HTML's newest member of the family is on its way. HTML 5 brings to the table a unifying system and language to the web design world.
Evolution of Language
Since its introduction to the internet in the early 1990's, HTML has constantly been a changing, evolving language. Much has changed in the past 19 or so years. The way people use the internet has changed, and therefore, so must the way code is written. So far, there have been four official versions of the HTML language. In 1997, HTML 4 became a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation. Since then, HTML has almost become the "official" language of web design. XHTML is a language that specified HTML further to conform to the strict guidelines of XML. These languages have been the basis for many web design projects and integration of plug-ins from third-party companies in the years that they have been around. Work on HTML 5 began in late 2003, to prove that the expansion of HTML 4 was possible. Since then, some early drafts have been released, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera have announced their intent to continue working on the project, and in 2006, W3C created a working group to work with WHATWG to develop the specifications of HTML 5.
What HTML 5 Offers
This specification evolves HTML and its related APIs to ease the authoring of Web-based applications. Additions include context menus, a direct-mode graphics canvas, a full duplex client-server communication channel, more semantics, audio and video, various features for offline Web applications, sandboxed iframes, and scoped styling. Heavy emphasis is placed on keeping the language backwards compatible with existing legacy user agents and on keeping user agents backwards compatible with existing legacy documents.( WHATWG HTML 5 Abstract)
HTML 5, though still in development, has the potential to open programming to a new audience. With its user-friendly language, open-source built-in "plug-ins", and combination of previous HTML and XHTML languages, HTML 5 will be the best mark-up language to-date. The compatibility between browsers increases the effectiveness for programmers, and saves precious time.
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