Sunday, May 2, 2010

HTML5: Telltale Sign of the Future of the Web

HTML5 sure has a lot going for it, given that Google, Microsoft and Apple agree to the direction it is taking. A short tour of the key features of HTML5 should be enough to convince ourselves that support for greater interactivity is getting entrenched in the browser.

Many features currently provided by large JavaScript libraries such as JQuery will be native to HTML5-enabled browsers, slimming down libraries considerably. Laborious validations will move into the browser. New HTML5 APIs allow drag-and-drop. Video is embedded easily without the need of JavaScript - although codec compatibilities are yet to be straightened out for all browsers.

There is some discussion about how HTML5 impacts the future of Flash. To me, the larger issue is how it impacts the future of the Web. The very prospect of better interactive support in browsers is a positive sign for the future of the Web. Interactive applications will be easier to build and deploy - and users will find the Web content more engaging.

1 comment:

  1. A good place to get more info on the ETA for HTML5 in common browsers is . A quick look at the various features of HTML5 / CSS3 yields the following capabilities - which are indicative of enhanced interactivity.

    Method of making any HTML element editable, Semi-transparent areas in PNG files, Method of keeping an element in a fixed location regardless of scroll position, Method of displaying elements an tables, rows, and cells, Method of displaying text or images before or after elements, Method of specifying whether or not an element's borders, padding and margin should be including in size units, Method of embedding images and other files in webpages as a string of text, Method of sending information from pages on different domains to each other (using postMessage), Method of displaying basic Vector Graphics features using the embed or object elements, Method of accessing DOM elements using CSS selectors, Method of accessing DOM elements by class name, Method of generating dynamic graphics using JavaScript, Method of displaying fonts downloaded from websites, Method of storing data locally like cookies, but for larger amounts of data, Method of providing ways for people with disabilities to use dynamic web content and web applications, Method of playing sound or video on webpages (without requiring a plug-in), Method of transforming an element including rotating, scaling, etc., Method of easily dragging and drop elements on a page, Method of performing XMLHttpRequests across domains, Method of selecting web page files to be cached, thus allowing them to work offline on subsequent visits to the page, Method of storing data locally, expanded form options, including things like date pickers, sliders and validation, Method of running scripts in the background, isolated from the web page, Method of informing a website of the user's geographical location, Complex method of animating certain properties of an element, web sockets - Bidirectional communication technology for web apps, Method of generating dynamic 3D graphics using JavaScript, accelerated through hardware, Method of allowing users to select one or more files from their hard drive for a web page to manipulate, Method of continuously sending data from a server to the browser, rather than repeatedly requesting it, etc.