By mid-2008, the first web browsers built on the new WHATWG HTML5 specification were being released for end users. The first such web browser was Firefox 3 from the Mozilla Foundation. Actual support was far from the complete HTML5 specs, but it could handle the new Canvas API, some semantic markup tags, and new mouse interaction events. Google Chrome soon followed in April 2009, and today there are about a half dozen HTML5 web browsers, with Chrome leading the pack in terms of overall HTML5 compliance.

All HTML5-aware web browsers are fully compatible with earlier HTML specifications. This backward-compatibility helped to encourage user adoption rates and provided a means for the standard to be tested and grow ...

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