Over the last years we have been witness to the rise of HTML5. But, ¿what is HTML5? ¿What are the differences with the previous versions? Read on dear reader, and thou shalt be illuminated 😉
HTML5 is a Markup language (in fact, HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language) which is used to structure and present web content. HTML5 is the fifth iteration of the standard that was created in 1990. In other words, the rise of HTML5 is related to the disappearance of HTML4, its predecessor, which used a mixture of languages to produce the webpages we surf today. The idea behind HTML5 is to offer more functions integrated in the language, in a much more efficient way.
HTML4 was “declared” the official language of the web in the year 2000, and it has taken 10 years before even starting to consider a successor. This new generation of HTML will soon impose itself and web developers are working around the clock to migrate their code to HTML5 to ensure compatibility and make use of the great new features.
In the last years we have seen how our browsers have been progressively updating to support HTML5, not only Google with Chrome (the HTML5 pioneer) but even Adobe has discontinued Flash support in Android to fully welcome HTML5.
Just as before, HTML5 is a system that formats the layout of our webpages. With HTML5 the browsers like Chrome, Explorer, Firefox and Safari can know exactly how to display a webpage, allowing for much more elaborate designs and interactive pages. Although in reality, the great difference is in the level of code sophistication implemented in HTML5.
One of the most important and sounded features is the inclusion of multimedia directly on any page. This will be done by supporting specific HTML tags for different elements. Features like navigation and special design for multimedia come out of the box.
HTML5 reduces the need and dependence of plugins which we need to install to view a webpage. For instance, it is not necessary any more to count with the Flash plugin (the one most affected by HTML5) to view an online video.
HTML5 also allows users to access webpages offline. This is implemented by using “Local Storage” in the browser by those pages that support it.
In addition you get native support for “drag and drop” functionality and online document editing (something we have become accustomed to thanks to Google Docs).
Finally, Geolocation is one of its strongest suits, as it features better map rendering and geopositioning systems.
In the next post we’ll talk about the advantages of HTML5 in App development.
See you then!