|Internet media type||
|Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)||index.html|
|Developed by||World Wide Web Consortium and WHATWG|
|Initial release||28 October 2014|
|Type of format||Markup language|
|Extended to||XHTML5 (XML-serialized HTML5)|
W3C HTML 5.1
|Internet media type||
|Developed by||World Wide Web Consortium and WHATWG|
|Type of format||Markup language|
|Extended from||XML, HTML5|
HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014[update] this is the final and complete fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The previous version, HTML 4, was standardised in 1997.
Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices (web browsers, parsers, etc.). HTML5 is intended to subsume not only HTML 4, but also XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML.
Following its immediate predecessors HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1, HTML5 is a response to the fact that the HTML and XHTML in common use on the World Wide Web are a mixture of features introduced by various specifications, along with those introduced by software products such as web browsers, those established by common practice, and the many syntax errors in existing web documents. It is also an attempt to define a single markup language that can be written in either HTML or XHTML syntax. It includes detailed processing models to encourage more interoperable implementations; it extends, improves and rationalises the markup available for documents, and introduces markup and application programming interfaces (APIs) for complex web applications. For the same reasons, HTML5 is also a potential candidate for cross-platform mobile applications. Many features of HTML5 have been built with the consideration of being able to run on low-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets. In December 2011, research firm Strategy Analytics forecast sales of HTML5 compatible phones would top 1 billion in 2013.
In particular, HTML5 adds many new syntactic features. These include the new
<canvas> elements, as well as the integration of scalable vector graphics (SVG) content (replacing generic
<object> tags), and MathML for mathematical formulas. These features are designed to make it easy to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to resort to proprietary plugins and APIs. Other new elements, such as
<nav>, are designed to enrich the semantic content of documents. New attributes have been introduced for the same purpose, while some elements and attributes have been removed. Some elements, such as
<menu> have been changed, redefined or standardized. The APIs and Document Object Model (DOM) are no longer afterthoughts, but are fundamental parts of the HTML5 specification. HTML5 also defines in some detail the required processing for invalid documents so that syntax errors will be treated uniformly by all conforming browsers and other user agents.
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) began work on the new standard in 2004. At that time, HTML 4.01 had not been updated since 2000, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was focusing future developments on XHTML 2.0. In 2009, the W3C allowed the XHTML 2.0 Working Group's charter to expire and decided not to renew it. W3C and WHATWG are currently working together on the development of HTML5.
Although HTML5 has been well known among web developers for years, it became the topic of mainstream media around April 2010 after Apple Inc's then-CEO Steve Jobs issued a public letter titled "Thoughts on Flash" where he concludes that "Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content" and that "new open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win". This sparked a debate in web development circles where some suggested that while HTML5 provides enhanced functionality, developers must consider the varying browser support of the different parts of the standard as well as other functionality differences between HTML5 and Flash. In early November 2011, Adobe announced that it will discontinue development of Flash for mobile devices and reorient its efforts in developing tools utilizing HTML5.
The Mozilla Foundation and Opera Software presented a position paper at a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) workshop in June 2004, focusing on developing technologies that are backward compatible with existing browsers, including an initial draft specification of Web Forms 2.0. The workshop concluded with a vote, 8 for, 14 against, for continuing work on HTML. Later that month, work based upon that position paper moved to the newly formed Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG), and a second draft, Web Applications 1.0, was also announced. The two specifications were later merged to form HTML5. The HTML5 specification was adopted as the starting point of the work of the new HTML working group of the W3C in 2007.
- 2008 – First Public Working Draft
WHATWG published the First Public Working Draft of the specification on 22 January 2008. Parts of HTML5 have been implemented in browsers despite the whole specification not yet having reached final Recommendation status.
- 2011 – Last Call
On 14 February 2011, the W3C extended the charter of its HTML Working Group with clear milestones for HTML5. In May 2011, the working group advanced HTML5 to "Last Call", an invitation to communities inside and outside W3C to confirm the technical soundness of the specification. The W3C is developing a comprehensive test suite to achieve broad interoperability for the full specification by 2014, which is now the target date for Recommendation. In January 2011, the WHATWG renamed its "HTML5" living standard to "HTML". The W3C nevertheless continues its project to release HTML5.
- 2012 – Candidate Recommendation
In July 2012, WHATWG and W3C decided on a degree of separation. W3C will continue the HTML5 specification work, focusing on a single definitive standard, which is considered as a "snapshot" by WHATWG. The WHATWG organization will continue its work with HTML5 as a "Living Standard". The concept of a living standard is that it is never complete and is always being updated and improved. New features can be added but functionality will not be removed.
- 2014 – Proposed Recommendation and Recommendation
In September 2014, W3C moved HTML5 to Proposed Recommendation.
- Core HTML specification
The combined timelines for HTML 5.0, HTML 5.1 and HTML 5.2:
|HTML 5.0||Candidate Rec||Call for Review||Recommendation|
|HTML 5.1||1st Working Draft||Last Call||Candidate Rec||Recommendation|
|HTML 5.2||1st Working Draft|
- Features and APIs
The W3C proposed a greater reliance on modularity as a key part of the plan to make faster progress, meaning identifying specific features, either proposed or already existing in the spec, and advancing them as separate specifications. Some technologies that were originally defined in HTML5 itself are now defined in separate specifications:
- HTML Working Group – HTML Canvas 2D Context
- Web Apps WG – Web Messaging, Web Workers, Web Storage, WebSocket API, Server-Sent Events
- IETF HyBi WG – WebSocket Protocol
- WebRTC WG – WebRTC
- W3C Web Media Text Tracks CG – WebVTT
HTML5 introduces elements and attributes that reflect typical usage on modern websites. Some of them are semantic replacements for common uses of generic block (
<div>) and inline (
<span>) elements, for example
<nav> (website navigation block),
<footer> (usually referring to bottom of web page or to last lines of HTML code), or
<video> instead of
<object>. Some deprecated elements from HTML 4.01 have been dropped, including purely presentational elements such as
The HTML5 syntax is no longer based on SGML despite the similarity of its markup. It has, however, been designed to be backward compatible with common parsing of older versions of HTML. It comes with a new introductory line that looks like an SGML document type declaration,
<!DOCTYPE html>, which triggers the standards-compliant rendering mode. Since 5 January 2009, HTML5 also includes Web Forms 2.0, a previously separate WHATWG specification.
- The canvas element for immediate mode 2D drawing. See Canvas 2D API Specification 1.0 specification
- Timed media playback
- Offline Web Applications
- Document editing
- Cross-document messaging
- Browser history management
- MIME type and protocol handler registration
- Web Storage, a key-value pair storage framework that provides behaviour similar to cookies but with larger storage capacity and improved API.
Not all of the above technologies are included in the W3C HTML5 specification, though they are in the WHATWG HTML specification. Some related technologies, which are not part of either the W3C HTML5 or the WHATWG HTML specification, are as follows. The W3C publishes specifications for these separately:
- Web SQL Database, a local SQL Database (no longer maintained).
- The Indexed Database API, an indexed hierarchical key-value store (formerly WebSimpleDB).
- HTML5 File API, handles file uploads and file manipulation.
- Directories and System, an API intended to satisfy client-side-storage use cases not well served by databases.
- File Writer, an API for writing to files from web applications.
- ClassList API
XHTML5 (XML-serialized HTML5)
XML documents must be served with an XML Internet media type (often called "MIME type") such as
application/xml, and must conform to strict, well-formed syntax of XML. XHTML5 is simply a XML-serialized HTML5 data (e.g. not having any unclosed tags), sent with one of XML media types. HTML that has been written to conform to both the HTML and XHTML specifications — and which will therefore produce the same DOM tree whether parsed as HTML or XML — is termed "polyglot markup".
HTML5 is designed so that old browsers can safely ignore new HTML5 constructs. In contrast to HTML 4.01, the HTML5 specification gives detailed rules for lexing and parsing, with the intent that different compliant browsers will produce the same result in the case of incorrect syntax. Although HTML5 now defines a consistent behavior for "tag soup" documents, those documents are not regarded as conforming to the HTML5 standard.
According to a report released on 30 September 2011, 34 of the world's top 100 Web sites were using HTML5 – the adoption led by search engines and social networks. Another report released in August 2013 has shown that 153 of the Fortune 500 U.S. companies already implemented HTML5 on their corporate websites.
As of 2013, HTML 5 is at least partially supported by most popular layout engines.
Differences from HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.x
The following is a cursory list of differences and some specific examples.
- New parsing rules: oriented towards flexible parsing and compatibility; not based on SGML
- Ability to use inline SVG and MathML in
- New elements:
- New types of form controls:
dates and times,
- New attributes:
- Global attributes (that can be applied for every element):
data-*(custom data attributes)
- Deprecated elements will be dropped altogether:
dev.w3.org provides the latest Editors Draft of "HTML5 differences from HTML 4", which provides a complete outline of additions, removals and changes between HTML5 and HTML 4.
On 18 January 2011, the W3C introduced a logo to represent the use of or interest in HTML5. Unlike other badges previously issued by the W3C, it does not imply validity or conformance to a certain standard. As of 1 April 2011, this logo is official.
When initially presenting it to the public, the W3C announced the HTML5 logo as a "general-purpose visual identity for a broad set of open web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and others". Some web standard advocates, including The Web Standards Project, criticised that definition of "HTML5" as an umbrella term, pointing out the blurring of terminology and the potential for miscommunication. Three days later, the W3C responded to community feedback and changed the logo's definition, dropping the enumeration of related technologies. The W3C then said the logo "represents HTML5, the cornerstone for modern Web applications".
Digital rights management
Industrial players including the BBC, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix have been lobbying for the inclusion of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a form of digital rights management (DRM), into the HTML5 standard. As of the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, 27 organisations including the Free Software Foundation have started a campaign against including digital rights management in the HTML5 standard. However in late September 2013, the W3C HTML Working Group decided that Encrypted Media Extensions, a form of DRM, was "in scope" and will potentially be included in the HTML 5.1 standard. WHATWG's "HTML Living Standard" continued to be developed without DRM-enabled proposals.
The initial enablers for DRM in HTML5 were Google and Microsoft. Supporters also include Adobe. On 14 May 2014, Mozilla announced plans to support EME in Firefox, the last major browser to avoid DRM. Calling it "a difficult and uncomfortable step", Andreas Gal of Mozilla explained that future versions of Firefox would remain open source but ship with a sandbox designed to run a content decryption module developed by Adobe. While promising to "work on alternative solutions", Mitchell Baker stated that Mozilla's refusal to implement EME would accomplish little more than convincing many users to switch browsers. This decision was condemned by Cory Doctorow and the Free Software Foundation.
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- Encrypted Media Extensions draft specification of the W3C
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HTML5.|
|Library resources about
- HTML Working Group - HTML5 publications, specifications, and notes
- HTML5 Rocks - A comprehensive HTML5 resource for developers by Google
- Mozilla Demo Studio - Demos of HTML5 implementations
- HTML5 Frontend Comparison - Sheet showing HTML5 vs. other main frontend techniques
- HTML.next Feature requests for future versions of HTML.