HTML5 is the newest version of the HyperText Markup Language that was developed in the late 80’s in order to describe documents that linked to each other. In it’s early days, HTML’s role was simple…to help describe a document’s structure and to allow cross-linking of documents.
The language is a Markup Language…a way to enhance a text file with bits of code (markup) that describes the structure of the document. Think of it as what your teachers did to your english schoolpapers. When they corrected it, they marked it up…probably in red to tell you what things needed to change to hopefully make your documents better.
What’s so different about HTML5?
There’s a couple of great new approaches that are taking place in the HTML5 description.
The Rise of WebApps
First, the language is being built around WebApps…small focused applications that can run on a browser or as a mobile application. The new version of HTML has features like offline storage or the ability to handle data even when the app is no longer connected to the internet, geo-location or the ability to detect and work with the location of the user as well as excellent rich media support…providing easy to implement audio and video elements.
More descriptive semantics
The original goal of HTML was to develop a language that could describe the structure of a document. As the web grew, developers realized that oftentimes they were describing the same types of elements. For example…a header, a footer, nav, articles, sections, etc. HTML5 recognizes where the language has developed and incorporates those elements into the language with new tags for that type of content.
Richer Media Elements