HTML and CSS Reference
Differentiating the HTML5 Family and HTML5
Since the term HTML5 entered the public's consciousness, generally agreed to be around April 2010 when
Steve Jobs wrote his infamous “Thoughts on Flash” letter ( www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash ) ,
“HTML5” has been used as an umbrella term for a number of different standards. Some of those standards
were part of HTML5 at some point and have since been broken out, whereas others have always been their own
Some of the standards that are often included when someone says “HTML5” are as follows:
• Web Workers
• Web Storage
• Web SQL Database
• Web Sockets
• Device API
• File API
The use of the umbrella term HTML5 to include all these is technically wrong, but it's also rather convenient.
HTML5 is the buzzword people know and understand. To most developers it just means building something
natively in the browser without plug-ins, and I think that's ok.
This topic is clear when referring to a specific part of the HTML5 specification or another specification, but
most of the time it refers to the family of technologies that HTML5 has come to encompass.
Using HTML5 The Right Way
As explained in the last section, through a fortuitous confluence of circumstances, for the first time in the history
of the web, web developers have an official W3C-approved specification (okay, it's a “working draft” right
now) that syncs up with the realities and desires of day-to-day development. For web developers that had been
starved for so long by the stagnation of the web, the current renaissance of activity truly feels like being sud-
denly handed a large piece of cake after having had to dig around for scraps of bread.
The number of goodies added to the web developer's toolbox in the past few years is staggering. Even Mi-
crosoft, traditionally mired in a bog in proprietary technology, has jumped in and is making a serious push to-
ward supporting standards-based web development without proprietary plug-ins.
Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too
HTML5 is truly a browser-driven spec in that the browser makers are the ones who are pushing the standard
forward. This means that a lot of features that start out in one browser or multiple browsers with incompatible
implementations are eventually unified as the browser makers come to an agreement on details and implement-