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HTML Design Principles

HTML 5 defines the fifth major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web, HTML. This document describes the set of guiding principles used by the HTML Working Group for the development of HTML5. The principles offer guidance for the design of HTML in the areas of compatibility, utility and interoperability.

  1. Compatibility

    Address the necessity of supporting existing HTML content, design HTML 5 document requirements so that Web content can degrade gradually; and specify, adopt and adapt existing technology where possible.

  2. Utility

    The principles of utility call for design that ensures features can be used effectively, and for all intended purposes.

  3. Interoperability

    Interoperable HTML 5 implementation means defining behaviors in preference to vague or implementation-define behavior, avoiding needless complexity, and handling errors gracefully as opposed to hard failure.

  4. Universal access

    Features should be designed for universal access - to work across as many platforms as possible, support all world languages and scripts, and to be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.