The introduction of Hypertext Markup Language constituted a revolution in communication and information management. Tim Berners-Lee and Daniel Connolly published the Internet Draft of the original HTML specification in mid 1993.
In early 1994, the Internet Engineering Task Force started work on the HTML 2.0 specificaton released in 1995. By January 1997 HTML 3.2 was standardised and in December of the same year w3c published the HTML 4 recommendation with minor edits constituting HTML 4.01 in 1999.
Revolutions happen quickly; evolution walks at a more considered pace. It took just 5 or six years to take HTML to version 4; It has taken 15 years to publish the HTML 5 recommendation October 2014.
It happened that I was updating and giving a makeover to an old website of mine created from 1998-2003 which was partly handcoded and contained pages created with Dreamweaver. I decided to make each page validated to HTML 5 using the W3C validation service. I like HTML 5.
HTML 5 is cleaner than previous versions, and more elegant and refined. With HTML 5, the markup is more strictly structural with all of the stylistic features going to CSS where it belongs. There are also new features which have been introduced after researching what web authors do and how we do it.
An example is the
<figure> element with its partner
<figcaption>. Here’s how I used it recently:
In HTML 4, a lot of authors used the
<div> tag and styled it according to the image width. My preference was the
<p> tag styled to the image width with a
<br> between the image and caption. With html 5 we can avoid this and other ‘workarounds’ to basic functional layouts and formatting requirements.
I’m looking forward to doing more updating and coding using HTML 5.