HTML and CSS Reference
The good life: HTML 4.01
entered the scene in 1999, and
was the “must have” version of
HTML for the next decade.
Just as we were all getting comfortable,
a shiny object distracted everyone.
That shiny object was XML. In fact, it
really distracted HTML, and the two
got hitched in a shotgun marriage that
resulted in XHTML 1.0.
Of course, with no support from the
community, the marriage didn't end
well and was replaced by new version
of HTML named HTML5. With its
support for most of the HTML 4.01
standard, and new features that reflect
the way the Web has grown, HTML5
is what developers were looking for.
And, with features like support for
blog-like elements, new video and
graphic capabilities, and a whole new
set of capabilties aimed at building
web applications, HTML5 was
destined to become the standard.
4.01 wasn't really a big change
from 4.0; just a few fixes were
needed here and there. But
compared to the early days of
HTML (when we all had to walk
barefoot in six feet of snow, uphill
both ways), HTML 4.01 allowed
us all to sleep well at night
knowing that almost all browsers
(at least the ones anyone would
care about) were going to display
our content just fine.
XHTML promised to end all the
woes of the Web with its adherence to
strictness and new way of doing things.
The only problem was, people ended
up hating XHTML. They didn't want
a new way to write web pages, they
just wanted to improve what they
already had with HTML 4.01. Web
developers were far more interested
in HTML's flexibility than XHTML's
strictness. And, more and more, these
developers wanted to spend their time
creating web pages that felt more like
applications than documents (more on
web apps later)…
To be honest, the divorce of HTML
and XML took a lot of people by
surprise, leading to confusion about
what HTML5 actually is for a while.
But that's all been sorted out, so read
on to find out what HTML5 means to
you, and how you can join in the fun.
And what will happen in the future? Will we all
be going to work in flying cars and swallowing
nutrition pills for dinner? Keep reading to find out.