HTML is everchanging. The next version of HTML is HTML 5.
This tutorial focuses on:
- XHTML? HTML? Make up your mind!
- Differences between HTML 4 & HTML 5
- New tags in HTML 5
- Browser support
XHTML? HTML? Make up your mind!
At this point you might be confused. Throughout this section we are talking about XHTML, and now why are we bringing up HTML? As stated before, XHTML is NOT a separate language from HTML. XHTML is the next phase in the evolution of HTML.
The fundamental language used to create webpages is still HTML but now there are stricter rules to it to make it more efficient. HTML has become eXtensible, it is now an eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language, therefore it is XHTML.
Differences between HTML 4 & HTML 5
Deprecated tags no longer supported
You can still use deprecated tags now, as the popular choice is HTML 4 (which allows deprecated tags). Once HTML 5 becomes the norm, using deprecated tags will be a thing of the past.
HTML 5 will NOT support any of the deprecated tags still supported by HTML 4. This includes (but is not limited to) <center>, <font>, <big>, <small>, and <u>.
NOTE: There is also one HTML standard attribute supported in HTML 4 that will not be supported in HTML 5 - the accesskey attribute which is used to set a keyboard shortcut to access an element.
New tags in HTML 5
There are several new tags in HTML 5.
The <mark> tag is used to highlight parts of text to stand out from the rest of the text.
The <audio> tag is used to include audio on a webpage. Audio can range from a simple five second sound to a long and complex song.
The <video> tag is used to include video on a webpage. Video includes everything ranging from a short five second video to a long movie going for several hours.
NOTE: With HTML 4, you can use either the <embed> tag or the <object> tag for both audio and video.
The <details> tag is used to describe details about elements on a webpage. The user can click to see these details and hide them if necessary.
The <header> tag is used to set a header for a section of a webpage.
Not just tags, there are new attributes as well in HTML 5.
disabled attribute for the <fieldset> tag
The <fieldset> tag will contain an attribute called disabled that can be used to disable the entire fieldset.
Learn more about the <fieldset> tag at our HTML fieldset tag page.
required attribute for <input> and <textarea> tags
The <input> and <textarea> tags will contain an attribute called required that indicates to the user that they must enter a value to submit a form.
reversed attribute for the <ol> tag
The <ol> tag will contain an attribute called reversed to indicate that a lists order should be in reverse.
It will be a long time before browsers fully support HTML 5 and it is the norm. This new version of HTML contains many new tags and it is still a working draft. Meanwhile, web developers will continue to use HTML 4 (XHTML) awaiting the glorious day when the new version of the markup language with separate tags for audio, video, page headers, element description, and much more becomes the one that is the norm!
Read the latest working draft for HTML 5 published on August 25th, 2009 at http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/.