Announcing the Web Standards Update - HTML5 Support for the Visual Studio 2010 Editor
Folks have been asking "When will VS2010 support HTML5?" I've been saying, jokingly, that the answer is "yesterday" as there's nothing keeping you from creating HTML5 in Visual Studio or ASP.NET today. However, there's no intellisense and there's lots of squiggly lines that make people uncomfortable. Combine all that with the fact that HTML5 is a moving target, and it's unclear. We've said before that the next version of Visual Studio will have better support HTML5, but what about today?
Note that this isn't an official Microsoft product release, rather improved support from passionate people done in their spare time.
Download the first Visual Studio Web Standards Update
The Visual Studio Web Standards Update provides you with intellisense and validation for:
HTML 5 features
- Geo-Location - Location aware websites are a clear, growing trend and now you've got full intellisense and validation within Visual Studio. For a nice sample, view source on the IE9 test drive demo.
- Local Storage – IE has been supporting local storage from IE8, so now Visual Studio will provide you with full-fidelity intellisense to create sites which can save state within the browser. For sample of this, do a view source on HTML5 Demo Site
Additionally, if you are trying to make websites which work on a variety of platforms and browsers you will love the fact that Web Standards Update not only supports IE specific prefixes like –ms; but also other vendor prefixes like –webkit and –moz.
HTML5 in Visual Studio
When you start up Visual Studio 2010, you can select what version of HTML you want on a file-by-file basis, or set the defaults.
Side Note: See how IE6 is in there on its own? That's been there since before forever. Hopefully it'll be gone soon. Ignore it.
You can also set it as the default in Tools | Options | Text Editor | HTML | Validation. Note the options for errors.
All the new HTML5 semantic tags are there, like section, svg, video, etc. This is just the first release, and while it's REALLY comprehensive, I'm sure it has some bugs. But, it'll be updated regularly, so make sure you report anything you find and look for it to be fixed in the next release.
There's even support for important (but under-utilized and under-respected) attributes like the WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications)
Also the aria-* attributes appear not only as intellisense enabled attributes, but also their enumerated values:
Tags are fun, sure, but how about microdata? Bing, Google and Yahoo are all supporting Microdata and more specifically the schema.org vocabularies. This update will therefore add intellisense to the most popular vocabularies including schema.org and data-vocabulary.org.
Seriously, tell me that's NOT the hotness. Awesome for SEO.
CSS3 in Visual Studio
That's just the HTML5 stuff. There's also CSS3 support. Yes, that's 1 better than CSS2.
It includes all the cool new CSS3 stuff like column-full and of course border-radius as well as animations and transforms. There's also lots of details on vendor-specific prefixes like -webkit, -moz and -ms.
Note the informational tooltip in the dropdown here as we pick a -webkit-transform shorthand property.
Say what you like about intellisense as a concept or crutch, but I like to think of it as a just-in-time object browser that helps me explore new technologies as well as discover nooks and crannies that I might not see.
We don't know what all will come in the next version of Visual Studio, or the next version of HTML5, but for those of you who are interested, we hope this "living update" of Web Standards support for Visual Studio will help you out!
Enjoy, Dear Reader.
P.P.S. No, that logo to the right isn't official anything and yes, it's fun.