HTML5 Introduction

What is New in HTML5?

The DOCTYPE declaration for HTML5 is very simple:

<!DOCTYPE html>

The character encoding (charset) declaration is also very simple:

<meta charset="UTF-8">

HTML5 Example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<title>Title of the document</title>

Content of the document......


Note The default character encoding in HTML5 is UTF-8.

New HTML5 Elements

The most interesting new elements are: 

New semantic elements like <header>, <footer>, <article>, and <section>.

New form control attributes like number, date, time, calendar, and range.

New graphic elements: <svg> and <canvas>.

New multimedia elements: <audio> and <video>.

Note In the chapter HTML5 Support, you will learn how to "teach" old browsers to handle HTML5 semantic.

New HTML5 API's (Application Programming Interfaces)

The most interesting new API's are:

  • HTML Geolocation
  • HTML Drag and Drop
  • HTML Local Storage
  • HTML Application Cache
  • HTML Web Workers

Note Local storage is a powerful replacement for cookies.

Elements Removed in HTML5

The following HTML4 elements have been removed from HTML5:

Element Use instead
<acronym> <abbr>
<applet> <object>
<basefont> CSS
<big> CSS
<center> CSS
<dir> <ul>
<font> CSS
<strike> CSS
<tt> CSS

Note In the chapter HTML5 Migration, you will learn how to easily migrate from HTML4 to HTML5. 

HTML History

Since the early days of the web, there have been many versions of HTML:

Version Year
Tim Berners-Lee invented www 1989
Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML 1991
Dave Raggett drafted HTML+ 1993
HTML Working Group defined HTML 2.0 1995
W3C Recommended HTML 3.2 1997
W3C Recommended HTML 4.01 1999
W3C Recommended XHTML 1.0 2000
HTML5 WHATWG First Public Draft 2008
HTML5 WHATWG Living Standard 2012
HTML5 W3C Final Recommendation 2014

Tim Berners-Lee invented the "World Wide Web" in 1989, and the Internet took off in the 1990s.

From 1991 to 1998, HTML developed from version 1 to version 4. 

In 2000, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended XHTML 1.0. 

The XHTML syntax was strict, and the developers were forced to write valid and "well-formed" code.

In 2004, WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) was formed in response to slow W3C development, and W3C's decision to close down the development of HTML, in favor of XHTML.

WHATWG wanted to develop HTML, consistent with how the web was used, while being backward compatible with older versions of HTML.

In the period 2004-2006, the WHATWG initiative gained support by the major browser vendors.

In 2006, W3C announced that they would support WHATWG.

In 2008, the first HTML5 public draft was released.

In 2012, WHATWG and W3C decided on a separation:

WHATWG will develop HTML as a "Living Standard".

A living standard is never fully complete, but always updated and improved. New features can be added, but old functionality can not be removed.

The WHATWG Living Standard was published in 2012, and is continuously updated.

W3C will develop a definitive HTML5 and XHTML5 standard, as a "snapshot" of WHATWG.

The W3C HTML5 recommendation was released 28 October 2014.