W3C Releases Important Documents Related to HTML5

Seven documents released by W3C

Taking baby steps, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has constantly kept web developers very excited regarding the cutting edge new standards for HTML 5 and CSS 3. While drafts have been constantly pouring from the organization, they were never more than bite-size pieces of the standard. A few days ago, the W3C released seven documents, six of them concerning the HTML specification, four quite interesting reads about HTML 5.

The list of documents includes the following files:

HTML: The Markup Language

This document is the first draft of its kind and features descriptions of the HTML markup language, providing details necessary for developers of HTML content to create documents that conform to the language specifications. The document is not to be followed as a how-to guide, being a summary of the various HTML terminology, syntax and elements, either being from an earlier version or from the soon-to-be-released HTML 5.

The document can be viewed here.


This is more of a vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML defining the fifth major revision of the core language. This is a drafted version of the specification and is the main source of knowledge at this point about the new standard.

The document can be viewed here.

HTML5 differences from HTML4

The document, as its name states, presents the main changes between the HTML versions and the rational decisions that led to them. As the previous file, this is still a draft.

The document can be viewed here.

HTML Canvas 2D Context

This specification defines the 2D Context for the HTML “canvas” element, which is widely considered to be the most important HTML 5 element. Due to its importance, W3C decided to out details about the canvas element for 2D renderings as a (first) standalone release. Nevertheless, this is still a working draft.

The document can be viewed here.

HTML Microdata

As the aforementioned document, this specification is the first standalone release of a content previously supplied in the general HTML 5 standard. The specification basically defines the HTML microdata mechanism. It practically allows machine-readable data to be embedded into HTML documents in an easy manner, with an unambiguous parsing model. It is compatible with numerous other data formats including RDF and JSON. The released documentation is still a working draft.

The document can be viewed here.


The last document outed by the HTML Working Group regarding HTML 5 is a draft concerning the mechanisms for embedding RDF in HTML.

The document can be viewed here.

Additional Requirements for Bidi in HTML

This draft document contains proposals for features to be added to HTML to support bidirectional text in languages such as Arabic, Thaana, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, etc.

The document can be viewed here.

The documents don't contain many groundbreaking changes from the previously released drafts, but come with more documentation and examples, providing a much deeper insight in HTML5 than ever before. To keep up with the recent document releases from the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 working groups, you can follow the official CVS at this link.

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