Word came from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) yesterday that it has published the 5th major revision of HTML, the core language of the web. While HTML5 is already in use by developers (having become a W3C candidate recommendation a couple of years ago), the recommendation for the standard is a lynchpin for the community, as it now formalizes stable guidelines for the development of innovative and cross-platform web sites and applications.
A key feature of HTML5 – the first major new HTML standard in more than a decade – is that it provides the ability to describe the structure of a web document with standard semantics. It uses semantic tags for things like page headers, footers, body, ordered lists, time, and more to better identify an element and how it is being used. Greater use of these tags should improve a browser’s ability to understand content for display across a range of devices and screen sizes without requiring any development rejiggering, and search engines’ ability to more effectively index a page, which could lead to better rankings.