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HTML5 becomes official standard for the Web

  • Published on October 29, 2014
HTML5 becomes official standard for the Web

This week the World Wide Web Consortium, often referred to as the W3C, elevated HTML5 to an official status of Recommendation. This is the groups’ indication that the HTML5 specification is complete and official. The W3C is the official group that oversees the development of specifications used on the Web, such as hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS). The W3C is comprised of a cross sector of academics, government agencies, and private sector professionals representing all major browser companies as well as those who are affected by technology used on the Web.

The HTML5 name comes from it being the fifth major revision of specifications in the HTML language. The previous version of HTML was last approved in December of 1999 and was version 4.01. It has taken the group 15 years between major specification updates. Although HTML5 has not been officially recommended until this week, many of the capabilities have been built into modern web browsers. If you’ve used a website that changes design when you resize the browser widow or view it on a mobile device, or complete a form field that can be resized, you’ve already seen HTML5 in action.

Another area of HTML5 has been the move towards creating web pages that can act more like applications, and work well on mobile smartphones. In order to keep web standards moving forward during the 15 year gap between major updates, many Web industry companies banded together as part of the Web Hypertext Working Group (WHATWG), which provided some of the foundational work that later became the HTML5 specification.

One reason for the slow speed of the W3C is that it builds consensus among participants, drafting, revising, and then finalizing specifications that are officially recommended. The W3C also insists that companies providing technology that is part of a specification make it available without royalties or risk of patent claims being brought against the users. To have a technology made part of the official HTML standard endorsed by the W3C, the inventor or patent holder must give up rights to the technology so it can be used freely across the globe. The HTML5 specifications for sharing audio, video, and animation provide options that is likely to eventually make the Adobe Flash browser plug-in unnecessary for most interactive content.

You can learn how to create modern websites in the HTML5 classes offered at American Graphics Institute. These provide a foundation for learning the new specifications and capabilities of HTML. If you are just starting with web development, you should start with the HTML training classes that provide a starting point for learning web development and web design skills.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.