The number of changes to HTML and CSS that are now showing up in browser rendering engines as part of the general push towards HTML5 are quite astonishing. If you are a web developer and you are not spending all your time right now learning new technologies, then you are probably doing something wrong.
Among the many changes there is one element that has been implemented in Internet Explorer for years, but only now has made the official cut with HTML5 and now slowly finds its way into other modern browsers: Ruby Annotations.
In short, ruby allows the addition of a short annotation, like a pronunciation guide, to a word in a text. Ruby annotations have been used in East Asian languages in print for a very long time, so this new feature will certainly improve the acceptance of standards-based browsers in Asia.
But it will be interesting to see what other uses web developers will find for these new elements – they allow for interesting layout solutions around online translation, language learning and developmental training that are certainly worth exploring.