The first working draft of HTML 5 is here!
- 26th April 2010, minor update
On January 22nd 2008 the W3C published the First Public Working Draft of HTML 5 - this is a great step forward, as this draft has been in the works for several years. It was initially just being developed the WHATWG, with the W3C HTML Working Group coming on board to help out with it in March 2007. Alongside the HTML 5 draft a HTML 5 differences from HTML 4 document has been published, which gives a high-level overview of what new functionality HTML 5 brings.
Why is HTML 5 important?
There are several reasons why lots of people are devoting a hefty chunk of their time to HTML 5; the following are the main ones to consider:
- HTML is the world's foremost markup language, and is basically "the language of the Web", but it has been practically unmaintained since HTML 4 was released in 1997. Consequently, a lot of content published on the Web today can't be rendered across browsers if they implement the HTML 4 specification strictly, and HTML 4 also has a lot of ambiguities. HTML 5 is solving these problems.
- HTML is under threat of being usurped from its position as "language of the Web" by proprietary technologies. In order for HTML to stay competitive with proprietary technologies and to keep the Web open it needs new functionality and even better interoperability between the various browser vendors. HTML 5 adds new functionality and provides browser vendors with watertight definitions to follow.
Does HTML 5 have any cool stuff?
A lot of the new functionality of HTML 5 is described in the aforementioned differences document, so I won't go into it in great detail here. HTML 5 will have new elements for defining more logical and semantically superior structure, such as
footer. It will also have new native controls, such as
datagrid and various new values for the
type attribute of the
input element. And it features a
What about Opera and HTML 5?
Opera already supports several features that are part of HTML 5:
- Cross-document messaging
- Server-sent events
- Web Forms 2.0
There are various articles covering some of these subjects here on dev.opera.com:
- Blob Sallad -
- Improve your forms using HTML5!
- Web Technologies for Opera web Applications
Opera has previously released builds with support for the
video element, the 3D
canvas, and SVG video: A call for video on the web - Opera
<video> release on Labs (old reference). As of Opera 10.50, the video element is now officially supported on Opera.
Where can I find even more information?
There are more HTML 5 resources outside dev.opera.com worth checking out:
- HTML 5 FAQ (on the WHATWG wiki)
- W3C HTML WG
- Planet HTML5
- Information about the 3D canvas, from it's creator, Opera software developer Tim Johansson
- Preview of HTML 5 on A List Apart, written by Opera's Lachlan Hunt
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