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What is HTML5?

What is html5?HTML5 is a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) specification that sets out and defines the 5th revision of the HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).

HTML5 first came to public use in January 2008 to replace the previous versions of XHTML and HTML4 which began in 1997.

Steve Jobs refused to allow Flash on the Apple iOS devices because he said HTML5 could do everything that Flash could.  He wasn’t quite right but… HTML is probably the most important element of the web.  It’s what defines how a webpage will look however, HTML on its own is not quite enough to make this happen properly as it can only deliver static pages, hence the common phrase used to describe it: static HTML.

In order to make websites more impressive with animated features and moving parts etc. HTML is coupled with other programming elements such as CSS, Flash, Java and Silverlight etc. but this integration of styles made code on a webpage messy and bloated.  Further, different browsers might interpret the same piece of code differently and often lose many features along the way.  HTML5 was developed in an attempt to solve all these problems.  HTML5 is often referred to as Web Applications 1.0

So what can HTML5 do?

It lets you do almost anything you might want to do on a webpage without requiring additional software such as browser plugins. It can make animation and apps work, it can manage music and movies online and can also be used to develop complicated applications allowing them to run in a browser and it’s cross-platform compatible, meaning it doesn’t matter what browser or device you use.  Smartphones, tablets, netbooks/notebooks SmartTV’s… it works on them all.

Being ‘modern’, some older browsers might not support it, but all the latest browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Android etc. all include full support and will render webpage content exactly how the HTML5 says it should be displayed.

HTML5 includes functions including:

  • New attributes
  • Elimination of outmoded or redundant attributes
  • Drag and drop capabilities from one HTML5 document to another
  • Detailed rules for parsing
  • MIME and protocol handler registration
  • A common standard for storing data in SQL databases (Web SQL)


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