HTML5 finalized, finally

HTML5 was designed to move the Web from serving static documents to becoming a full-fledged platform for building applications

After nearly eight years of work, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has finalized the HTML5 standard, bringing the basic Web technology firmly into the era of mobile devices and cloud-driven rich Internet applications.

"HTML5 brings the next generation of the Web," said W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe. "It wasn't so long ago that the Web was about browsing static documents. Today's Web is a much richer platform."

Although Web and mobile developers have been using parts of the HTML5 specification for several years, the finished specification -- which the W3C calls a recommendation -- ensures developers that the code they develop for the Web will work going forward.

"We're now at a stable state that everyone can build to the standard and be certain that it will be implemented in all browsers," Jaffe said. "If we didn't have complete interoperability, we wouldn't have one Web."

In 1989, physicist Tim Berners-Lee created the first version of the HTML as a way to format and link together written materials so they could be accessed over the Internet. In the years since, the resulting World Wide Web has come to serve billions of users all manner of content, from movies and music to full-fledged applications.

The HTML5 final recommendation, over 1,370 pages in length, addresses this complex environment.

HTML5 provides a way to serve multimedia content and application functionality without relying on proprietary plug-ins to the browser. It also addresses a wide range of other uses for the Web, such as delivering scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math annotations (MathML).

Today, HTML5 provides a "write-once, run-anywhere" cross-platform alternative to writing applications for multiple mobile platforms, such as Android and Apple iOS devices, Jaffe said. About 42 percent of mobile application developers are using HTML, along with JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to build their apps, according to a 2014 survey from mobile analysis firm Vision Mobile.

The W3C hopes the specification will be a cornerstone for future work in what it calls the Open Web Platform, an even richer set of standards for building cross-platform vendor neutral online applications.

Moving froward, the W3C is developing specifications for real-time communications, electronic payments and application development. It is also creating a set of safeguards for privacy and security.

Ian Hickson, now employed at Google, served as the principal architect of the HTML5 specification, and engineers at Microsoft, IBM and Apple served as co-chairs for the working group. Over 45,000 emails were exchanged when drafting the document, from representatives of 60 companies.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags softwareapplication developmentWorld Wide Web ConsortiumWeb services developmentDevelopment tools

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?