5 Things to Know About HTML5

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For the last few years, web developers have been frustrated with the shortcomings in web standards. They turned to third party plugins to deliver a rich and consistent experience. Now that HTML5 is around the corner, many believe it will deliver the needed answers for developers. Here are five things you need to know about this exciting technology:

HTML5 is not just about HTML

HTML5 brings not only improvements to the HTML markup, but also introduces new JavaScript APIs and CSS features (among other advancements) useful for creating rich and interactive web applications.

HTML5 is a work in progress

The work on the next version of web standards began in 2002 with the W3C preparing the XHTML 2.0 specification. The decision to drop HTML and focus on XML-based technologies was not well received by the community. After failing to reach a consensus,representatives of major players like Mozilla, Opera and Apple decided the cease working on the W3C specification and started the WHATWG community in an attempt to push the web standards forward. In 2007, the W3C eventually agreed to adopt the WHATWG work as a starting point to what would become HTML5. The specification is expected to reach the W3C Recommendation stage in 2020 (Yes that’s 8 years from now!).

You can start using HTML5 now

The latest versions of the major web browsers already support HTML5 to varying extents, even though the specification is not completed yet. Developing with HTML5 is becoming a more viable solution as people are moving on to newer and more capable web browsers. When support to legacy browsers is crucial, developers could resort to fall-back techniques by detecting what features the browser implements/lacks.

HTML5 is the true Flash Killer (So long Silverlight!)

Flash has been heavily used to develop cross platform and rich applications. A very obvious example is browser-based games and video players that made Flash the king of RIA. However, lack of support on iOS and security/performance issues have led the community to seek alternatives based on open standards. HTML5 is the perfect answer. With canvas, WebGL, audio and video support, HTML5 will offer developers all the capabilities they need to create games and rich applications. Flash will certainly retain some of it market share for the time being, but its adoption will decrease as HTML5 becomes widely available.

HTML5 will shine on the mobile

HTML5 is potentiality the first true cross-platform app technology. While solutions exist for desktop environments, mobile developers have suffered from lack of a unified medium to create apps for the major platforms. HTML5 can mend this situations by offering the technologies needed to develop web-based or natively-packaged mobile apps.


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  • http://twitter.com/NicocoHayek Nicolas Hayek

    Love the post! Thanks for that! Troubling information (8 years for W3C recommendation) but interesting nevertheless on what the web can offer.

  • derrick

    You obviously don’t know much about Flash. Otherwise, there’s no way you could write an article such as this.

    • http://www.marounbaydoun.com/ Maroun Baydoun

      @derrick, could you please elaborate your point?

      • Woody

        Derrick is one of those out there who lost their jobs because it is 2013 and they’re still working on old stuff like Flash.

      • http://www.facebook.com/robert.keith.mcdougall Robert McDougall

        Derrick is correct, although HTML5 adds more interactivity within a website, flash is a standalone application that doesn’t even require the internet. A webpage containing flash, is really a separate download of the flash file, and then displaying it within the webpage. Therefore Flash is still technically a desktop application.

        Is there even a website with fancy animation that doesn’t use flash, silverlight or an equivalent? If so, please send the address to me. Cause as far as I’ve seen, all the good games on computers and mobile devices don’t run within a web browser, unless flash, silverlight or equivalent.

        • http://www.marounbaydoun.com/ Maroun Baydoun

          @facebook-557293092:disqus Unfortunately HTML5 doesn’t compare yet with Flash in terms of performance. The browser engine implementations are probably to blame. But as time goes by, these implementations will be refined and consequently the performance will improve and we will begin to see more and more animations made with HTML5