HTML 5 - you've heard of it, but what is it and when can we expect to see it in use?
The future of HTML
As the web moves into its fifth generation of HTML, it's important to note some significant improvements. The development team includes representatives from all four major browsers, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera, which should provide true cross-browser HTML standards for the first time, insuring that clients see web pages as they were designed to be seen, and not the all-too-frequent jumble that results from browser attempts to interpret incompatible code.
What is HTML 5?
HTML 5 is the newest web standard markup language being designed to better accommodate the active scripting and rich content available on the web today. Ajax and other active technologies will have better integration, and elements that are no longer useful will be discarded. Old-school frames will be out and CSS-style tags will be in, offering greater flexibility of design without the clunky table structure. Iframes will still be used to grab content from other sites, however. Web sites that depend on frames needn't worry, though, browsers will still display them in the same way they always have. They just won't be written into HTML 5 documents. The proposed end result of HTML 5 is to allow more flexibility and interactivity, enable more exciting web applications and deliverables, and enhance features such as form controls, APIs, RSS feed, and multimedia.
When can we expect HTML 5?
Development of HTML 5 began in 2004, but the projected release schedule is still years away, 2022 to be exact. But that doesn't mean that elements of HTML 5 won't be creeping into web design much earlier, and in fact already have. Some browsers are already adapting to conform to the new language and protocols. Firefox, Safari and Opera are already offering support for early HTML 5 elements and will continue to develop compatible browser features even as the language itself develops. Some new features will be utilized by savvy web developers as soon as they are implemented, and the first working draft should hit the web in 2012. These things take time…restructuring the entire web is a pretty big job.