HTML5 is the fifth version of Hypertext Markup Language ( Engl. For hypertext -Auszeichnungssprache ), a computer language for the award and networking of text and other content of electronic documents, predominantly in the World Wide Web .
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has submitted the final HTML5 specification ( "W3C Recommendation") on October 28, 2014. As the successor to HTML 4, HTML5 will become the “core language” of the web. It replaces the standards HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 and DOM HTML Level 2. It offers new functions such as video, audio, local storage and dynamic 2D and 3D graphics that were not directly supported by HTML4 and without HTML5 only with additional plug-ins -ins (e.g. Adobe Flash ) implemented. New elements that enable an improved semantic structure are still pioneering.
After the specification of HTML 4.0 was published in December 1997, further development of HTML was idle for a long time. Except for version 4.01 in December 1999, which only contains bug fixes, there were no more updates to the markup language until April 2009. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) relied on XML , which was to become the successor to HTML, and reformulated HTML 4.01 to become the XML-based markup language XHTML 1.0. The functionality of HTML 4.01 was retained without changes. The W3C then began developing XHTML 1.1 and later XHTML 2.0, which no longer had much in common with HTML 4.01. As a result, XHTML 1.1 and XHTML 2.0 were no longer backwards compatible due to these new developments. In addition, the creation of XHTML 2.0 documents was very difficult in many respects compared to HTML and required a lot of background knowledge. The development of CSS was also very slow at this point, which is why the W3C was increasingly criticized.
In order to counteract these developments, the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) , founded by several browser manufacturers, published the first proposal for HTML5 in mid-2004 under the name Web Applications 1.0 .
On October 27, 2006, Tim Berners-Lee , the founder and chairman of the World Wide Web Consortium, announced a new working group with the aim of further developing HTML. The W3C used a fork of the WHATWG version as the basis for its work on HTML5 . This created competition for the W3C in-house, as it was already driving the development of XHTML 2.0, a purely XML-based format for website labeling.
In order to moderate the competition within the W3C, between November 2006 and March 2007 the existing working groups at the W3C were redesigned. HTML5 and XHTML 2.0 were defined as related languages with different audiences.
In May 2007 the members of the HTML working group decided in a vote that the Web Applications 1.0 draft of the WHATWG should be used as a starting point for the discussion and further development of HTML . Since then, the W3C and the WHATWG have been working together on the HTML5 specification.
In mid-2009 the W3C announced that the development of XHTML 2.0 would no longer be continued at the end of the same year. The next generation of markup languages for the web is therefore not a new variant of XHTML, but HTML5.
Different working models from W3C and WHATWG
The WHATWG follows a versionless model of development. She is working on a so-called Living Standard , a specification that is subject to constant correction and expansion. Therefore, the WHATWG does without the version specification "5" and speaks only of the "HTML standard".
The aim of the HTML working group of the W3C, however, is to publish a stable snapshot of this specification under the name HTML5. By a predefined procedure is executed until the specification finally to a W3C Recommendation (Recommendation) matures. The preliminary stage of this, a Proposed Recommendation , was published in September 2014, the recommendation finally on October 28, 2014.
Relationship of the specifications of the W3C and the WHATWG
The editor of the specification is Ian Hickson , founder of WHATWG and employee of Google . Various specifications are generated from the raw text he has edited, both on the part of the WHATWG and the W3C counterparts.
The WHATWG HTML specification integrates several related sub-specifications, which are divided into individual documents by the W3C. It allows you to go through the W3C development process regardless of the main HTML5 specification. These separate standards are microdata metadata, the 2D drawing context of the canvas element and cross-document messages (HTML5 web messaging).
The following are the publications of the HTML5 drafts by the W3C. In addition to the regular Working Drafts , the W3C publishes so-called Editor's Drafts every day . The current version of the draft - expanded to include WHATWG-specific elements - is available on the WHATWG website.
|date||Publication (and notices)|
|January 22, 2008||1. "Working Draft"|
|June 10, 2008||2. Working draft into which the previously separate Web Forms 2.0 draft was incorporated.|
|February 12, 2009||3. Working draft|
|April 23, 2009||4. Working draft|
|August 25, 2009||5. Working draft|
|March 4, 2010||6. Working draft. HTML Canvas 2D and HTML Microdata outsourced as separate working drafts. New document "HTML: The Markup Language".|
|June 25, 2010||7. Working draft and revision of related specifications and documents. The supporting documents HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives and Polyglot Markup: HTML-Compatible XHTML Documents have been added.|
|October 19, 2010||8. Working draft|
|November 18, 2010||1. Working draft of "HTML5 Web Messaging".|
|January 13, 2011||9. Working draft|
|April 5, 2011||10. Working draft|
|May 25, 2011||11. Working draft|
|March 29, 2012||12. Working draft|
|October 25, 2012||13. Working draft|
|17th December 2012||Candidate Recommendation (recommendation candidate)|
|August 6, 2013||Candidate Recommendation (recommendation candidate)|
|4th February 2014||Candidate Recommendation (recommendation candidate)|
|April 29, 2014||Candidate Recommendation (recommendation candidate)|
|17th June 2014||Last working draft|
|July 31, 2014||Candidate Recommendation (recommendation candidate)|
|16th September 2014||Proposed Recommendation|
|October 28, 2014||Recommendation|
Progress in development
The specification of the WHATWG indicates that certain sections are more mature than others. Many of the more mature new developments are already included in the current browser versions and can be used.
In May 2011, HTML5 received a “Last Call” status at the W3C, which was to serve as the final call for comments on the HTML5 draft. The WHATWG announced the status of “Last Call” on October 27, 2009. On October 28, 2014, the W3C published the HTML5 recommendation. Most browsers already implement HTML5 (albeit incompletely).
The first important goals for HTML5 were set by Tim Berners-Lee in his blog entry “Reinventing HTML”: Groups that use HTML (web authors, browser manufacturers) should also be involved in the development. In doing so, HTML must be developed incrementally, i.e. by revising and expanding the previous version, and the transition to well-formed documents should thus be further advanced. The development of forms in HTML should be expanded and ideally form a step from the existing form structure to XForms .
In the course of setting up the new HTML working group and as part of the architectural vision for HTML, XForms and XHTML 2.0, these goals were specified in more detail, partially changed and additional points were added:
- In contrast to the previous procedure of only showing the differences to an old version in each specification, a complete specification should be written.
- The vocabulary of HTML must be able to be written as classic HTML and as XML dialect. Regardless of this form, the vocabulary must be able to be converted into a defined info set, i.e. into a DOM image of the source text.
In addition, the definition of DOM interfaces for working with the HTML vocabulary as well as a separate one with integrated media were defined for the task area of the working group. The working group should develop forms and general user input elements such as progress indicators or menus and define interfaces for user-defined WYSIWYG editing functions.
After the working group was founded, the HTML design principles were published as the first document. It explains further objectives in detail. These include, for example:
- Existing content must still be supported. New elements of the language must not negatively affect the existing content.
- New functions are intended to solve real problems, primarily for authors, then browser manufacturers and finally serving “pure teaching”; However, functions that already serve a specific purpose should not be reinvented.
- Security aspects must be taken into account when developing new functions.
- Parts of XML that are used in XHTML should also be allowed in HTML. HTML and XHTML have a common DOM mapping.
- Through precisely defined behavior (even in error situations) and low complexity, HTML should be implemented interoperably.
- HTML should be usable on all end devices and with content in all world languages.
- The accessibility of content and function should be guaranteed.
HTML5, as defined by the W3C, consists of several specifications and documents, the content of which is explained in the following section.
HTML5 - A vocabulary and associated interfaces for HTML and XHTML
"HTML5" is the main specification that contains the most important basics of HTML5.
The vocabulary of HTML5 is made up of the vocabulary of previous HTML specifications, previously proprietary components and some new elements, including e.g. B. Parts of the Ruby group of elements introduced in XHTML 1.1. However, it only includes the part of HTML that authors are allowed to use to create documents and web applications.
In addition to the vocabulary, a clear structural model is defined, i.e. the rules according to which the various elements may be nested.
For the first time since the emergence of HTML, the language is no longer defined as an application of SGML , but itself as a generalized language in the manner of SGML. The reason given is not that modern browser HTML with an SGML parser, but a suitable for the web parser process.
How these parsers work is currently not defined. HTML5 wants to change this by defining an HTML parser and thus avoid having differences between the HTML parsers of the various browser manufacturers.
The special thing about the parser contained in HTML5 is that it not only understands the permitted vocabulary, but also all other elements that were present in earlier versions or that only existed as proprietary elements. With this precise definition, HTML5 wants to ensure that the parser is backwards compatible with the documents available on the web.
HTML, XHTML and DOM
Every element and attribute known in HTML5 is defined in terms of the document object model. This applies regardless of whether the element or attribute is a permitted language component. This means that in addition to the structural meaning of the elements, their DOM interface and the associated interfaces (methods and properties) are also defined.
Based on this definition, HTML5 allows documents to be represented in three variants:
- Documents with the media type "
text/html" are considered HTML documents. They are processed with the HTML parser. This variant is known colloquially as HTML5.
- Documents that contain an XML media type - e.g. B. "
application/xhtml+xml" or "
application/xml" - are considered XML documents that are processed by an XML parser. This variant is known colloquially as XHTML5.
- The previous documents share a common document object model. The DOM is often called DOM5 in this context.
HTML5 tries to limit the differences between these three variants to the limitations inherent in each form. For example, the string “
-->” is invalid in HTML and XML, but it can be displayed in the DOM.
Another example is the attempt to reduce the differences between HTML and XHTML: The core specification of the DOM states that HTML elements are contained in the null namespace (while XHTML elements are in the namespace "http://www.w3.org / 1999 / xhtml ”). However, HTML5 defines that HTML elements must also be assigned to the namespace "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml".
HTML5 tries to reflect what authors expect from the standard representation of elements. There is therefore an “expected display” for all elements and their attributes, which is defined by CSS properties. HTML5 differentiates between display properties that are to be used for standard-compliant and compatibility-oriented processing of websites.
This specification attempts to define the incorporation of machine-readable information into HTML documents. The aim is that this mechanism is clearly defined and compatible with other formats such as RDF and JSON .
HTML canvas 2D context
This specification defines interfaces for drawing two-dimensional shapes. The canvas element introduced in the main specification serves as the drawing surface .
Lines, shadows, simple and complex contours (paths) as well as texts and images contained in the document can be drawn.
This working draft defines two methods that should allow independent browser contexts to exchange data with one another:
- "Cross-document messaging", which is supposed to enable the communication of documents embedded in one another (e.g. via iframes), and
- “Channel messaging” that aims to enable communication for documents that are independent of each other (e.g. separated by two different browser windows).
HTML + RDFa - A mechanism for embedding RDF in HTML
The document adapts the embedding of RDF in XHTML for documents as defined in HTML5.
HTML: The markup language
"HTML: The markup language" is not a specification, but a supporting document that describes the markup language HTML in more detail. It aims to provide authors with details about the correct use of the language, but is not intended to be a tutorial or manual. The document makes no statement about definitions or how HTML should be processed.
Differences between HTML5 and HTML4
This document lists the differences between HTML4 (more precisely: HTML 4.01 and in parts XHTML 1.0 and DOM Level 2 HTML) and HTML5 and gives reasons for the changes. The document is updated and published each time a new working draft of the main specification is published.
HTML5 techniques for useful text alternatives
This emerging guide for HTML authors describes which alternative texts should be selected for images (especially in the
altattribute of the
imgelement). These are important so that the content that is transported by images is also accessible to, for example, blind web users.
"Polyglot" markup: HTML-compatible XHTML documents
The document describes rules for HTML5 documents that are written in XHTML syntax and can therefore be processed by HTML5 parsers as well as XML parsers.
The following overview of the innovations in HTML5 does not claim to be complete and is subject to changes due to the status of the specifications.
Basically, it can be said in advance that practically all elements from HTML 4.01 are also contained in HTML5. HTML4 is actually a subset of HTML5.
Document type specification
The document type specification in HTML5 documents consists of the character string “
<!DOCTYPE html>”, whereby upper and lower case are not important. In all modern browsers, this character string causes the source text to be processed in the standard-compliant mode.
Since a browser does not differentiate between HTML documents according to their version, no versioning was deliberately used. Here, too, it can be seen that HTML5 defines itself as the superset of HTML 4.01.
Integration of SVG and MathML
- The elements must not contain any namespace prefixes.
- The namespace prefix for XLink (for attributes) must be "xlink".
As a side effect, all named entities from SVG and MathML are allowed as part of HTML.
HTML5 introduces many new elements, which are presented below.
footershould allow for better structuring. Unlike
divboxes, which were previously used to structure HTML documents, the element here also defines what kind of content is in the element. For example, designates
sectiona section of continuous text,
articlean article or
footera page footer.
In a study by the search engine provider Google it was found that the most frequently assigned class names in HTML documents can be easily assigned to the respective new HTML elements.
Some of these elements (
aside) bring a function in combination with the header elements
h6. The heading hierarchy is no longer determined solely on the basis of the heading elements, but also on the basis of their position within the new elements. For example, if a document uses a first-order heading and then also uses a first-order heading in an article element, this is subordinate to the non-nested heading. This is true even if the non-nested heading is of lower order.
figureelement and the corresponding heading element
figcaptionhave been added to make it easier to mark additional content, for example images with captions.
Elements for text markup
At the markup level, the elements
timefor time information, which can be localized dynamically;
markfor highlighted sections of text;
rtfor simple Ruby annotations and the formerly proprietary
wbrelement that allows text wrapping in long words.
HTML5 introduces specific elements for the integration of audio and video files. One or more sources or different formats can be stored for these, from which a browser then selects a format that it understands. The reproduction of 5.1 surround sound content was previously in HTML4 about mehrkanaltonfähige VLC - browser plug-in or in Dolby Pro Logic II encoded on the stereo channel of an other, popular plug-ins and a PC connected to the sound card multichannel decoder possible . With HTML5 it is possible for the first time to output 5.1 surround sound content directly from the browser to appropriate sound cards in multichannel sound without the need for a browser plug-in or coding when creating the media and subsequent decoding when playing in the browser. The media file is loaded into the browser's cache via a progressive download . For the integration of applications or interactive, non-HTML-based content, HTML5 describes the previously proprietary element.
In addition, a drawing surface ( canvas element ) has been added on which two-dimensional images can be drawn with the help of scripts.
Form elements (according to WHATPAG 7.1324)
inputelement has been extended to various types such. B. for entering search terms, telephone numbers, URL and e-mail addresses, dates and times, numbers and color information.
The following elements have also been added to the draft:
datalistfor example, to indicate completion suggestions;
outputshowing results of calculations;
progressthat shows the progress of an action;
meter, which is intended for measurable value ranges (e.g. memory allocation on the hard disk) and the formerly proprietary
keygenelement which is intended to be used to create identification key pairs.
summaryelements are similar in structure to the
figcaptionelements. The content of the
summaryelement is constantly displayed, the rest of the content of the
detailselement can be shown or hidden.
menuWhen creating toolbars and (context) menus, the element is defined as the structuring base and the
commandelement as the point of interaction.
Elements with changed meaning
Some, formerly of illustration only serving elements (eg. B.
small) a was semantics given. The respective definitions are relatively broad, which is intended to ensure that the new meaning does not contradict the use in existing websites.
In contrast, some elements (e.g.
cite) are redefined. This means that direct porting of older standards is only possible to a limited extent.
From the vocabulary of HTML5 some elements omitted (z. B.
frameetc.). However, it is still defined how a browser has to deal with these elements. This ensures compatibility with existing websites.
Elements and attributes in HTML and XHTML
noscriptelement is allowed in HTML5, but not in XHTML5, because the element model is not compatible with the XML processing rules.
xml:baseattribute is not allowed in HTML5 because it has no effect there.
Differences to DOM HTML Level 2
HTML5 defines some DOM interfaces that are intended to be used to create web applications, including interfaces for:
- control of multimedia elements,
- the manipulation of the history (finer forward and backward navigation),
- Drag & drop,
- editable content,
- Offline applications,
- the storage of application data (usually 5 MB per domain).
Some properties and methods that were previously proprietary or were only contained in function collections, such as
getElementsByClassName(), have been added to the specification.
Furthermore, the behavior of the elements in HTML has been adapted to the behavior of the elements in XHTML. H.:
localNameReturns the element or attribute name in lower case.
namespaceURIeach element is " http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml "
Media Source Extensions
HTML5 is a long-standing, extensive project that has received many critical voices.
Criticism of the further development of HTML
Joe Clark, author and web activist for accessibility , admits problems with the previous version HTML 4.01, but does not think that the language needs to be further developed with regard to existing elements. Even very poorly written code already leads to a satisfactory result in all browsers. Clark criticizes that the further development of HTML is going in the wrong direction. The W3C has to work on more important construction sites, for example the WCAG 2.0 standard, which is controversial in the scene .
Shane McCarron, who is responsible as editor for numerous XHTML specifications, suspects that HTML will be further developed because the major browser manufacturers are not up to the challenge of implementing the Semantic Web . From this he concludes that the W3C has given up the goal of an XML-based ecosystem under pressure from these manufacturers.
Criticism of the development process of HTML5
Ian Hickson has sole writing rights
Ian Hickson has been a driving force behind HTML5 from the start. He drafted Web Forms 2.0 and Web Applications 1.0 in 2004 and was hired by Google in 2005 to focus on continuing this work. Through this commitment, Hickson grew into the role of the "benevolent dictator". He alone owned the editing rights for the HTML5 draft and was solely responsible for many decisions regarding the specification.
This approach hardly corresponds to that of the W3C, whose specifications are based on democratic consensus. Therefore, many web authors, e.g. Kyle Weems, wonder whether the purpose (a functional specification) justifies the means (consistent, non-democratic emergence of that specification).
Lack of seriousness for internal suggestions
Mathias Schäfer, web developer and co-author of various documentations ( e.g. SELFHTML ), criticizes the lack of objectivity in the discussion of HTML5 during its creation. Using the example of “distributed expandability” (extension of the HTML vocabulary to include proprietary or private, for example company-internal elements), he shows that suggestions are not taken seriously, although Schäfer believes that this approach could lead HTML5 to success.
Criticism of the WHATWG
The WHATWG itself has been criticized because it still uses HTML5 as a specification on its website. In fact, however, it is not HTML5, but - according to the company itself - the next generation of HTML. This means that the draft includes the current state of HTML5, but extends it with new, as yet immature functions. In addition, the WHATWG draft has some differences to the variant of the W3C. Differences in the normative sections are problematic, as the W3C defines the standard here, but browser manufacturers usually follow the WHATWG draft.
Audio and video elements
To incorporate audio and video data, HTML5 defines the elements
video. However, since no format has been defined that must be supported as a minimum standard, there has long been no format that was supported by all browsers. In the past, the formats Ogg Vorbis and Theora (which can be used without having to pay license fees and were originally set as a minimum standard), H.264 (which offers better quality, but is patented) and WebM have been discussed in the past with the codecs VP8 / VP9.
After MPEG LA decided in August 2010 not to charge any license fees for free internet streaming of H.264 content, the format is now supported by all browsers and has established itself as the de facto standard.
Digital rights management
In 2013, the companies Google , Microsoft and Netflix asked the W3C that it should be able to output encrypted media content via HTML5 using an Encrypted Media Extension (EME). This integrated digital rights management (DRM) into browsers. Among the most popular browsers, all of them support EME. Mozilla Firefox supports EME from version 38, 2015 also offered an EME-free version. Since then, it has been possible to deactivate EME or DRM in the settings, which also removes the closed-source Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Module). Google Chrome supports EME from version 26 with its self-developed Widevine CDM, Internet Explorer from version 11 . On September 18, 2017, the W3C decided to introduce Encrypted Media Extensions as a web standard. In protest against this decision, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has resigned from the W3C consortium. In October 2017, the Austrian negative Big Brother Award in the category authorities and administration was given to the W3C for the introduction of EME as a web standard.
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