Should I learn HTML / XHTML / CSS first, or should I just dive into HTML5 and CSS3? I am a bit confused about this process. I do know basic HTML / CSS, but am planning on re-learning everything these next few weeks, and have not done this since high school.
closed as off topic by Rahul♦, Patrick McElhaney Sep 26 '10 at 14:18
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Firstly, HTML5 supercedes XHTML (see interview with HTML spec lead, Ian Hixson) so go for (X)HTML5 (the X has been dropped)
Secondly, HTML5 should be viewed more as a 'collection of features' rather than one spec. There will be no HTML 6 -- more, what features you support for HTML5 should be driven by your target browser set's adoption of that specific feature rather than anything that 'supports HTML5' as this doesn't really mean anything any more
As for learning, you should definitely have a handle on HTML and CSS, before jumping into HTML5 and CSS3. Although you can learn HTML and CSS through the new versions, a lot of the new features are not consistently implemented throughout the browsers. I would say that picking up the basics of the current version would make things a little easier to grasp.
HTML has not changes the way HTML is written or rendered, and although there are some deprecated features it is pretty much backward compatible. The main changes are really additions of features.
CSS3 is similar with a lot of new features, but little change to the structure and implementation.