User Experience (UX)
David Addison
by David Addison
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What's new in HTML 5: 5 cool features

09/24/2009
What's new in HTML 5: 5 cool features

We send millions of e-mails per month and the production of thousands of e-mail campaigns. No shortage of e-mail around Dirigo! We're interested in HTML 5 and how it impacts e-mail delivery.

While some may find e-mail markup boring, it is actually quite interesting. What techniques will help ensure the best delivery rate and highest ROI. This is a highly specialized area with lots of little secrets.

HTML 5 is the newest generation of Hypertext Markup Language that is being developed by WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group). Although, the development of HTML 5 is still in progress (and has been since 2004), and we might not see the final version until 2022, some of its features are already supported by major web browsers. At this time the HTML 5 specification is not stable. The latest stable version of the editor's draft of this specification is always available on the WHATWG Subversion repository.

Top 5 new features include:

1. Video and Audio

It will be much easier to embed video or audio into your web pages by using simple <video> and <audio> tags. The extensive API provides a number of methods to allow scripts to control the playback of the media files (i.e. play, pause and rewind)

2. New Structure Elements

New structural elements will allow users to simplify the markup process with the new tags such as:

<section> - defines different sections and portions of a webpage

<header> and <footer> - define header and footer of the page

<article> - defines the main content on the page

<figure> - can be used to annotate an article with diagrams and images

<nav> - navigation of the website

<aside> - can be used to provide extra content

3. Canvas

The <canvas> tag will allow drawing dynamic graphics using JavaScript. It will allow creating games, photo composition, animation, and presentations with graphs. This tag is already supported by some browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

4. New Inline Elements

New inline elements define basic concepts such as time and numbers. The new tags include:

<time> -  represents time or dates in the content.

<mark> -  marks sections of content, that could represent terms or keywords in search results.

<meter> - defines measurements and figures. This tag can have different attributes like value, high, low, etc.

<progress> - this tag can represent completion of a task, like in a progress bar.

5. Dynamic pages support

HTML 5 will make it easier to create dynamic HTML pages (DHTML). DHTML is a collection of technologies used together to create interactive and animated web sites by using a combination of a static markup language (such as HTML), a client-side scripting language (such as JavaScript), a presentation definition language (such as CSS), and the Document Object Model. HTML 5 will also support the creation of context pages within applications and pages. 2D context represents a flat Cartesian surface whose origin (0,0) is at the top left corner, with the coordinate space having x values increasing when going right, and y values increasing when going down.

That's it, the top 5 picks.

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