Developed in 1990, the HTML standard has gone through considerable changes during the course of its 20 year history. With the unveiling of its fifth revision, the mark-up language used for context structuring and presentation on the internet has been armed with a slew of new features. Increases in support for cutting edge multimedia have been added while code readability has been streamlined for users and devices. The HTML 5 language is set to incorporate previous HTML versions as well as XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2.
In terms of browser compatibility the latest versions of Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer 9.0 all support many of the HTML 5 features.
In conjunction with desktop browser compatibility mobile web browsers on iPhones, iPads and android phones also support many of the elements of HTML 5.
Browsers are currently supporting HTML 5 are:
- Internet Explorer 9.0 +
- Firefox 3.0+
- Safari 3.0+
- Google Chrome
- Opera 9.5+
New Features Of HTML 5
One of the best features of HTML 5 is its painless installation. With the use of (!doctype html) as the HTML doctype, developers are set to get started. What makes this simplicity possible stems from removing HTML 5 from the Standard Generalized Mark-up Language (SGML). It was instead created as a stand-alone mark-up language. As an added bonus, the character set has been simplified to use UTF-8 with a single meta tag definition.
Typically a website follows a structure which includes headers and footers, navigation menus, a content body, and a sidebar. HTML 5 was developed with this structure in mind. To improve support, new tags were added which address these common elements, such as (section), (header), (footer), (nav) and many more.
New Inline Elements
Inline elements, which classify textual content and data, don’t begin another line when used nor do they frequently include elements beyond other inline components. Under HTML 5, new inline elements have been instated to define elementary notions, mostly dealing with time. Tagging the components (mark), (meter), (time), and (progress) ensures they are semantically validated.
For The Online App Dev’s
For online application developers in particular, HTML5 offers many new features which ease the creation of truly dynamic HTML sites. Features like context menu support, removing the href requirement from tags so applications and web scripts can function without an anchoring destination, will be readily welcomed by the development community. The async attribute, which loads scripts asynchronously without page display slowdown has also been added. (Details), (datagrind), and the (command) tag, used as a definition for actions which take place after dynamic functions are activated, will also prove valuable to web developers.
Additional Input Types
Less exciting but just as important, all previous form input types have been retained while still managing to include several additional categories like date, month, week, time, date time, number, and range.
The Easier Future
The potential of applying all of HTML 5’s features makes the mark-up language a truly exciting venture. At its current level of development and supportability, developers will have to pick and choose which features they wish to use and do some heavy modifications to achieve proper cross-browser execution. Firefox and Opera are leading in support at the moment, though even their support is nowhere near all-encompassing. Web developers are encouraged to keep an eye out on news and updates as time progresses and prepare themselves for the possibilities a future with HTML 5 will present to them.
Editor Note : This article was written by Bren Hammel a Director at Eureka SEM. Bren has been in and around the web design industry for over 6 years. Bren is passionate about helping businesses with their online presence through internet advertising marketing strategies