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Html 5 Steps ­p

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Microsoft Internet Explorer developers recently offered their feedback on the most recent draft of HTML version 5. Despite the fact that the entire Web is built from HTML, the belief that the industry should move toward HTML 5 is not unanimous. The long gap between the finalization of HTML 4, ratified in 1997, has led to some criticism of the World Wide Web Consortium for allowing the Internet to advance beyond HTML standards.

At the XML 2007 Conference, Yahoo architect Douglas Crockford noted that a variety of single-vendor offerings have been created due to the lack of standards for offering rich Internet content. "We believe standardizing proven technologies is an important way to drive consistency across platforms, and consistency improves developer productivity, which leads to more innovation," says Adobe's Dave McAllister. However, he acknowledges the hurdles that HTML 5 must overcome, including a highly fragmented browser market and incompatibilities between browsers. "The HTML 5 timeline states that it will be at least a decade before the evolving HTML 5 efforts are finalized, and it remains to be seen what parts will be implemented consistently across all browsers," McAllister says.

HTML 5 promises to provide a variety of rich media features, without requiring plug-ins from any individual vendor. It will give developers the ability to draw two-dimensional graphics, as well as tags to enable users to edit pages and specify conditions of client-side data storage. HTML 5 also should provide video and audio functionality without requiring plug-ins, and will offer the opportunity to build a more advanced data-intensive Web.

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