In association with heise online

28 August 2009, 15:24

New draft for HTML 5

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Shortly after last July's announcement that the XHTML2 working group is to be decommissioned at the end of the year, the HTML working group published a new HTML 5 working draft. This specification includes a new current section 5: Microdata which describes the integration of metadata.

The section about metadata tells web authors how to integrate metadata in future documents and how to incorporate existing vocabularies like vCards and vEvents. In its simplest form, this would look something like this:

<div item>
<p>My name is <span itemprop="name">Adam</span>.</p>
<p>my nationality is
<span itemprop="nationality">British</span>.</p>

Properties like "Adam" could also be URLs, and an item can have several identical or different properties. If a web author uses an existing vocabulary, the empty item attribute in the example above contains a value, for example vcard (see examples).

Most of the other changes are minor, for example an added cite attribute for the section and article elements, and the deprecation of td within thead.

According to the homepage of the HTML working group, the working draft of the web language is to reach Last Call status, which corresponds to a finished draft ready for inspection, as early as October, which seems unlikely given the first-time introduction of microdata – as already indicated by the section "ISSUE-76 (Microdata/RDFa) blocks progress to Last Call".


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