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As we get to know what is new in HTML5, I would like to give a brief overview of what it is. HTML5 is the new standard or the latest major version of the HTML markup language. HTML5 is still under development. It currently picks off from where HTML 4.01 left off.
Another way to put it, HTML5 is HTML 4.01 with quite a number of new elements introduced while the depreciated elements from HTML 4.01 have been dropped altogether. The new elements in HTML5 mentioned here are compatible with the following browser versions or newer.
Internet Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 3.0+ Chrome 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 10.0+ iPhone 1.0+ and Android 1.0+.
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HTML5 introduces some new elements. Of these elements there are container elements similar to div and span. The most notable elements include article, aside, datalist, details,footer and header. Media oriented tags such as the ones which substitute the object element are audio and video. One of the most anticipated HTML5 elements is the canvas element. This can be used to do 2D graphics, gaming and interactive graphics. The remaining new elements are command, embed, figcaption, figure, hgroup, keygen, mark, meter, nav, output, progress, rp, rt, ruby, section, source, summary, time and wbr. There are also new attributes to some of the elements such as on the meta element there is charset and on script there is async.
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The elements which were deprecated in HTML 4.01 and have now been dropped in HTML5 are acronym — this was replaced by title; applet — almost never used and therefore has been dropped; basefont —has no real function; and the same goes for big. The element center is now better handled using CSS, as is font. The elements dir, frame, frameset, isindex, noframes, strike, tt and u are the remaining elements that have been dropped in HTML5 as there is little or no practical use for them.
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There are new parsing rules that change the behavior of HTML5 over HTML 4.01. For starters HTML5 no longer parses its web page content based on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). HTML5 no longer needs a DOCTYPE declaration although one is provided for backward compatibility of older browsers. This DOCTYPE is in the form of
Error handling has been standardized. This means that all browsers will now have a uniform way of handling errors unlike before. SVG (Vector Graphic files) and MathML a maths modeling language can now be embedded inline into the HTML5 code. There is support for Web 2.0 forms which now introduces new controls such as dates and times, email, color, search and url. The The XHTML equivalent of HTML5 is XHTML5.
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There are new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that bring new functionality to the web browser with HTML5 for features such as 2D realtime drawing, Drag-and-Drop, Document Creating and Editing, Geolocation, Messageing across documents, Management of Browser History, Offline web applications and database storage as well as local SQL database and Timed Media playback.
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HTML5 is still under review with features such as 3D drawing APIs being included with the canvas element although some browser vendors have already experimented with it. A standard for video is yet to be agreed upon by the parties involved. This is all that in new in HTML5.