16 Apr 2018

HTML has been the standard coding language for web pages for decades now. As the internet evolved, HTML has changed, too. Today, the coding language is now on its fifth version. HTML5 may have some things in common with the initial version of HTML, but it’s also very different in a number of ways.

What Is HTML?

HTML, which is short for Hyper Text Markup Language, isn’t actually a programming language like C# or Java. Instead, it’s a markup language. It organizes and defines the information on a webpage in a way that web browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox can understand and display. In the beginning, web designers had to learn all of the various HTML tags, but today, web design programs do all of the coding behind the scenes.

Over the years, each new version of HTML has added more capabilities and options for designers. HTML4.01, the last big update for the language prior to HTML5, occurred in 1999. With all of the changes in technology since then, HTML 5 brings a number of new tools to the table.

What’s New in HTML5?

The average person using the internet likely won’t see anything new or different from a page written in HTML5 compared to one written in HTML. That’s because almost everything is a behind-the-scenes upgrade. But just because the user doesn’t see anything different doesn’t mean that their internet browsing experience hasn’t radically improved.

First of all, HTML5 now makes use of SQL databases and the application cache to temporarily store any data it downloads from the internet. HTML only used browser cache memory. This speeds up the time it takes for pages to load.

HTML5 also allows designers to use canvas, SVG, and other types of virtual vector graphics. HTML only allowed standard vector graphics, and even then, they could only be used through another type of technology such as Silver-light or Flash.

Another change is that HTML5 has brought in a number of new elements. These elements are how designers (or programs the designers use) define items on a webpage. These new elements let designers define more sections of a page and make it easier to code other sections by making the element name more natural. For example, in HTML4, a page header was defined by the element div id = “header”. In HTML5, the element has been simplified to header.

The Advantages of HTML5

There are many more changes in HTML5 than the few listed above. What’s really important, though, is how these changes affect web designers and users. Here are some of the advantages to HTML5:

  • HTML5 stores some data from websites on the user’s computer, phone, or other device. This means they can still access that information even when they don’t have access to the internet.
  • Web designers can use more fonts, colors, and other formatting effects.
  • Web browsers no longer need plugins or other software to run interactive media, videos, or audio.
  • Browsers now use the device’s graphics processor to display 3D graphics.

Again, these are just a few of the advantages the changes of HTML5 have brought to the internet browsing experience.

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