Chris Castiglione Teacher at One Month. Faculty at Columbia University where I teach Digital Literacy. I write about coding, the internet, and social impact.

What is HTML5?

1 min read

HTML5 is just an update to the HTML language. Think of it as an update to any software program that is on your computer…

Me: “What’s the real difference between Microsoft Word ’95 vs. 2010?”

And then you’re all like: “Uh, not much. They pretty much do the same thing. But the newer version of Word has some new features, and they took away some of the features that I never used… like Clippy the talking paperclip.”

Me: “Exactly. HTML5 is just the same”.

HTML vs. HTML5

So here’s what I’m saying… back in 1991 (when HTML was invented by Tim Berners-Lee) we had only a handful of HTML tags available. Such as:
<head> <title> <a> <p> <ul> <li> <strong>

As the Web evolved some elements were added to the language:

  • <video>
  • <audio>
  • <article>

Other tags were removed because they were unnecessary (or because there became better ways to do the same with CSS). For example the following tags have been removed from the language:

  • <font> (deprecated for CSS)
  • <center> (deprecated for CSS)
  • <blink> (deprecated for our sanity)

When can you start using HTML5 Tags?

Now! Start using them now! HTML5 is “backward compatible”: meaning that you can use the new tags (and doctype) immediately without worrying about breaking your older sites. And you don’t have to learn a completely new language to write HTML5.

So to summarize, all the stuff in HTML 4 that we love… also works in HTML5.

Check out some of the new tags added to the HTML5 language by looking over this nifty infographic: HTML5 Readiness

 

Chris Castiglione Teacher at One Month. Faculty at Columbia University where I teach Digital Literacy. I write about coding, the internet, and social impact.

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