HTML and CSS Reference
Other new features
The HTML5 markup language contains many other new features that are outside the scope
of this topic. This section will provide a very brief introduction to these features so you know
they exist, without going into detail about how they work.
HTML5 provides a canvas element that allows for 2D drawing and animation. This is one
of the features of HTML5 that is intended to provide an alternative to Adobe Flash. There
are many interesting demos available on the Internet showing the power of this feature.
The canvas element covers some of the same scope as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG),
which is not technically part of HTML5, but is still a relatively new, and useful feature of
WebGL provides similar capabilities to Canvas, but allows for 3D rendering. The main
draw back for WebGL is that not as many browsers support it as the Canvas, which has uni-
versal support amongst the main browser vendors. Where it is supported, the support is often
Another feature of HTML5 that drew a lot of attention are the audio and video tags. Cur-
rently Adobe Flash is the de-facto standard for video in particular, largely because of its ubi-
quity and the fact YouTube used it. The audio and video elements are intended to allow web
site developers to embed audio and video in web sites without the need for plugins.
Ever since the early days of web site development back buttons have caused issues. This has
become even more apparent with modern web applications that often do not rely on page
refreshes, even when users think they have changed pages. By default, this means the back
button tends not to do what users expect in a large number of scenarios. The Session His-
tory Management API allows the developer finer-grained control over the history of a tab,
and therefore allows for more intuitive behaviour from the Back and Forward buttons.