Geolocation, Web Workers, History manipulation, undo, iFrame sandboxes, and other HTML5 specs laying the groundwork for a safer and smarter WebFollow @peterwayner
UndoManager may make it possible to customize this interaction and produce more sophisticated forms.
HTML5 layout enhancements
One of the biggest new developments in HTML5, at least in terms of raw features, is the large collection of tags added to mark different sections of the document. Although the original HTML offered tags to mark the beginning and end of significant parts of a document's structure, there weren't many of them beyond the header
<h6>) and the paragraph (
<p>) tags. The rest were largely devoted to typographic signals such as bold (
<b>) and italics (
Many of the new layout tags recognize what Web developers have been building on their own. There are now tags like
<footer> that tell the browser to put which information at the top and bottom of the pages. Some of these will add confusion. The
<section> tag, for instance, operates similarly to the
<div> tag, so there will be some who use
<div> where others use
<section> and vice versa.
Many of the basic elements are supported across all major browsers, but the same can't be said for a number of the elements that seem less obviously useful. At this moment, the
<figure> tag for attaching a movable figure to a section of text will work in Firefox 4.0 but not in Safari. The
<ruby> tag used to annotate Asian symbols sort of works with Safari but not with Firefox.
Saying that a tag is "supported" here is not as straightforward as with other HTML5 features -- the semantics require more specification. It's one thing to write down requirements to store data, but it's another to specify just what a browser should do when laying out blocks of text. Even after the browsers start recognizing these tags, the browsers will probably choose to display the information inside the tags in slightly different ways.
Many of the ideas that ended up in this collection seem tiny or inconsequential, but underestimating them would be a mistake. Although they are often just patches or fixes to ideas that date from the beginning of the Web, they open the door for many of the newest, savviest Web crawlers to extract more information from the pages.
While the first effect of these rules will be to improve the display and layout, they could also unlock deeper features by making it easier for computers to understand exactly what is going on. The newer tags do a better job of indicating the role of the text in the document, and this may aid artificial intelligence in making better sense of the text between the tags.