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What is HTML5 - a review on what I learned about lynda.com course: HTML5 First Look


Lynda HTML5 First Look This is a review on what I learned about lynda.com course: HTML5 First Look

What is HTML5

HTML5 is a specification to replace the current HTML(4). Started on 2004 by WHATWG, a group that aren't happy with the direction of XHTML 2.0, which was the specification under development by then; HTML5 is said to be completed by 2022 as a complete recommendation. Although major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and IE are adopting the features as early as now. It offers many new features like new element tags, new form features and new APIs that would radically change the web development world.

New Features on HTML5

HTML5 3D HTML5 Connectivity HTML5 Device Access HTML5 MultiMedia

HTML5 Offline Storage HTML5 Performance HTML5 Semantics HTML5 Styling

Below are list of some of the new features on HTML5, most of which are not yet fully supported by major browsers, so care must be applied when trying to implement them.

New Element Tags

HTML5 focuses on the outline or (semantic)structure of the document(website) rather than styling of it. Thus deprecating the style based element tags  like for italic, for underline and others like . And this also deprecates attributes like [align] e.g. for
, [bgcolor] e.g. for and [color] e.g. for
. Such styling rules should be done on CSS instead of HTML. New elements are added to add meaning to the structure of the pages and here are some of the new element tags that I understood:
  • and
    - a separate entity on a document that can be republished or re-used.
  • - syndicate`able content such as blog post, comment, news etc.
  • /
    - header/footer for section article or the document itself
  • - an element intended for user interaction
  • - element wrapper for group of related command
  • - element wrapper for group of related h1, h2,...h6
  • a date or time
The default handling of these new tags will be up to the user-agents(browsers). And determining which tag to use is based on your own judgement

New Form Features

There are also additional form features that will add new meaning to inputs and forms html5-email-attribute
  • Additional input type values such as email, date, number, tel etc.
  • New input attributes such as autofocus, required, placeholder
Handling this additional input type values and attributes is again, will be up to the browsers that the user use. Some of the  examples of such handling are: alerting the user when a required filled is left blank or an email field is filled with an invalid email(see figure), and/or preventing the submission of the form when one of the inputs are invalid.

New APIs

These are new programming interfaces heavily driven by JavaScript are also gonna be added to HTML, offering new possibilities for the development of website and mobile apps.
  • Canvas - enables programmatic drawing of images on html5 using JavaScript
  • Offline Apps - enables HTML5 applications working offline by caching and syncing
  • Video - Video embedding standard - browser manufacturers still debate on what encoding to use (MP4, ogg, or VP8)
  • Drag and Drop - Drag and drop API based on IE. Can be done from window to window and even local file to browser -  still debated, because of the said difficulty to use
 

Breaking the Myths - Associated Technologies on HTML5

CSS3 Logo[/caption] Although related and often mislabeled as html5, these technologies are separate specification and are not HTML5
  • Web sockets - enables two way connection from server to client and vice-versa
  • Web storage - client side storage of data (a lot larger than cookies)
  • Geolocation - client side based geolocation (specially for mobile devices)
  • CSS3 - unfinished css version 3 with a lot of new improvements
  • CSS3 FontFace - unfinished specification for custom fonts

Additional MythBreaking Facts

  • websites can still use embed and flash
  • tags is not a direct replacement for
    tags - not at all times
  • and
    are not only for the page header and footer - but also for article and sections
  • is not only for main content - but for all syndicateable contents
  • html5 is ready
 

Conclusions of HTML5

Although HTML5 is certainly the future of web development, it is still not yet finalized and may change in the future. In my opinion the safest to use as of now is just the new element tags (with the help of modernizr javascript for IE). New form features not yet fully supported yet by major browsers and may bring problems with styling and doing fallbacks. canvas API has been around for a little while and maybe safe to use as of now. The video API can work on major browsers using some fallbacks and workarounds but it requires quite some effort to do so. While  the other APIs and Associated technologies are still under work. Therefore: it is good to know what lies in the future of web development, but to rush on to it is not yet a good option. Developers should keep watch on the development of HTML5 specification but should not fully rely on it.    

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