[wp-hackers] is there any interest in supporting HTML5?

Dougal Campbell dougal at gunters.org
Mon Jul 9 14:31:13 GMT 2007

Alex Günsche wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-07-08 at 15:52 -0500, lawrence at krubner.com wrote:
>> I'm curious how much work it would take to do an HTML 5 version of  
>> WordPress? Any estimates from the group? Is this the kind of thing I  
>> could tackle in a weekend if I wanted to?
> It is true that there are XHTML snippets hardcoded in the WP core. But
> it would be a matter of a couple hours to find and replace that code.
> (This would also be required on each upgrade.) Then you would need time
> to create the template, which can also range from a couple hours when
> taking and adapting a simple existing theme, up to a week and more when
> creating a new and sophisticated theme.

I haven't looked in detail, but most of the differences between XHTML
and HTML5 are pretty minor from what I've seen -- a few minor tag
differences, some new attributes... It might not be *too* hard to write
a plugin that buffered WP's output, then filtered it into HTML5 before
sending to the browser. As others have said, when we start reading that
Firefox is getting built-in support for HTML5, maybe it will be worth
looking into.

Storing everything as XML on the backend and transforming it to various
output formats at render-time is great when you need that kind of
flexibility. And if it came down to it, modifying WordPress to do that
probably wouldn't be as hard as you might think (XHTML is supposed to be
XML-compatible, after all). But what audience would we be serving by
doing so? What kinds of problems would we introduce for the rest of our
users (i.e., the majority of them) in the process?

However, that's not WP's main mission. WordPress is a great platform for
advanced users who want to do new and interesting things. But at the
same time, it is meant to be a package that the average person can use
easily. The largest portion of our user base doesn't care if we can
transform our output into XHTML 1.1 Strict, HTML 4, HTML 5, Atom, RDF,
PDF, DocBook,  or plain text at the flip of a switch. The average user
just wants it to look decent when somebody hits their site in a browser.
And if the site "validates" according to whatever that W3C things is,
then that's probably a good thing, right?

Dougal Campbell <dougal at gunters.org>

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