HTML 5 . . .

. . . is not yet a standard.  However, it might be helpful to take a look at some of the changes that may be coming.  The World Wide Web Consortium has posted a document which includes just the changes from HTML version 4 to version 5.  It’s not very long, but provided a few surprises for me:

  • This standard will be not considered finished until there are at least two complete implementations of it.  This will be nice, as we’ll have a couple of browsers to check others against.
  • Although authors will have to abide by the HTML 5 standard, user agents (browser manufacturers) will also have to support older versions of HTML.  This has always been done, but it is nice to have it stated in the standard.  The result?  No more deprecated features.
  • You will be able to use either HTML or XHTML.
  • The DOCTYPE will no longer have to provide the URL for a DTD.  All you need is:  <DOCTYPE html> and it switches to standards mode.  XHTML documents do not need a DOCTYPE, as they are already in standards mode.
  • We will have elements for header, footer, and nav.
  • Audio and video elements will work from the page, as each browser should have codecs within them; no more plug-ins.
  • These elements should not be used anymore — basefont, big, center, font, s, strike, tt, u — no surprise here.
  • frame, frameset, and no frames are also not in HTML 5 because of usability and accessibility issues.
  • The longdesc attribute on img is no longer supported.  I’m wondering if there is a replacement for this or not.
  • No presentation attributes allowed — use CSS!
  • Cool APIs that will allow you to do interesting things on your web pages:
    • audio and video (as mentioned above)
    • enables offline Web applications
    • drag and drop

There is a lot more to see, but be aware that because HTML 5 is not a done deal yet, none of these are final.  Keep watching!

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