[HTML5] Detecting whether the UA (browser) can accept HTML 5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jun 14 12:30:41 PDT 2007

On Fri, 15 Jun 2007, Brian Smith wrote:
> HTML 5 defines new ways to do things that we have been doing in HTML 4 
> for years. For example, <INPUT TYPE='email'> is a new, presumably 
> better, alternative to <INPUT TYPE='text'> to get an email address from 
> the user. I would like to use it whenever possible, but fall back to 
> <INPUT TYPE='text'> when the browser doesn't support it.

Just use <input type=email>. The older browsers will automatically default 
to <input type=text> if they don't support 'email'.

> In particular, I would like to author my documents in HTML 5, use an 
> XSLT transform to convert them to HTML 4, and then serve the HTML 5 
> document to browsers that understand it, and the HTML 4 document to 
> browsers that don't. But, how do I know whether or not the browser 
> understands HTML 5?

Browsers implement parts of HTML5 (and HTML4, for that matter), not the 
whole thing at once. However, HTML5 is specifically designed to let you 
write a single version of the document that uses HTML5 features and falls 
back to HTML4 features where they're not supported, as e.g. described 
above for type=email. So you should only need to write one version.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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