The W3C HTML Working Group has published the first public draft of HTML 5, itself being the first real upgrade to the language of the web for more than 10 years.

Don't get too excited though, as the final specification for the language is not expected to get approval until at least 2010. However, when it does, if this draft is anything to go by, then there are some interesting times ahead as HTML gets a firm boot into new world of web multimedia with supporting APIs for embedding and controlling audio as well as controlling two dimensional video content, for example. Indeed, the HTML Working Group is creating HTML 5 to be an open, royalty-free specification for rich Web content and Web applications no less.

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee says "HTML is of course a very important standard, I am glad to see that the community of developers, including browser vendors, is working together to create the best possible path for the Web. To integrate the input of so many people is hard work, as is the challenge of balancing stability with innovation, pragmatism with idealism."

The HTML 5 specification helps to improve interoperability and reduce software costs by giving precise rules not only about how to handle all correct HTML documents but also how to recover from errors. This is the first version of HTML developed under W3C's Royalty-Free Patent Policy.

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