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The newest version of HTML is HTML5 which was first made public in 2008. However it was in 2011 that it really became popular and many people started using it, though support from all the browsers was still poor. Today it is supported by all the major browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer and has many new and exciting features.
HTML5 has been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium also known as W3C. The development of the markup language is still in progress. The main reason for coming up with a new mark-up language is to overcome certain constraints which were not possible in the previous versions of HTML – like dependency on external plugins like Flash, poor error handling capabilities, lots of scripting required in previous version and this requires sound knowledge of coding, dependency on devices etc. W3C is trying to add these features into HTML5 so as to overcome the above difficulties and is planning for a release of a new version of HTML in the next year. This will definitely help in web design too.
So HTML5 is basically trying to make the coding process easier. HTML5 has introduced new syntaxes and is more multimedia friendly. There are tags for any video or audio content and hence this eliminates the need for plugins or APIs for playing multimedia content. This also implies that multimedia content will be executed faster and on any device and browser. Some of the old tags have been totally removed and a bunch of new ones have been introduced. Web design including multimedia is now easier. Because the development is still in progress, new changes happening in the industry will be incorporated into the language. To gauge the changes and think of the future is a challenging task and hence development of the HTML5 is taking time. However after taking so much time and looking at its current features, it is definitely a quality product.
If you are totally new to HTML5 or even web design services, it is important to note that, HTML5 is built upon HTML4.01 and hence it would be useful to learn the previous version first. Having a strong knowledge of the previous versions will help in understanding the newer version. HTML5 is not a totally new language and only helps you to build on your previous code adding some new features and making coding easier.
Many web design professionals are using HTML5 and you as web designer should upgrade to HTML5. It offers many features from video content to geo-location and microdata annotations. HTML5 is here to stay and if you are in the design business, you should start using it. It would be a mistake to stick to the older version. To learn HTML5 many tutorials are available online and also many books have been written. There are also practical examples which help you to get a grasp on the language. Practicing examples yourself would be the best way to learn.
HTML5 focuses on the needs of the web programmers and addresses most of the issues found in current specifications. Support for HTML5 is growing and it is best to keep yourself upgraded to the new language.