Did you know that the HTML5 standard, despite parts of it being used in numerous sites around the internet for years, hasn't actually been finalized? Until now, that is: the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has just finalized the HTML5 specification, saying that it's finally ready for adoption across the web.

The final HTML5 recommendation by the W3C is over 1,370 pages long, and details all of the new features and APIs available in the language. W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe says that "HTML5 brings the next generation of the Web", providing a much richer platform for users worldwide.

HTML5 has been in development for nearly eight years, although the current version of the standard is the first that has been labeled by the W3C as "stable". Now that HTML5 is recommended by the W3C, web developers can "be certain that it will be implemented in all browsers", according to Jaffe.

The full HTML5 recommendations includes many features that are already implemented in the wild. HTML5 allows content such as video and audio to be delivered to a web browser without the use of a plugin. It also provides a method of delivering SVG graphics and mathematical notations, while other features allow offline web applications and drag-and-drop functionality.

The W3C are now moving towards developing standards for electronic payments, real-time communications and app development. They're also looking at improving privacy and security across the web, which is becoming increasingly important in today's internet-connected world.