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

<body>
Content of the document......
</body>

</html>

The default character encoding in HTML5 is UTF-8.


New HTML5 Elements

The most interesting new HTML5 elements are: 

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

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

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

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

In the next chapter, HTML5 Support, you will learn how to "teach" older browsers to handle "unknown" (new) HTML elements.


New HTML5 API's (Application Programming Interfaces)

The most interesting new API's in HTML5 are:

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

Tip: HTML Local storage is a powerful replacement for cookies.


Removed Elements in HTML5

The following HTML4 elements have been removed in HTML5:

Removed Element Use Instead
<acronym> <abbr>
<applet> <object>
<basefont> CSS
<big> CSS
<center> CSS
<dir> <ul>
<font> CSS
<frame>  
<frameset>  
<noframes>  
<strike> CSS, <s>, or <del>
<tt> CSS

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


HTML History

Since the early days of the World Wide Web, there have been many versions of HTML:

Year Version
1989 Tim Berners-Lee invented www
1991 Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML
1993 Dave Raggett drafted HTML+
1995 HTML Working Group defined HTML 2.0
1997 W3C Recommendation: HTML 3.2
1999 W3C Recommendation: HTML 4.01
2000 W3C Recommendation: XHTML 1.0
2008 WHATWG HTML5 First Public Draft
2012 WHATWG HTML5 Living Standard
2014 W3C Recommendation: HTML5
2016 W3C Candidate Recommendation: HTML 5.1

From 1991 to 1999, HTML developed from version 1 to version 4. 

In year 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, W3C's decided to close down the development of HTML, in favor of XHTML.

In 2004, WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) was formed. The WHATWG wanted to develop HTML, consistent with how the web was used, while being backward compatible with older versions of HTML.

In 2004 - 2006, the WHATWG 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 wanted to develop HTML as a "Living Standard". A living standard is always updated and improved. New features can be added, but old functionality cannot be removed.

The WHATWG HTML5 Living Standard was published in 2012, and is continuously updated.

W3C wanted to develop a definitive HTML5 and XHTML standard.

The W3C HTML5 recommendation was released 28 October 2014.

W3C also published an HTML 5.1 Candidate Recommendation on 21 June 2016.