The debate about HTML5 has been raging and will continue to for a while yet. Whether HTML5 is useful or not, whether it will ever be the future that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) claims it will or not — these are issues that will resolve themselves with time. What most have been waiting for though is for HTML5 to be ready. And now, W3C has announced that HTML5 is ready.
“Complete definition of HTML5 and Canvas 2D applications” was recently released by W3C. While this does not mean there are standards yet, it marks a major step in the evolution of HTML5 that means a stable version of HTML5 is now available.
What is HTML5
Web developers would know this, but most non-development people may not realize that HTML — the mark-up language that most web pages are created with — has also been evolving over the years through various versions like any other program or programming language.
HTML5 is a collaborate development effort between the W3C and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) who were working on web forms and applications while W3C was working on XHTML 2.0 development. The two bodies decided to collaborate in the development of HTML5 as the next generation standard development language for the web.
This latest version of HTML has been under development for a while now and not all browsers as yet have the capability to support it.
The primary aim of HTML5 is to support multimedia better, being easily readable by humans and consistently interface with computers and browsers. HTML5 is a composite of its predecessor HTML4 and also XHTML and DOM.
Below are some of the key features and capabilities of HTML5 that developers can start using now.
- HTML5 Feature 1: Web Workers
By using separate background threads for processing scripts, HTML5 ensures that the heavy scripts used by web applications do not affect a web page’s performance.
- HTML5 Feature 2: Canvas
This addition to the HTML5 feature list means that developers can render graphics on web pages on the fly without the need for any plug-ins.
- HTML5 Feature 3: Handling of Video
With HTML5, it is now possible for developers to embed video into web pages just like they do images, without needing any plug-ins or codec.
- HTML5 Feature 4: Geo-location
This geo-location feature that benefits development for mobile and hand-held devices the most is now available for use with HTML5 on web pages.
- HTML5 Feature 5: Application Cache
Tiny cookies were the traditional way of storing information on a visitor’s computer. HTML5 introduces application caches, which are much larger files that eliminate the need for cookies.
HTML5 Current Status
The latest accomplishment in the development means that HTML5 is now ready and feature-complete. While HTML5 is complete in terms of all its features, the standards are not yet ready, according to W3C. One of the things that remains is the adoption of HTML5 by all the browsers. While some have adopted it, many browsers are still lagging behind in becoming HTML5 compatible. W3C is currently working on making HTML5 interoperable across all the browsers. This is expected to be completed sometime in 2014. When this is done, W3C will publish the final recommendations and standards for HTML5.
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Attended University of Auckland
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