While HTML5 has been around for a couple of years, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) waited until yesterday to give its final blessing and officially recommend the specification. The W3C published the final HTML5 specification December 2012, since then no changes have been made to the core but one of the major hurdles was the decision over which codecs had to be supported by the video tag. One of the things that is still under development is the implementation of DRM support (for services like Netflix) but this will likely have to wait for HTML 5.1.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published a Recommendation of HTML5, the fifth major revision of the format used to build Web pages and applications, and the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform. For application developers and industry, HTML5 represents a set of features that people will be able to rely on for years to come. HTML5 is now supported on a wide variety of devices, lowering the cost of creating rich applications to reach users everywhere.
"Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations."
HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more.
HTML5 is Widely Deployed
To help achieve the "write once, deploy anywhere" promise of HTML5 and the Open Web platform, during the 22 months since W3C announced the completed definition of HTML5, the W3C community has been adding to the HTML5 test suite, which includes over 100,000 tests and continues to grow. The Test the Web Forward community effort now plays an important and ongoing part in driving Open Web Platform interoperability.
With today's publication of the Recommendation, software implementers benefit from Royalty-Free licensing commitments from over sixty companies under W3C's Patent Policy. Enabling implementers to use Web technology without payment of royalties is critical to making the Web a platform for innovation.
What's Next: Application Foundations for Developers, New Use Cases for the Web
Though HTML5 is widely deployed and popular among developers, we have more to do to achieve one of the promises of the Open Web Platform: lowering the cost of developing powerful, cross-platform applications. In an October blog post, W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe states that "now that HTML5 is done, W3C should do more to strengthen the parts of the Open Web Platform that developers most urgently need for success." To help communicate and drive agreement on those priorities, Jaffe enumerates "Application Foundations" that must be strengthened to achieve the next generation platform:
Security and Privacy: identity, crypto, multi-factor authentication, privacy protection
Core Web Design and Development: HTML next generation, style, layout, graphics, animations, typography
Device Interaction: access to hardware and sensors such as bluetooth, NFC, vibration, etc.
Application Lifecycle: background tasks to manage offline, push, geofencing, sync
Media and Real-Time Communications: WebRTC, streaming media
Performance and Tuning: profiling, enhancements such hints and pre-loading, responsive design
Usability and Accessibility: ensuring the Web is accessible to all and supports the world's languages
Services: social Web, payments, annotations, Web of data
W3C will discuss this new framework and its impact on W3C's agenda at its annual Membership meeting (TPAC) this week.
Stronger foundations will also make it easier to incorporate new features for the Web, which are proposed every day, inside and outside W3C. W3C is growing to accommodate the use cases of the payments, automotive, digital publishing, telecommunications, and entertainment industries. At the same time, 4500 engineers are socializing new ideas for the Web in more than 180 Community and Business Groups.