A Look at the First HTML 5 Working Draft
- A 2D drawing API which can be used with a new canvas element for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly.
- An API that allows a web application to register itself for certain protocols or MIME types.
- An API that introduces a new caching mechanism to support off-line web applications.
- An API for playing video and audio which can be used with the new video and audio elements.
- A history API that exposes the browsing history and allows pages to add to it to facilitate better back-button support in AJAX applications.
- Cross-document messaging which provides a means by which documents can communicate with each other regardless of their source domain, in a way designed to prevent cross-site scripting attacks.
- A drag & drop API to use in combination with a draggable attribute.
- An editing API to use in conjunction with a new global contenteditable attribute.
- A new network API to enable web applications to communicate with each other on local area networks, and to maintain bidirectional communications with their originating server.
- Server-sent events in combination with the new event-source element which will facilitate persistent connections to remote data sources and largely eliminate the need for polling in web applications.
A number of new presentation elements have also been introduced with support for familiar page components such as headers, footers, figures, dialog (used to mark-up a conversation), and navigation. There is a new datagrid element which will support interactive tables and trees, a datalist element for combo boxes, and a progress attribute which represents the completion of a long running task. Support for RSS feeds within the page markup has also been added.
For forms the input element's type attribute has new support for dates, times, emails and URLs, so that the browser can provide the user interface elements, for example a calendar date picker or integration with the user's address book, and submit the data in a defined format to the server.
HTML 5 also drops support for some well-know features. The most notable is support for frames, which have long been considered detrimental to accessibility and usability. It should be noted that dropped features will continue to be supported by browsers that also fully support the HTML 5 standard, since support for legacy versions of HTML will remain for many years.
The development of HTML 5 is being stewarded by the W3C's HTML Working Group, founded in March 2007. The group operates entirely in public with nearly 500 participants including members from Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla Foundation, Nokia and Opera.
"HTML is of course a very important standard," said Tim Berners-Lee, author of the first version of HTML and W3C Director. "I am glad to see that the community of developers, including browser vendors, is working together to create the best possible path for the Web. To integrate the input of so many people is hard work, as is the challenge of balancing stability with innovation, pragmatism with idealism."
HTML 5 will eventually supersede HTML 4 but the finalisation of the specification is still quite some way off. The current plan is to have it available in a preliminary candidate recommendation form in the middle of 2009 and as a formal, final recommendation by September 2010.
In other words, the world should not end with a "non-well-formed XML" screen of death if Joe HTML writer forgets to close a tag or escape an ampersand in an anchor href.
Hope that makes sense.
HTML5 and Flex, Silverlight, etc.
I'm personally looking forward to the rich features and potential aesthetics that Flex or Silverlight will [should!] provide. I know the adoption is not a guarantee—-anyone remember Java applets?—-but I kind of hope it is. If so, these products will have a head start of several years, and HTML 5 may be too inferior by the time it's ready.
I know, I know. Flex/Silverlight probably won't ever be suitable for the average Joe who wants to list his hobbies or recipes on his own web page, but does Joe need these proposed new features? Is HTML 4 enough?
LOL! Or maybe I'm just biased because I want something new to play with. HTML 5 just doesn't get my blood pumping! :o)
HTML 5.0 is a "panic mode" draft.
They should just admit defeat and realise that they'll never get tools to handle 100% of the scenarios (which is what the W3C and its derivatives keep trying to do...instead of having tools that let you handle MOST scenarios, and a way to make up the bits that aren't there), and let third parties do it.
I think the trend shows how it is going to be successful: libs like ExtJS, GWT, ASP.NET controls, everything use the existing "inadequate" stuff and builds on top of it... So make a clean, simple, low level draft that lets you build on top of it. Leave the implementations to the rest. That is the only thing that has worked so far...throwing another draft that tries to solve all problems will not work...they've tried enough times already.
HTML 5.0 is too plump. Even the open source browsers will take forever to implement that. Its just more tags that will have bugs in em and that we'll have to deal with for backward compatibility for the next decade.
Take a look at www.w3.org/TR/html5/#html-0.
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