’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes here at MBFilms for future projects, and fun things for you! YAY! But besides this place being totally devoted to the film format (which we are!) we would also like to touch based on a few other areas which we categorise as creative.

HTML5

So a couple of months ago HTML v5 was officially released as a viable type of document type. For those who don’t understand the difference (didn’t know there was one) each version of website coding has standards which are necessary to conform to, otherwise the site won’t load properly. For example, a website written purely for IE6, or Netscape but in a format unrecognisable to the browser will result in certain sections not displaying, or rendering in plain text. What this means is certain usability for users will result in the inability to view it in it’s full potential. Have a quick Wiki search for more in depth info.

But back to HTML5, what it means is when it is supported by all the major browsers (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera) is that load times will be quicker, and people who like to browse without JavaScript will be able to see certain things! What also comes out of this new version (or revision) is the ability to conform to the tag closing standard. What this means is that some website coders close tags properly (with a closing tag), while others use the short hand and place a forward slash at the end. In certain browsers (especially older ones) this means the section has not been closed correctly, and the CSS won’t register correctly – as well as W3 Standards failing. So with the new DOCTYPE, the browser can define which method has been used and conform it to the necessary one for the format – this equals all or most users seeing the same thing!

What also comes out of HTML5, which is possibly one of the major benefits is the reliance on tags such as <audio>, <video>, and <canvas>. What this reduces is the need for JavaScript (or Flash) to play these files, and make it worldly across all users regardless of their preferences. Too also is the ability to apply various filetypes to one track, utilising the systems base coding. So for example, in IE browsers supporting HTML5, the OGG music file is not supported, though supported in Safari, Chrome, and Opera. What HTML5 allows is the ability to specify different files to the same player and the browser can determine whether it can play it or not. This is beneficial as no longer will there be numerous tracks saying “Plays best in Internet Explorer v# or higher”. Also in this category is the ability to use JavaScript SQL databases which are larger than the current Cookie ones (often used – even we do!). This means you no longer have to wait for calendar JS files to load, or form validators for different browsers. Each browser can and will determine for itself what is best for you in your situation.

But we guess the greatest feature is the new headings. If you view any source file for any website, we can guarantee you will find something like this div id=’header’ class=’header’. What this means is that each section of the website is broken up via divs. Though in HTML5 they come pre-popularised with <header>, <section>, <article>, and <nav> tags. So no longer are we looking at div tags and wondering what they exactly are closing, or why the page isn’t displaying properly. There are many more features such as form types, and automatically allowing certain characters according to the type (e.g. telephone form fields won’t allow letters), but you can search for that in the W3 website.

CSS3

Ever wondered how a website has different colours, or why when you go to drag an image it doesn’t move? It’s all CSS or Cascade Style Sheets and it’s what tells the broswer to put things. If the browser can’t read it, it won’t do it and just skip it. What does this mean? Well in our initial design of MBFilms, we used CSS3 rounded corners. On my MacBook Pro, and Safari the corners looked amazingly beautiful – and round. But jumping onto the same page on a PC and Internet Explorer 8 it was crap, and square (which is the effect we now seem to love!) With CSS3, there is so much which websites can be and look like without the need of images or hacks. It’s all browser generated, and how it should be – because in the end it comes down to loading time. The main browser that failed to comply with this is Internet Explorer – the only original web engine remaining. The newer browsers – FireFox, Safari, Chrome, etc. – all run on either Gecko, or Webkit engines. This means that if you want to use a CSS3 thing you can attribute it directly to the browser type, but this then means IE users miss out unless a hack is used, which then ultimately effects everybody’s loading time and causes GREAT ANNOYANCE! So with CSS3 it means great things, but we need all browsers to apply it to their programme (HINT: Send messages to ask them to support the future! Except Opera v10, they are so far the best browser to implement the CSS3 recommendations!) For a full detailed view of each new property check out this awesome website: CSS Files.

Internet Explorer 6 (IE6)

So as most of you wouldn’t know, IE6 is beginning it’s own end. The countdown is on, and Microsoft has made a very bold, and wise move to remove support by 2014. We were excited to jump on board with this cause and if you are using IE6 you will notice the banner up the top of the navigation. With the opportunity arising, Microsoft asked for those interested to support them to submit a logo. We did and if you check http://ie6countdown.com/join-us.html you’ll see our logo, along with a lot of others who support this move. IE6 is the hardest to code websites for, and here at MBFilms we would like to give you everything but without the bloating and wasted time that’s needed to support IE6. So if you have a friend, or employer, of yourself use IE6 please make the switch to IE9 or another browser that is better than what you have. There is SO much that you’re missing out on, and web browsers are FREE for a reason so no excuses! The quicker we can get the remaining 12% of IE6 users to upgrade the better and more advanced the internet will be! So spread the word, and gain the benefits :] More here: IE6 Countdown


So where does this leave us in all that technical info? Well over the following year we’re going to be moving further and further into HTML5, CSS3, and the removal of IE6. This site will be completely rewritten from scratch, incorporating all (or most) the new implementations from Blogger, HTML5, and CSS3. While the support for IE6 will not be our focus and at this stage in talks of further development and support. We are sorry for that massive call to the low-end broswers, but as we all need to embrace the new technology some people will need to make the choice. We’ll announce when maintenance is on, and when it’s all done. But as always have a good one!