W3C drafts HTML update

The World Wide Web Consortium has released the first public working draft of Hypertext Markup Language version 5. This new version of HTML will be the first major revision of the open standard in more than 10 years.

HTML 5 will offer greater support for many of the new uses people have found for the Web over the past decade, including multimedia, interactive page editing, and Web applications. It also is the first version that requires that all the patented technologies being used within the standard to be royalty-free.

"HTML is of course a very important standard," Sir Tim Berners-Lee said in a statement. Berners-Lee authored the first version of HTML, and, in effect, created the Web. "I am glad to see that the community of developers, including browser vendors, is working together to create the best possible path for the Web. To integrate the input of so many people is hard work, as is the challenge of balancing stability with innovation, pragmatism with idealism," he said.

More than 500 individuals participated in drafting the new standard, including participants from Boeing, Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and the Mozilla Foundation.

Among the new features are a set of application programming interfaces for drawing two-dimensional graphics, along with tags for allowing users to edit pages and for specifying conditions of client-side data storage.

A number of new tags to describe page elements have also been added, including those describing sections, footers, and a space for describing navigation cues.

The W3C is currently seeking feedback on the draft, and has called for more authoring tool developers to participate in the process.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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