Monday, 22 November 2010

An Introduction into HTML 5 and CSS 3 - The Evolving Web

(This Article is an introduction to the ‘HTML 5 & CSS 3 Elements’ collection.)
HTML 5 combined with CSS 3 will soon be featuring on all websites within the near future. Both of these elements will provide a simpler, more interactive and better looking internet. Websites will be easier to design and code. The first working draft specification for the new html was launched at the beginning of 2008 by the World Wide Web Consortium.

What is HTML 5?

This is the new coding of the web which will enable better integration of video, audio and user interface within websites. HTML describes the full content of any given web page from headings and titles to overall content. HTML 5 replaces the old style of coding which was HTML 4. This was first launched in 1997. In the 90’s, HTML 4 was perfect for the needs of the average website which would contain mostly text and images. The old HTML code is now struggling to meet the demands of the media rich websites of today, so this upgrade is definitely overdue.

What is CSS 3?

CSS or ‘Cascading Style Sheets’ determine how the content appears to the user within a specific browser. This includes anything from colours, fonts and backgrounds. CSS 2 which was released just a year after HTML 4 and was proficient at providing the necessary styles for those websites of the 90’s. CSS 2 was restricted to a handful of fonts, styles and effects. As previously mentioned, websites are more demanding these days and as a result CSS 3 is built with many more visually appealing and structurally complex elements.

Why do we need to change?

The average online user these days will not just expect to just read content and view images on a website. We take it for granted that our websites will provide high quality videos, chatting interfaces, ability to watch tv or listen to the radio and the ability to collaborate on work projects. HTML 4 is really struggling these days and simply cannot cope. Web Developers are more reliant than ever on third party plugins and web applications that fill in the blanks whenever the old code format cannot perform.

This article acts an introduction to this topic. The subsequent articles within the ‘HTML 5 and CSS 3’ Collection will take a more in depth look at the features we can expect to see from both HTML 5 and CSS 3. A brief outline of these components are included below:

What will change with HTML 5 and CSS 3?

Visual Effects – Elements such as round corners and drop shadows are much easier to code
Better Styles for Tables – The makeup and look of tables is vastly improved
Custom Fonts

New Forms and Validation – Native Functionality, no scripting needed for validation so less overall code
Web Sockets – Providing a much quicker way of online data transfer and communication, can receive real time updates from servers.
Better Offline Access – with internet rich applications that will store more information such as emails to view even offline.
Geo Location

Easy Transformation and Animations - Less time wasted writing JavaScript for simple animations
No Plugins - No longer will we have to rely on third party plugins for audio, video or interactivity.
Canvas – A native form of drawing functionality on the web with loads of various applications

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