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HTML 5 – A Glimpse Into the Future

December 5, 2007 3 comments

On A List Apart, there’s a great write up of HTML 5, a new standard for the programming language that makes up the framework of each and every website out there.

For many of us working with websites, HTML 4 is essentially all we’ve ever known. It’s been around for 10 years, and is basically second nature to programmers, web designers, and front end developers everywhere. Nobody likes learning new versions, but HTML 5 offers a lot of exciting new elements and properties.

Among the new elements are things like <header>,<nav>,<article>, <section>, <aside>, and <footer>.

Anybody coding HTML/XHTML pages today will look at these and smile; the amount of time spent on every page setting up divs for these elements, which are found in almost every web page. In a semantic sense, being able to specify an area as a header, or a menu will help further identify content from extraneous, but still necessary page content.

There are smaller changes as well, such as the <b> tag coming back into favor, not to bold text visually, but to serve complementary to <strong>. The new <b> can be used to identify text that is called out visually, but deserves no true semantic differentiation, a la <strong>.

A more expanded list of additions and changes is located at the W3C site. The specifications are not final yet, but it’s fun to look at what’s planned.

It’s an exciting time to be in web development, and we’re glad to be along for the ride.

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