HTML5 101

Short for High Temperature Materials Laboratory by according to abbreviationfinder, HTML5 is a new specification that is currently in the draft phase (W3C Working Draft 19 October 2010) and that unifies two technological elements. HTML5 is the evolution on the one hand of what the HTML4 markup language has been up to now and on the other hand of the Document Object Model 2 API (DOM2). Through HTML5 we will have new APIs that will try to help developers to generate much more dynamic and rich web applications, always keeping in mind the point of view that most of these programming interfaces are in the draft phase. so we can say that they are not ripe for implementation in large projects or applications by organizations. HTML is not going to be just a simple redefinition of markup tags, but goes much further.

History of HTML 5

Since IBM began to use its GML language until the present moment in which we find ourselves, there have been many technological changes that have been taking place. With the arrival of the GML language becoming a formal standard in 1986 (Standard Generalized Markup Language), IBM provided a language that defined how markup languages ​​should be but did not specify how labels should be. It is when HTMLbegins to develop from SGML with the following important milestones in its timeline:

  • 1995: HTML 2.0 is formalized and with it the syntax and most of the rules that are currently implemented
  • 1997: HTML 3.2 for a long time ignored by the companies that provide browsers, which implement their own tags
  • 1998: Pressured by the adoption of web standards, weight is given to W3C recommendations and browsers based on these standards are promoted
  • 1999: The syntax and structure of HTML 4.0 is stabilized, becoming the standard for the web
  • 2000: XHTML 0 is born, designed to adapt HTML to XML. Using DTD to render as HTML
  • 2000-2004: The increase in bandwidth connections is high, producing a demand in the field of application development and multimedia, where technologies such as Flash and Ajax make work on the XHTML 2.0 specification
  • 2004: Not satisfied with the direction of XHTML, Apple, Mozilla and Opera propose to evolve the HTML 4.0 standard. Although they are rejected, they form the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group)
  • 2005: The working draft Web Applications 1.0 is published
  • 2007: The W3C adopts the work of WHATWG in a new chapter, publishing what would be the working draft of HTML 5
  • 2009: Last call issued for the HTML 5 working project. W3C does not renew XTML 2.0
  • 2010: W3C Draft for HTML5

HTML5 is projected to reach candidate status in 2012, complete final testing in * 2020, and reach full recommendation status in 2022.

Notice to navigators: Not everything is HTML 5

The idea that everything provided by the HTML5 draft is not just HTML language since apart from having new tags, we will also have new development APIs. This implies that great care must be taken in the development of our web applications since the WHATWG consortium proposes new APIs, new elements, etc. that can be discarded by the W3C and vice versa. An example of the above is the use of the SQL web storage API that is provided with HTML5. Due to limitations in web storage (it is known how limited the cookies are in terms of storage capacity with only 4Kb), HTML5 proposed the use of the local SQL web storage API which is why some browser manufacturers provided support for said API.

Another exponent example of what is indicated could also be the Web Socket API and all the security problems associated with it, which has caused well-known browsers such as Opera or Firefox that had supported said development interface, have had to give go back and remove support from your browsers. This type of event is not occurring with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer since only those APIs that are in a stable and mature development phase are being implemented.

Getting started with HTML5

The main changes that HTML5 incorporates:

Document type declaration

One of the most obvious elements and one of the first that we have to assimilate, is that Internet Explorer 9 does not understand an HTML5 document unless the document type declaration is specified. Unlike the previous specification where we had three document type declarations, now we only have to specify one: <! DOCTYPE HTML>

Document structure

The second of the novelties to assimilate in HTML5 is the use of a new set of tags to give structure to an HTML document, abandoning the use of tables and div tags for the layout of the pages.

That said, thanks to these new tags we can establish the content structure for the most common areas or elements that are usually found on a website, such as headers, footers, navigation menus, related content, etc. to later apply visual styles using CSS3 style sheets.

Other labels

HTML5 also includes new tags to identify date-type data, values ​​that express numerical amounts or amounts, or to emphasize words or texts that require it, as well as tags for publishing and handling data.

HTML forms are improved with a redefinition of new types of elements for the input tag, eliminating the dryness or lack of data types that existed for forms in HTML 4. New attributes for form elements have also been incorporated into the language. that will delight web designers.

Unsupported Tags

For future developments or designs to be carried out on web environments, that HTML5 has left some tags in the lurch, either because they have lost their meaning, or because their functionality has been covered by other different tags.


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