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W3C publishes draft HTML 5

HTML is the base markup language for creating web pages. HTML 5 aims to enhance interoperability and reduce software costs by providing rules on the correct handling of HTML documents and error recovery.

With version 5, the W3C has two main objectives: to see the way in which HTML is currently being used compared to what is included in the specifications and the implementation of new features, as indicated by Dan Connolly (member of the W3C HTML Working Group). “We have been doing a lot of things [desde la última actualización], although basically the pace with which the web has evolved compared to the pace of our efforts have not coincided so far, “he said.

The new features mostly pertain to web applications and video integration as first-class support on the web, according to Connolly. In terms of proposed new features, W3C has studied what people are doing on the web and what leading web sites are developing. “Now is the time to standardize it” so that those capabilities can be seen in authoring tools, Connolly says.

By standardizing these skills, learning them is easier and it is easier to hire someone who can implement these tasks.

New capabilities

Other new features planned for HTML include the ability for users to edit documents and parts of documents interactively. Features are also provided that make it easier to render certain familiar elements on the page, such as section labels, footers, and navigation elements. Another remarkable aspect of version 5 is the persistent storage on the client side.

In the development of the new standard, the W3C has been attentive to the different advances, such as the increasing appearance of sites with rich content compared to static page collections, and innovations such as AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Recent innovations have driven demand for a standard for building applications that work between mobile platforms and desktop computers, the W3C notes.

W3C will need HTML 5 to be adopted by companies tasked with developing browsers, says Jeffrey Hammond, a senior analyst at Forrester. “I guess the most important thing is that the [HTML 5] it will be important as long as the browsers advance and adopt it, “he said.” Developers are interested in writing HTML that works on as many browsers and devices as possible. “

According to the company itself, Mozilla is already supporting HTML 5 in the Firefox browser: “Mozilla has been actively involved in the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) application specifications, which is the basis of HTML 5”.

“Firefox 3 supports many parts of the proposed standard, including DOM (Document Object Model) storage, offline applications, HTML Canvas, and other minor features. While we are supporting these areas, there are other similarities to the proposal. HTML 5 still under review. “

Capabilities offered

Other browser developers, such as Microsoft, Apple and Opera are active participants in the HTML Working Group, indicates the W3C.

The capabilities of HTML 5 are currently being offered through plug-in technologies such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

“The most interesting thing will be to see what will happen when these capabilities are available in native HTML and what impact it will have on the development market. [sitios web] Rich Internet “.

However the finalization of the specification will still take some time. The plan is to have a preliminary candidate recommendation available in mid-2009 and a final formal recommendation in September 2010, Connolly says. The process is slow because it takes time to bring the technology to the point where web authors can trust it, he says. “It will be up to each web author to decide when they want to implement the new features.”