HTML, the core syntax markup for the web, is in transition. With new browsers, new technologies, the realization that updates and changes are needed has taken hold. A new version of HTML is in the works. And Adobe has joined the ranks of Opera, Mozilla and Apple to help out.
Work on HTML 5 began back in 2003 in an effort to show HTML 4’s extensibility and has been moving forward at a slow pace. Not until 2007 was an actual working group developed. Adobe, who is a member of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), has stepped up to the plate to offer not only assistance but additional support for the new version of HTML in the works, HTML 5.
HTML 5 Features and Changes
HTML 5 is set to have some fairly major changes. New semantic tags, more emphasis on DOM, even video and audio tags are on the table. These changes come from the W3C draft.
- New Markup – New markups being added include semantic tags like <nav> and <footer>. These tags will allow for better indexing by search engines and add a semantic element to HTML. Also the implementation of <audio> and <video>, but there is some debate as to whether or not OGG formats like Vorbis and Theora will be recommended.
- New APIs – API developments such as a Canvas tag for immediate 2D drawing, timed media playback, offline storage and drag-and-drop are included.
- Additional changes to HTML - These changes include the removal of <center>, <font> and <strike> tags because these are now controlled through CSS; new parsing rules for more flexible parsing and compatibility; new attributes like ping, charset and async.
These changes reflect the transformation of browsers as the browser wars rage on, but they also illustrate the push toward the semantic web where the web and the devices accessing it begin to “understand” and process information they are looking at in a much more effective way.
The working group is set to make HTML 5 easier to use, more efficient and smarter. With Adobe providing both financial support and input via the working group, it's comforting to know that this latest version will meet the needs of both authors and browser developers.