Jul 20, 2010

Highlights of HTML5

The next major release of HTML, HTML5, is coming soon and I don’t know about you, but I am excited! The new specification has been in the works for several years now and is getting close to reaching completion but as of this writing, HTML5 is still in draft. HTML5 will replace DOM2HTML, HTML4 and XHTML1 and will be a single language, but you will be able to write code using HTML or XML syntax, and it will be backwards compatible. Here is a quick overview of what you have to look forward to when HTML5 is officially completed.

  • Defining structure – New elements have been added that will help make it easier for a developer to structure their HTML in a consistent way. Some of these elements are <section>, <header>, <footer>, <nav>, <article>, <aside>, <figure>.
  • Multimedia support – There are new tags that make it easier to embed rich multimedia content into your page. (ex: <canvas>, <video>, <audio>)
  • New inline elements have been added which help define some basic concepts such as <time>, <progress>, <mark> and <meter>.
  • Presentational elements no longer supported – The presentational elements and attributes, as well as the deprecated HTML4 elements have been removed (i.e.: <font>, <u>, <strike>, <center>…etc.). Presentational elements will now be purely done with CSS.
  • New form input types have been added including datetime, month, week, number, range, email, url, etc. This will help to speed things up since now the user input on these fields can be verified before it’s sent to the server.
  • Dynamic pages – Ability to build a richer user experience with interactive elements like <details>, <dialog > and the newly defined <menu> element.

W3 Schools website already has a list that defines each of the elements included in HTML5, and which have been dropped http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_reference.asp. You can start experimenting with some of these new enhancements now; Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera already support some of the new specification. The release date of HTML5 is not set yet but many of us are anxiously awaiting this new specification.

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