And The Baby Is Born: Welcome HTML5

“No question, the world is going HTML5,” said Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer at Gartner Symposium. Google’s Eric Schmidt called it “the next step in browsers” while Apple’s Steve Jobs bluntly claimed that it “will win.” But what is this all about?

HTML4 is the most successful and widely used markup format but most web developers find problems creating interactive content due to the HTML4 limitation. So in order to provide more flexibility an interoperability in more interactive and exciting websites and applications, HTML5 was born. It addresses areas that have not been adequately addressed by its predecessors. For example, you can use an API to detect support for different video formats, play a video, pause, mute audio, track how much of the video has been downloaded, and everything else you need to enrich user experience. It is steadily getting better, and more and more HTML5 contents are coming out of shell.

W3C has opened its doors to HTML5 and it seems that there’s no escape from the fact that HTML5 will rock our world. All the major browsers have recently started to support these new features. HTML5 is not one single big entity and it is rather a set of individual features that can or cannot be supported in your browser of choice. Right now there is no global support of HTML5 but you can detect individual features such as video, or geo-location in Major browsers. The HTML5 specification is getting close to stable, so it’s now possible to use bits of this new standard in code. How much you use it depends on your policies and interests, or maybe it is simply too impractical for many companies. I have already started my shift towards the new technology just because I believe HTML5 is only here to stay.

Web Wars

HTML5 technology can eventually make a big impact on the world of computing and the new browser technologies may reduce the need for Adobe’s plug-ins. Flash has proved itself useful when it comes to delivering video and interactive content over the internet, and despite its performance issues, people continue to use it. It has long dominated the market and is the most popular way for developers to create animations, video and complex interactive features directed for more traditional platforms such as Desktops and Laptops. According to Adobe, 98 percent or more of Internet-connected desktop computers have Flash installed. However, the very core of the Flash technology which is its dominance in rendering web-based graphics and animation is under a serious threat. Right now, in terms of powerful tool sets, flash is still running strong. But it has a powerful suitor!

HTML5 based content is popping out from everywhere. Ben Galbraith, who works on Palm’s WebOS, used HTML5′s Canvas to create a rich Web-based code-editing application. Google has also showed us the power of HTML5 and If you visit BodyBrowser at Google Labs using a supported web browser, you’ll get a three-dimensional layered model of the human body where you can zoom in on, rotate and search. It isn’t currently supported by mainstream browsers but FireFox 4 beta can supports it. Another area where Flash’s dominance seemed unreachable was browser-based games. As a showcase of HTML5′s power, a new game called “Pirates Love Daisies” was released. Zynga’s release of Atlantic City is also available on almost every Smartphones on the market having chosen a browser-based HTML5 platform.âÂ�¨With a massive rise in the number of smartphone and tablet users and steady changes in the computing trends, the landscape is shifting and Flash is suffering a serious blow. Steve Jobs kept his promise and kept the iOS doors shut to Flash, and it might take a very long time for even Flash-friendly devices such as Android phones to reach the market with full support for Flash. Even when they do, the experience is so unpleasant that you can make sure the only problem with Flash is not Steve Jobs’ cockiness! with devices such as Samsung Galaxy Tab, the whole experience is simply a train wreck and the user will find herself disabling the Flash all together. On Google Cr-48 Netbooks which showcases the new Chrome OS also suffered from sluggish Flash performance and choppy playback of YouTube and Hulu video. Adobe promised the hope is on the way! Like the time before, and the time before that!

Flash’s days of dominance may be numbered considering Apple’s hostility and the rise of a new open Web standard which seeks to make interactivity an integral part of all Web browsers. While Flash introduces extra capabilities to browsers after it is downloaded and installed, HTML5 would ensure that similar functionality is included in browsers that adopted it as a standard by default, and it would not be controlled by a single company. The specification is still under progress and HTML5 sounds and looks great but there is still a long way to go! it’s just going to be a while before it is completely integrated into ever day life. As mobile internet browsing continues to grow, HTML5 is taking the first steps very strong…

Esfandiar Amirrahimi is a software Developer. He completed his undergraduate program in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence at Glasgow Caledonian University with First Class Honors. He then moved to Montreal and finished his Master’s degree at Concordia University and he is currently working as a Java Developer.

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