About HTML5 – Learn About HTML5 – HTML5 features

About HTML5

About HTML5 – HTML5 is the next major revision of the HTML standard superseding HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and XHTML 1.1. HTML5 is a standard for structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web.

HTML5 is a cooperation between the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). The new standard incorporates features like video playback and drag-and-drop that have been previously dependent on third-party browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Google Gears.

Browser Support: The latest versions of Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera all support many HTML5 features and Internet Explorer 9.0 will also have support for some HTML5 functionality. The mobile web browsers that come pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones all have excellent support for HTML5.

New Features: HTML5 introduces a number of new elements and attributes that helps in building a modern website. Following are great features introduced in HTML5.

  • New Semantic Elements − These are like <header>, <footer>, and <section>.
  • Forms 2.0 − Improvements to HTML web forms where new attributes have been introduced for <input> tag.
  • Persistent Local Storage −To achieve without resorting to third-party plugins.
  • WebSocket −A a next-generation bidirectional communication technology for web applications.
  • Server-Sent Events- HTML5 introduces events which flow from web server to the web browsers and they are called Server-Sent Events (SSE).
  • Canvas – This supports a two-dimensional drawing surface that you can program with JavaScript.
  • Audio & Video – You can embed audio or video on your web pages without resorting to third-party plugins.
  • Geolocation – Now visitors can choose to share their physical location with your web application.
  • Microdata – This lets you create your own vocabularies beyond HTML5 and extend your web pages with custom semantics.
  • Drag and Drop – Drag and drop the items from one location to another location on a the same webpage.

Backward Compatibility: HTML5 is designed, as much as possible, to be backward compatible with existing web browsers. New features build on existing features and allow you to provide fallback content for older browsers.
It is suggested to detect support for individual HTML5 features using a few lines of JavaScript.

The HTML 5 language has a “custom” HTML syntax that is compatible with HTML 4 and XHTML1 documents published on the Web, but is not compatible with the more esoteric SGML features of HTML 4.
HTML 5 does not have the same syntax rules as XHTML where we needed lower case tag names, quoting our attributes,an attribute had to have a value and to close all empty elements.
But HTML5 is coming with lots of flexibility and would support the followings –

  • Uppercase tag names.
  • Quotes are optional for attributes.
  • Attribute values are optional.
  • Closing empty elements are optional.

The DOCTYPE: DOCTYPEs in older versions of HTML were longer because the HTML language was SGML based and therefore required a reference to a DTD. HTML5 authors would use simple syntax to specify DOCTYPE as <!DOCTYPE html>

Character Encoding: HTML5 authors can use simple syntax to specify Character Encoding as <meta charset="UTF-8">

The <script> tag: It’s common practice to add a type attribute with a value of “text/javascript” to script elements as follows –

<script type="text/javascript" src="scriptfile.js"></script>

HTML5 removes extra information required and you can use simply following syntax –

<script src="scriptfile.js"></script>

The <link> tag: So far you were writing <link> as follows –

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="stylefile.css">

HTML5 removes extra information required and you can use simply following syntax –

<link rel="stylesheet" href="stylefile.css">

HTML5 Elements: HTML5 elements are marked up using start tags and end tags. Tags are delimited using angle brackets with the tag name in between. The difference between start tags and end tags is that the latter includes a slash before the tag name. Following is the example of an HTML5 element-


HTML5 tag names are case insensitive and may be written in all uppercase or mixed case, although the most common convention is to stick with lower case. Most of the elements contain some content like <p>...</p> contains a paragraph. Some elements, however, are forbidden from containing any content at all and these are known as void elements. For example, br, hr, link and meta etc.

HTML5 Attributes: Elements may contain attributes that are used to set various properties of an element. Some attributes are defined globally and can be used on any element, while others are defined for specific elements only. All attributes have a name and a value and look like as shown below in the example. Following is the example of an HTML5 attributes which illustrates how to mark up a div element with an attribute named class using a value of “example” –

<div class="example">...</div>

Attributes may only be specified within start tags and must never be used in end tags. HTML5 attributes are case insensitive and may be written in all upper case or mixed case, although the most common convention is to stick with lower case.

HTML5 Document: The following tags have been introduced for better structure –

  • section – This tag represents a generic document or application section. It can be used together with h1-h6 to indicate the document structure.
  • article – This tag represents an independent piece of content of a document, such as a blog entry or newspaper article.
  • aside – This tag represents a piece of content that is only slightly related to the rest of the page.
  • header – This tag represents the header of a section.
  • footer – This tag represents a footer for a section and can contain information about the author, copyright information, etc.
  • nav – This tag represents a section of the document intended for navigation.
  • dialog – This tag can be used to mark up a conversation.
  • figure – This tag can be used to associate a caption together with some embedded content, such as a graphic or video.

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