The main differences between HTML 5 and 4.01

20.6.2014 Magdalena Gauci
HTML 5 has been considered as the future of W3C. It may still be under progress, it is a promising replacement to HTML 4.01 and is backward compatible. While HTML 5 was developed to include functionalities such as JavaScript and other plugins in a combined platform, HTML 4 and its sub-versions were extended through these plugins for providing interactive presentations. The following guide lists the new developments in HTML 5 compared to previous versions of the standard.

A major difference between HTML 4.01 and HTML 5 is the process to find the kind of information held in a page. The previous version required lots of div elements on its pages, which could be identified with class/id attributes. On the other hand, HTML 5 offers elements such as article, which makes it possible to identify contents using common tags. This means it is easier to perform programmable processing of web pages.

Another advantage with new HTML standard, which could be specifically useful to developers, is the development of offline APIs. With HTML 4, this was possible only using the proper configuration and JavaScript. HTML 5 comes with standard API support. This means it is possible to create applications for devices that could run without any host web server, even if the installation takes place through a website.

In other words, HTML 5 has been designed and developed to be application friendly. The drag-and-drop API can work with all elements that are draggable. Another API enables manipulating the navigational history support of the browser. Thus, pages come with better support for the refresh and back button on the browser. This could help eliminate issues such as double billing that could result with poorly designed e-commerce websites.

HTML 5 comes with another new API that enables web apps to register with the host for handling some types of media and protocols. This can allow developers to match app support for content found in embedded devices. In the past, this needed to be done using an application that needed to interact with some network port.

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