List of Deprecated Attributes Still in Widespread Use

Published by Chris Coyier

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A "deprecated" element is an element the W3C has designated as outdated. These elements should not be used and are generally considered to be "bad code". If you use a STRICT DOCTYPE, deprecated elements will not pass validation.

The thing is, people still use them. In fact, many of them are in fairly widespread use. Why? Because they still work! Just because they are deprecated doesn't mean they don't work, it just means there is a "new" way to do what the deprecated element used to do (well...for the most part). Will these elements ever stop working? I'm not to say, but I tend to believe that eventually yes. Here are some of the common ones that you probably see all the time, and what to use instead.

There are a few things the deprecated elements can do that there is no alternative for. Noteably:

  • Starting and ordered list on a number other than 1. with start.
  • Applying a specific value to a list item with value.
  • Target, as mentioned above, has no alternative.

Some of these may be solved with CSS3. I'm not actually 100% sure though. If you really need to use some of these deprecated elements and still want your code to validate (and properly work for that matter), make sure to a Transitional DOCTYPE.

Thanks to Kevin for pointing out my misspelling of "deprecated" (I had it as "depreciated" before this post was updated).