New Features and Elements
HTML5 provides more structure, with tags to define the different sections of a web page. There are tags to mark main content, headers, footers, commentary and navigation sections. Metadata can also be attached to each section, making it work even better with semantic web technologies.
Although no plugins are required to make use of the interactive functions, these are still dependent on browser support. As mentioned, each browser currently uses different codecs, but alternative codecs and formats can be specified within the media tags in case the intended one isn’t supported.
Applications can be coded and embedded more easily, and can be made to function seamlessly with offline programs on the local system.
Another new addition is the canvas tag, which provides a 2D dynamic space to render graphics, and this could be used for static graphics, animation or small applications.
It turns out that XHTML2 has been dropped, and the effort’s going into developing the XHTML5 standard which incorporates HTML5 and XML.
At the time of posting, the major browsers, apart from Internet Explorer, are already including HTML5 support, although each one is using a different codec for media. There are already working online demonstrations available at http://html5demos.com
HTML5 is ready to use and existing scripts, with the exception of the invalid tags from the current version, can be validated simply by changing the DOCTYPE of a page.
Adobe, YouTube and the media firms are refusing to support the new standard as it doesn’t provide the same content protection as Flash. Other than that, the only other advantage Flash has over HTML5 is efficiency. Developers will be using HTML5 anyway, so perhaps Flash will become obsolete.
Apple, Google and Opera are fully supporting the new standard and are working on makng full use of its features. Google’s even dropping Gears in favour of HTML5 as soon as it’s proven to be capable of fully replacing it