HTML5 Completion Date Announced

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If you’ve been avoiding HTML5 because its specification is a draft document, you’ll be pleased to hear the W3C has announced a completion date. Mark July 2014 in your diary as the date HTML5 will finally become an official W3C Recommendation. (Note I’m referring to HTML5 as a real technology rather than the all-encompassing “HTML5 is CSS3 is JavaScript is a Flash killer” marketing nonsense!) However, there’s a date approaching which is more important. May 22, 2011 has been confirmed as the “Last Call” — after that time, no new features will be added to the HTML5 specification. During the next three years, the W3C will:

  1. Review all comments. The consortium is expecting considerable feedback from the Last Call and it’s likely to result in further revisions to the HTML5 specification.
  2. Create an HTML5 test suite to help vendors fulfill the W3C’s criteria. An official suite will also help developers build HTML5 content and applications. We will be able to rely on independent implementation results rather than exaggerated feature spin emanating from vendor marketing departments. An early version of the test suite is available now, but it’s a work in progress and you should not rely on the results.

Does the Completion Date Matter?

From a pure development perspective, the completion date makes no difference whatsoever. Most browsers already support some HTML5 features. There’s also no guarantee the feature you want will be fully implemented after July 2014. Developers have always picked technologies with care and, when necessary, used shims, alternative content or graceful degradation for browsers which do not support it. That situation won’t change no matter what label is slapped on the spec: you can use HTML5 today. That said, the completion date may reassure those who consider HTML5 to be vaporware. In software engineering terms, “draft specification” equates to “not ready for production.” However, when referring to a W3C document, the “draft” label means the specification isn’t necessarily complete, but each feature has been implemented in at least two browsers and may already be viable. The confusion permeates through the industry and is one of the reasons WHATWG dropped the HTML version number

The Future of HTML

HTML5 logoHTML is an evolving standard. W3C members are already considering improvements for future versions under the working title “” So don’t ignore HTML5 for the next three years — the industry will have moved to the next iteration by 2014! For more information, refer to:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HTML5

What is the significance of HTML5 in web development?

HTML5 is a significant upgrade to the HTML language, which is the backbone of almost all websites on the internet. It introduces new elements and attributes that reflect the typical usage of modern websites. It offers enhanced functionality, accessibility, and flexibility, making it easier for developers to create interactive, media-rich websites. HTML5 also supports mobile web development, making it possible to create responsive designs that work well on a variety of devices.

How does HTML5 differ from its predecessors?

HTML5 introduces several new elements and attributes that reflect the typical usage of modern websites. For instance, it includes new semantic elements like

, and
that allow for more precise page structuring. It also introduces new form controls, such as calendar, date, time, email, URL, and search. Additionally, HTML5 provides native support for audio and video embedding without the need for third-party plugins.

What is the role of W3C in the development of HTML5?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. They played a crucial role in the development and finalization of the HTML5 specification. W3C’s mission is to lead the Web to its full potential, which includes developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the Web’s long-term viability.

When was HTML5 officially completed?

HTML5 was officially completed and published by the W3C in October 2014. This marked the end of a process that began in 2007, when the W3C and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) started working on the specification.

What are some of the benefits of using HTML5?

HTML5 offers several benefits over its predecessors. It provides better support for modern web applications, with features like local storage and offline application caching. It also offers improved semantics, accessibility, and mobile support. Additionally, HTML5 includes native support for multimedia elements, reducing the need for third-party plugins.

What is the future of HTML5?

The future of HTML5 looks promising. It is widely supported by all modern browsers and is the standard markup language for web development. The W3C continues to work on HTML5.1, which will introduce even more features and improvements.

How does HTML5 support multimedia?

HTML5 introduces native support for multimedia elements through the

How does HTML5 improve web accessibility?

HTML5 introduces several features that improve web accessibility. For instance, it includes new semantic elements that provide better context for screen readers. It also includes ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles that help improve the accessibility of dynamic content and advanced user interface controls.

How does HTML5 support mobile web development?

HTML5 includes several features that support mobile web development. For instance, it includes viewport meta tags that allow developers to control the layout on mobile browsers. It also supports touch events, which are crucial for mobile interfaces. Additionally, HTML5’s audio and video support is particularly beneficial for mobile devices, which often lack plugin support.

What are some resources for learning HTML5?

There are many resources available for learning HTML5. The W3C’s HTML5 specification is a comprehensive resource, although it can be quite technical. Other resources include online tutorials, books, and courses. Some popular online platforms for learning HTML5 include Codecademy, Udemy, and Khan Academy.

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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