HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
HTML5: Back to the Future
Starting in 2004, a group of well-known organizations and individuals got together to form a
standards body called the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, or
WHATWG (, whose goal was to produce a new version of HTML. The exact
reasons and motivations for this effort seem to vary depending on who you talk to—slow
uptake of XHTML, frustration with the lack of movement by the Web standards body, need for
innovation, or any one of many other reasons—but, whatever the case, the aim was to create a
new, rich future for Web applications that include HTML as a foundation element. Aspects of
the emerging specification such as the canvas element have already shown up in browsers
like Safari and Firefox, so by 2008, the efforts of this group were rolled into the W3C and drafts
began to emerge. Whether this makes HTML5 become official or likely to be fully adopted is
obviously somewhat at the mercy of the browser vendors and the market, but clearly another
very likely path for the future of markup goes through HTML5. Already we see Google
adopting it in various places, so its future looks bright.
N OTE While HTML5 stabilized somewhat around October 2009, with a W3C final candidate
recommendation goal of 2012, you are duly warned that the status of HTML5 may change.
Because of the early nature of the specification, specific documentation of HTML5 focuses more on
what works now than on what may make it into the specification later.
HTML5 is meant to represent a new version of HTML along the HTML 4 path. The
emerging specification also suggests that it will be a replacement for XHTML, yet it ends up
supporting most of the syntax that end users actually use, particularly self-identifying
empty elements (for example, <br /> ). It also reverses some of the trends, such as case
sensitivity, that have entered into markup circles, so it would seem that the HTML styles of
the past will be fine in the future. In most ways, HTML5 doesn't present much of a
difference, as you saw earlier in the chapter's introductory example, shown again here:
<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<title> Hello HTML World </title>
<!-- Simple hello world in HTML5 example -->
<h1> Welcome to the Future World of HTML5 < / h1>
<p> HTML5 <em> really </em> isn't so hard! </p>
<p> Soon you will &hearts; using HTML. </p>
<p> You can put lots of text here if you want.
We could go on and on with fake text for you
to read, but let's get back to the topic. </p>
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