What’s New and What’s Changed in HTML5?

One has to learn a number of languages to become a creative developer and none is more important than HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). It allows the user to create and structure sections, paragraphs, headings, links, and blockquotes for web pages and applications. About 89.7% of websites with a known markup language use HTML.

The fifth and last major version of this standard markup language was launched in October 2014. About ninety-percent of websites using HTML now use HTML5. Read on to learn more about HTML5 and how it differs from the previous HTML version.

What is HTML5?

Basic HTML acts as the primary language of internet. It defines the connections from your document to the parts that make the document interactive. Tags shape the text structure using elements indicated by the angle brackets (for e.g. “<p>”).

Although, HTML is pretty great but on its own it is pretty boring because it can only deliver static pages; in order to meet the growing demand for more impressive web features, further development languages emerged to define other parts of a document since the first introduction of HTML. In the old HTML, these other languages like Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Java, JavaScript (JS) and so forth required further software, like browser plugins, to work.

All these plugins used to become something of a bloated mess and it would become very harder to maintain proper standards. The HTML5 structure removed the need for these plugins by integrating all these other coding languages required for building modern websites. The basic structure of any page is still first defined in HTML, but now it also includes CSS and JS. The CSS controls the physical presentation of the document while JavaScript makes things happen on it.

Key Differences Between HTML5 & HTML

The biggest difference between HTML and HTML5 are the audio and video capabilities. Moreover, popular virtual vector graphics such as Canvas, SVG, and so forth can also be used with HTML5 without additions like VML, Silverlight, and Flash.

Only browser caches could use web SQL databases in the past. HTML5 allows all pages to temporarily store data in an application cache through an online SQL database. Applications that are cached load and work correctly offline, even if users press the Refresh button. It also allows JS to run in the browser’s background.

The new HTML5 structure syntax is no longer based on the standard generalized markup language (SGML) despite the similarity of its markup. This means it has better parsing rules that offer enhanced compatibility. Some elements in the old HTML are no longer supported by HTML5. Most are already deprecated and shouldn’t be surprising. They are noframes, acronym, basefont, font, dir, big, strike, center, frameset, noframes, and frame.

Unlike old HTML, HTML5 supports inline SVG and MathML. It also introduces new form input types such as email, date and time, range, number, URL, search, and so on.

Finally, HTML5 adds in many exciting new elements to make development even more easier, these includes summary, command, audio, embed, canvas, mark, nav, source, video, track, date, time, aside, and more.

Advantages

IT’S FREE

It’s pretty easy to get started with HTML5, you don’t need any sorts of special software, all you need is a notepad. Just save the document as HTML and view it from Google Chrome or any other browser of your choice. 

Moreover, you can opt for Notepad++, VSCode, Eclipse or any other free code editor instead of notepad, as these offers basic functions like color differentiation between tags and content, unlike notepad which doesn’t separate tags from content and can be more complicated to make corrections.

STRUCTURE

Through the incorporation of new tags such as: <header>, <article>, <section> or <nav>, and so on, the HTML document can be structured in different parts, providing not only an appearance but also semantic content to our entire website.

Developers conducting mistake-scanning will find the whole process much easier & less complicated now thanks to the enhanced semantics.

BROWSER-COMPATIBLE

HTML5 is supported by all the major modern browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. In other words, regardless of which browser you use, the content can be viewed correctly. Users using older versions of these browsers may face issues, as not all new HTML5 functions and tags are available in those browsers. 

ADAPTIVE DESIGN

Nearly fifty-three-percent of all global Internet traffic originates from mobile devices, thus making your mobile site more important than ever. Creating a website’s mobile version is not easy, even professional web developers finds it hard when doing so. HTML5 makes it much easier to cater to these small screen devices like smartphones and tablets.

This is probably the most useful feature of the HTML5 language, because it allows users to access any web page or application from a mobile device as easily as they would from their computer.

PERSONALIZED DATA ATTRIBUTES

Although, one could add custom attributes in HTML4, it wasn’t risk free. Sometimes the custom data attribute would completely prevent a page from rendering. More often they caused invalid and incorrect documents.

The “data-*” attribute eliminates these issues in HTML5. It has a number of different functions, but the main one is to store any extra information about the various elements. Now, you can include personalized data without needing Ajax calls or server-side lookups. 

Final thoughts…

The development of HTML5 has been both an ambitious and elaborate project that has led to great progress in the world of programming. The majority of the most important websites and web applications implement its features today. This makes HTML5 a valuable tool for any programmer to master.

That’s all folks!