HTML 4 and XHTML 2 are dead, long live HTML 5! This chant can be seen on every programming blog, and in every web developer community.
With the last major release of the HTML debuting in 1997, you could say that people have been anticipating this release as much as they did the last Harry Potter film.
HTML elements are the basic building blocks of web pages. HTML elements consist of tags that most commonly occur in pairs. Initially, HTML gave a document the means to link to another document. With HTML 5 we are just starting to realize the original idea of HTML. With HTML 5, assets will be easily dropped into a single document and connected to create rich media.
Other significant features include improved data integration, streamlined web development, and a richer user experience (but that is in 2022, when it is fully integrated). The question at hand is if it offers a better user experience right now?
HTML 5 is a “language for structuring and presenting content for the world wide web, and is a core technology of the internet originally proposed by Opera Software. It is the fifth revision of the HTML standard. Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices. HTML 5 is intended to subsume HTML 4, XTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML as well.”
Many in the industry have been waiting impatiently for HTML 5, and now that it is universally supported on major mobile devices it has been proclaimed to be a game changer. Some companies have switched to the format exclusively, but this may be too soon. HTML 5 does offer a lot of flexibility that brings the focus back to web development and makes websites truly interactive, but it is not plug-and- play yet.
Today’s browser is not equipped yet for HTML 5, thus the full scope of HTML 5’s features are limited. However, it is more than just the browsers – HTML 5 forces everyone to learn how to walk again, and everyone is just starting to figure it out.
While HTML 5 has amazing potential, it is by no means a web standard yet. As with any game changer, there are always disruptions. To avoid these disruptions it is important to take precautions, and of course test, test, and retest.
HTML 5 may be universally supported now, but as we all know that doesn’t mean everyone is using the same system (for example, the guy that still uses AOL). If you design your site with HTML 5 features and test with the latest version of Google Chrome, you should be good to go…right? Remember that browser that you used to use back in the day, Internet Explorer? Well there go your stunning site features, and instead of fancy HTML 5 videos, you have large red x’s in their place.
In a perfect world, a revelation like HTML 5 would be immediately standardized, but unfortunately that is not the case. HTML 5’s capabilities are too numerous to disregard, but it is recommended that you use them with care, alongside supplemental programs that will assist HTML 5 in browser compatibility.