What is HTML5?

HTML5 is just an update to the HTML language. Think of it as an update to any software program that is on your computer…

Me: “What’s the real difference between Microsoft Word ’95 vs. 2010?”

And then you’re all like: “Uh, not much. They pretty much do the same thing. But the newer version of Word has some new features, and they took away some of the features that I never used… like Clippy the talking paperclip.”

Me: “Exactly. HTML5 is just the same”.

So here’s what I’m saying… back in 1991 (when HTML was invented by Tim Berners-Lee) we had only a handful of HTML tags available. Such as:
<head> <title> <a> <p> <ul> <li> <strong>

As the Web evolved some elements were added to the language:

  • <video>
  • <audio>
  • <article>

while others were removed because they were unnecessary (or because there became better ways to do the same with CSS):

  • <font> (deprecated for CSS)
  • <center> (deprecated for CSS)
  • <blink> (deprecated for our sanity)

So when can I start using these tags? Now! Start using them now! HTML5 is “backwards compatible”: meaning that you can use the new tags (and doctype) immediately without worrying about breaking your older sites. And you don’t have to learn a completely new language to write HTML5.

So to summarize, all the stuff in HTML 4 that we love… also works in HTML5.

Check out some of the new tags added to the HTML5 language by looking over this nifty info graphic: HTML5 Readiness

And here’s a great video that sums it all up:

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