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An Overview of HTML 5

Updated on March 12, 2012
HTML 5 Logo
HTML 5 Logo


HTML5 is the latest version of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the code behind a web page. It also uses markup tags to describe webpage. The concept of HTML5 was started in 2003 and still is in a draft state. The present standard has bugs and it is estimated that the standard will be up by 2022.

The goal of HTML 5 is to get rid of additional plugins that we use to load a webpage. Lots of animated websites provides plugin to support their video player. HTML 5 is working on to provide high quality video player, animated players, and music players and also it can be used to build high end web applications.

HTML 5 is an open source and there is no need to buy it. It is also a cross platform where when you build a website using it, can be used in any machine like computer, tablet PC, IPAD, IPhone etc.

Versions of HTML and use of HTML5 in real world:

Previously when HTML was started it was used for layout for simple webpage.

  • The first version was HTML 2.0, it had all the elements that support a webpage but was missing some extensions and did not support tables and some other attributes.
  • The second version was HTML 3.0, this was never implemented, and this version effort was to upgrade the features and utility of HTML.
  • The third version was HTML 3.2, this was the official second release of HTML. This version had lots of changes, it supported tables and other attributes missing in HTML 2.0 this version is supported by all the browsers. This version was missing some extensions like frames.
  • The fourth version was HTML 4.0, this version supported the missing features in HTML 3.2.
  • The Fifth version and the current official version is HTML 4.01. It supports mostly all the extensions and also new features like support for CSS, FORM and JavaScript Enhancement.
  • The about to release version is HTML5,this would be a huge shift where HTML 5 can also be used for writing web applications that can handle High Definition video which has extraordinary graphics. All the browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc. support HTML5.

HTML5 vs Flash:

Flash a plug-in was used for animation and small scale web stuff in the websites. We use to install flash plugin and then got to see the animation. This was good for small web-based applications but when it came to enterprise level, it couldn't handle. So flex was introduced

First thing about HTML5 for developers is that they write lesser code. There are no of new attributes added. Also, many new validations have been added. HTML5 gives accessibility, i.e. you can deploy your code for your application on any machine. Mainly it supports audio and video formats which might overcome the Flash world. Yes, indeed FLASH is the best browser till date. It also provides better connectivity between server and browser. It supports rich graphics and 3D animations.

Is HTML5 specification fully developed for mobile applications?

No, no mobile browser is supports full HTML5 specification. It could be “Yes” only when an application that runs on web also runs on mobile. Large corporates looking to support their online business application even through mobile and I guess they are working on it. The areas of HTML5 that are being supported by mobile browsers are offline storage, multimedia and graphics.

New functionalities offered by HTML5:

  • The main functionality offered in HTML5 is the ability to run the web applications offline without internet connection.
  • It also offers application caching and Indexed DB API.
  • HTML 5 offers audio and video compatibility to the websites that we are developing. All kinds of audio /video API’s are compatible with HTML5.
  • There has been huge shift in the area of graphics, we can draw 2/3D rich graphics, Canvas, CSS 3D.
  • Communication between the browser and the servers has been improved a lot. It also uses Server pushed messages for the communication.
  • Improved styles, transform and effects. HTML5 is now a combination of HTML and CSS.


There has been lot of excellent work going on to develop, improve HTML5 specification, also in the field of mobile development. There is also lot's of criticism going on with the new specification and its release.

It’s likely that HTML5 specification will be finalized sometime in 2012 according to specification main editor, Google’s Ian Hickson. But to reach the W3C standards and to get a Recommendation Status it should fully done. And this might take much time probably around 2022 (Hickinson’s belief). But if you think it will never happen then you are going to miss out a lot on this. It’s still an upcoming and evolving standard.


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