Exploring the Features of HTML5

By now you may have heard a little about HTML5 and wondered how will it effect your web authoring. HTML4, the last major version of the markup language, began back in 1997 and a lot has changed in web site technology since. As of this writing, HTML5 has not officially been adopted and remains in draft stage at the W3C. HTML5 is designed so that old browsers can safely ignore new HTML5 markup allowing a smooth conversion to the new way of doing things.

HTML5 changes the common uses of a generic block where you would use <div> for example and in-line <span>elements. Instead of a generic description, a new tag such as <nav> is used to designate a navigation area, <footer> to declare the traditional “footer” section of a page. The way we designate media on a page has changed with inclusion of the <audio> and <video> tags instead of <object>. There is also a renewed emphasis on the importance of DOM scripting (e.g., JavaScript). The modern aspects of web site creation has moved the creators of HTML5 toward open source standards. For cross compatibility reasons, it is not best practice to rely on plug ins like Flash, Silverlight and Java. While these technologies have benefited some features of web sites, they have also created limitations.

HTML5 allows for greater control over audio and video display without relying on browser plug ins. In addition to specifying markup, HTML5 specifies scripting application programming interfaces also know as APIs. The document object model (DOM) interfaces are also extended. Once you get comfortable with working with HTML5 you will approach your web authoring in a new approach. You begin to think of assets such as audio, video, and other content that can be pulled together to make a web page. HTML5 allows you to integrate more assets into a single document, all while keeping the integrity and separation of those assets. Taking it one step further, HTML5 bridges the gap between a traditional desktop browser and the mobile phone experience. If your design and functionality work on the desktop browser chances are it will perform on the mobile phone.

HTML5 in conjunction with CSS3 and tools such as jqery offers the flexibility needed for today’s modern web sites. Your text remains selectable and authors can easily update their sites. Think of it in terms of taking content from different sources rather than hosting your own content for pages. You can organize your page semantically and link to and even pull in content from other sites, using the semantics of that page. You can separate content from organization using more than just divs, but actual first-order elements for navigation and headers and footers.

The great thing HTML5 allows you to do is develop web sites and don’t have to worry if it will work on a mobile phone and tablets.

This is now the new DOC type for HTML5 is written. And that’s it!

<code>This is some computer code</code>
This is the result of using the <code> tag some computer code

This concludes my very brief introduction to HTML5. Certainly there is so much more that you can explore on this subject. Expect more browsers to implement the new features of HTML5 in the near future. But don’t wait until then! Start to explore the new features of HTML5 today.

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