This content was originally published Kyan’s blog at http://kyan.com/blog/2009/10/12/kyan-vs-html5, but is no longer available at that location. Reproduced here with permission.

Kyan vs. HTML5

Here at Kyan we like to keep up to date, so new technologies regularly come under the spotlight. This week’s focus: HTML5. Jumping straight into an unknown is rarely a good idea for a client project, but with no such qualms about internal projects I elected to rework our intranet.

First off, it’s important to point out that a lot of the promise of HTML5 comes from new technologies: the canvas element, <video> and <audio>, and the new <input> types (previously known as Web Forms 2.0). For our intranet these either have no obvious applications (<canvas> & <video>) or aren’t implemented in the common browsers being used (for us that’s Safari, Chrome and Firefox). Where we can benefit currently is the extra semantic elements and the tidying up that comprises the majority of the specification.

So what specifically did we change?

The results

All in all, a lot of the benefit of this exercise came from a thorough reading the HTML5 spec and blogs like HTML5 Doctor even if we can’t directly apply those technologies yet. It also gave me a chance to refactor some of the older parts of the system into a more modern markup style. This should stand us in good stead when we start to use these technologies on a public-facing website.