You’ve probably seen many references to HTML5, along with mentions of certain features being “Deprecated” or “New” in HTML5. This can sometimes be confusing, as you find out that the way you thought you were “supposed” to do something is now not the right way at all.
It can also be annoying — especially since most of these “deprecated features” still work on most browsers. Why bother learning a new way of doing something if the old way works just fine?
And, of course, it can be difficult to find the right information sometimes. Content on the internet doesn’t live forever… but almost. And the older content is, the more likely it is that you’ll find it on a search engine. (All things being equal, Google and the others prefer older content. Also, older content has had more time to acquire backlinks.) This means that you will often find out-of-date tutorials when you are looking for information about HTML.
This article should clear up some of that confusion and get you on the right track with modern web development.
History of HTML
The history of the hypertext markup language is a strange and interesting tale. The man behind HTML, Tim Berners-Lee was putting together his first elementary browsing and authoring system for the Web and created a quick little hypertext language that would serve his purposes.
But the problem lied in the simplicity of the language. HTML was text-based and anyone could use any editor or word processor to create or convert documents for the Web. The developers started implementing new features in their browsers and started releasing advanced versions of HTML.
What is HTML?
You probably already know that HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the language used for web documents. It is not a programming language, but rather a language that identifies the meaning, purpose, and structure of text within a document.
Since then, the language has been in constant development. The specification is managed by the World Wide Web Consortium (Berners-Lee is still the director, as of 2018), and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group. (So, if you don’t like HTML5, these are the people to blame.)
The language has evolved over all this time because web development has changed. We do things with web pages and HTML today that were never dreamt of by the early developers and implementers of the language. A web page is no longer just a document; it is likely to be a full-scale web application. And even when it is “just a document,” we want search engines and other tools to understand the content of the website. We aren’t just creating pages for human readers anymore, but for artificially-intelligent systems that collect and manipulate information.
Why did HTML have to change? Because the web has changed.
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is the latest specification of the HTML language, and represented a major break with previous markup practices. The purpose of the profound changes to the language was to standardize the many new ways in which developers were using it, as well as to encourage a single set of best practices with regards to web development.
Most of the individual changes are a result of larger objectives in the design of the language. These objectives primarily include:
- Encouraging semantic (meaningful) markup
- Separating design from content
- Promoting accessibility and design responsiveness
- Supporting rich media experiences while eliminating the need for plugins such as Flash or Java
Comparison between the Two
Video & Audio
The first factor in HTML vs HTML5 is the introduction of audio and video in HTML5. There was no such concept of media in case of HTML. But it is one of the integral part of the 5th Version.
Vector graphics was used in HTML with the help of various technologies such as VML, Flash, Silverlight etc. But it is an integral part of HTML 5 such as canvas and svg. This was a new addition to the revised version.
The third factor of comparison is storage. In case of HTML, we can use the browser cache as the temporary storage whereas in case of HTML5, application cache, web SQL database and web storage is used.
Web Browser Support
Now for the first version of HTML, all the old web browsers run smoothly for creating web pages. For HTML5, the new browsers have started supporting its specifications. Some of the browsers include mozilla firefox, chrome, opera etc.
Ease of Use
While HTML5 does have risks like constant updates, it is generally easy to keep up with the changes and updates because of the simpler syntax as compared to other versions of HTML. For instance, you have a very simple declaration at the start of the page to set it as an HTML5 page, ie, the doctype declaration.
New Elements in HTML5
The comparison on HTML vs HTML5 also includes new elements and tags that have been added to the latest version. HTML5 comes with a number of new elements and eliminates several others. Some of the tags were discarded in the new HTML version and the usage of tags were changed accordingly.
Let’s have a look at some of the important tags that were added in HTML5:
Audio & Video
The audio tag and the video tag are the two major additions to the HTML5. The audio tag and the video tag enables developers to embed music and audio on their website.The audio & video tags also have a number of attributes for additional controls.
<source src=”music.ogg” />
<source src=”music.mp3″ />
There are a few other multimedia attributes and elements that come with HTML5, like the track element that provides text tracks for the video element.
Header & Footer
Another big addition that HTML5 comes with are the new header and footer elements, indicating a new web anatomy. With these new tags, there is no longer a need to identify the two elements with a
<p>By Id</a> <span class=”category”>1010</span></p>
<p>Body of text</p>
The footer is placed at the bottom of the web page but it can also be placed at the end of a page section.
<p>By ID</a> <span class=”category”>1010</span></p>
<p>Body of text</p>
Given the fact that the web has changed into more just linked paged and documents, the menu tag is a welcome addition for greater web interactivity. It represents menu commands for simplicity in desktop and mobile applications.
<menu id=”new-context-menu” type=”context”>
Now with this, we come to an end of this comparison on HTML vs HTML5. I Hope you guys enjoyed this article and understood the difference between the two versions and how HTML5 is better and simpler in use. So, if you have read this, you might have a clear idea about which version of HTML you should opt for, while building your own web page.
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