Once I actually started having to read about HTML, as opposed to reverse engineering it with view source, I pretty much jumped straight to reading the actual specifications. I’ve been hacking on HTML continuously longer than just about any other technology I’ve used, professionally or otherwise. One of those teach yourself HTML in 5 minutes or whatever books is too basic and if I am going to use a reference, I might as well use the canonical one, right?
I will admit that with HTML5 I simply haven’t had the time to read the evolving draft. I’ve been following it at much more of a distance, with few exceptions. I was so happy Pete Wayner’s Infoworld article from a few weeks ago would help me get a better low level handle on this version, but was largely disappointed. I was hopeful when I saw this new Inforworld piece by Dori Smith, via Slashdot.
It is a better, lower level introduction to what is going in HTML5 but still frustratingly shallow. I do appreciate that she breaks out the categories of new tags and features roughly in order of best supported today to most speculative. If I ever crawl far enough out of database land in my professional programming, I think Smith’s article will probably be a good roadmap for reading the actual W3C specification on HTML5. Some Day.