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Exploring prior standards

From: HTML5 First Look

Video: Exploring prior standards

Before we examine HTML5 in detail, it's helpful to take a step back and explore earlier standards as a way of understanding how HTML5 is being developed and what role earlier versions of HTML played in its development. During the mid 90s, HTML evolved largely through browser manufacturers and community members, recommending and shipping new features. Some of these features would then get adopted by the web design community and by default become a part of HTML. The first standardized release of HTML occurred in 1995, with the release of HTML 2.0.

Exploring prior standards

Before we examine HTML5 in detail, it's helpful to take a step back and explore earlier standards as a way of understanding how HTML5 is being developed and what role earlier versions of HTML played in its development. During the mid 90s, HTML evolved largely through browser manufacturers and community members, recommending and shipping new features. Some of these features would then get adopted by the web design community and by default become a part of HTML. The first standardized release of HTML occurred in 1995, with the release of HTML 2.0.

HTML 2.0 wasn't really forward looking at all, and in fact just standardized rules for HTML that everyone was by and large already using. Things didn't dramatically improve with the HTML 3.0 release either and in fact, the recommendation itself was never adopted. This was quickly followed by the HTML 3.2 release, which was another retrospect that added features that browsers already supported, like tables and applets. The practice of browsers releasing their own proprietary tags and offering differing levels of support for certain features created incredible headaches for designers and developers, who were often forced to create multiple versions of a site to support individual browsers or to simply ignore a particular browser altogether.

All of this came to a head around 1998, when a group of motivated web professionals started the Web Standards Project. They pushed for more standards-based environment and began referring to the World Wide Web Consortium's recommendations as standards. They also put pressure on browser manufacturers to support standards and openly promoted the browsers that did. Now, this push for adopted standards coincided with the release of HTML 4.0, a major milestone in HTML development, which stabilized the language and became the recognized standard for years, and in many ways still is.

Now, in 2000, the W3C released the XHTML 1.0 specification, in hopes that it would replace HTML 4.0 as the standard. XHTML was meant to move the language to a more structured XML-based approach. Although embraced by designers for its strict rules and move towards pure structural markup, it wasn't a dramatic departure from HTML 4 and in fact most browsers continue to render XHTML as HTML, even as they supported the semantics.

In the meantime, the web was changing. The growth of high bandwidth connections, AJAX powered applications, and powerful plug-ins like Flash, created an online experience that users demanded, but that HTML had increasingly little to do with. It was in this environment that work on XHTML 2.0 began, with the focus on becoming a strictly structural language. Because XHTML 2.0 broke with the longstanding practice of being backwards compatible, designers and developers were slow to adopt it and after years of work, the W3C finally ended the group's working charter in 2009, effectively ending XHTML 2.0 before any browser supported it.

A contributing factor to the death of XHTML 2.0 was the work done by the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group or WHATWG. Now, WHATWG is a group of developers and designers that were unhappy with the direction of XHTML 2.0 and formed to continue the development of HTML. Their efforts were eventually recognized by the W3C, which has since adopted the work under the name HTML5. HTML5 retains the backwards compatibility of previous versions, while adding new structural tags and support for APIs that will in theory make it easier for designers and developers to build web and mobile applications, serve video and audio, and create richer user experiences for sites.

Now, the interest and support level for HTML5 has exploded in the past year, as companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have begun to aggressively add support for HTML5 to devices and browsers. While there are many opinions on what the future of HTML5 might look like, one thing is certain. HTML5's time has come, and the next few years are going to be very important in shaping how content for the web is created and consumed.

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This video is part of

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HTML5 First Look

50 video lessons · 73806 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 50s
    3. Who is this course for?
      1m 5s
  2. 21m 12s
    1. Exploring prior standards
      4m 26s
    2. Why do we need HTML5?
      3m 32s
    3. HTML5 timeline
      4m 24s
    4. Current HTML5 support
      4m 25s
    5. What HTML5 is (and what it isn't)
      4m 25s
  3. 27m 49s
    1. HTML5 vs. HTML4
      3m 25s
    2. New structural tags
      6m 1s
    3. New content tags
      4m 7s
    4. New application-focused tags
      5m 32s
    5. Deprecated elements
      4m 28s
    6. API overview
      4m 16s
  4. 22m 29s
    1. Content models
      5m 33s
    2. Understanding the outline algorithm
      3m 21s
    3. The role of ‹div› tags
      4m 20s
    4. Using ID and class attributes
      2m 6s
    5. DOCTYPE declarations
      4m 16s
    6. Character encoding
      2m 53s
  5. 41m 27s
    1. Basic page structure
      3m 40s
    2. Structuring top-level elements
      7m 30s
    3. Structuring interior content
      8m 42s
    4. Building headers
      9m 11s
    5. Checking document outlines
      5m 46s
    6. Ensuring cross-browser structure
      6m 38s
  6. 27m 53s
    1. New input types
      5m 57s
    2. Setting form autofocus
      2m 53s
    3. Using placeholder data
      4m 4s
    4. Marking required fields
      3m 24s
    5. Working with number inputs
      5m 49s
    6. Using date pickers
      5m 46s
  7. 1h 1m
    1. Canvas overview
      6m 21s
    2. Adding canvas content
      8m 58s
    3. Drawing in the canvas environment
      12m 9s
    4. Drag-and-drop API overview
      6m 18s
    5. Offline applications overview
      7m 11s
    6. Video overview
      5m 45s
    7. Encoding video
      8m 23s
    8. Adding video
      5m 58s
  8. 57m 33s
    1. Geolocation API overview
      5m 50s
    2. Web storage API overview
      5m 40s
    3. WebSockets overview
      4m 16s
    4. CSS3 overview
      6m 38s
    5. Enhancing typography with CSS3
      7m 42s
    6. Using @font-face
      7m 11s
    7. Styling HTML5 with CSS3
      10m 23s
    8. Using CSS3 transitions
      9m 53s
  9. 5m 6s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 49s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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