"Ian Hicks" should be "Ian Hickson".
Thanks Peter, I corrected this!
Good read, nice to know W3C is working on helping search engines make content easier for users to find and use.
The structured heading syntax will undoubtedly lead to hard-to-catch markup errors since people will see autoadjusted heading structures.
Making these standards more verbose is not really a step forward.
I've only vaguely gone over the differences. But honestly HTML5 sounds far better then XHTML2. But I don't think either go far enough. But better to make small good changes then big bad changes.
beussery, you're being ironic, right? We should write pages for users, always. Search engines are just providing a service (and they are paid very well for it). How would you feel if a butler in your house would tell you how you should live to make his job of tidying up the house easier? (Sorry Jeeves, I didn't mean you specifically.;) You'd fire him and hire another, wouldn't you?
I think Ian Hickson has been working on HTML5 way before he was hired by Google (he was employed by Opera previously). Not that it makes any difference.
Perhaps beussery's comment might not have been wholly accurate, but he raises a good point. HTML5, like XHTML is more machine suitable that previous specifications. Having said that, the effectiveness of the elements depends on their adoption rate by web developers and I'm not getting my hopes to high – adoption will be slow and probably limited to CMSs.