There’s been a lot of HTML5 talk recently, thanks in part to Apple’s well publicized shunning of Adobe Flash. The topic of discussion has been limited to the ability to run video natively in HTML5, thus decreasing reliance on flash for web video. In fact, HTML5 video has been discussed so often, I bet if you asked most people what HTML5 was, they would tell you it is something that will let them watch videos on an iPhone. That’s the equivalent of saying you want to buy a new car so you can listen to music. Yes, that’s one thing it does, but only one small part of many great enhancements.
I’m going to write a series of HTML5 tutorials to help you understand HTML5, but first I want to introduce you to HTML5 and explain the basics for those unfamiliar with the new HTML standard.
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is currently in development as the next HTML standard, which will replace the current standard, HTML 4.01. HTML5 will provide new features necessary to create modern web applications.
How is it different?
HTML5 offers developers many more capabilities than HTML 4.01. Here are a few of the most notable additions to HTML5:
New Canvas Tag – Provides the ability to draw on a web page. However, it can be used for much more than simple drawing. Some anticipated uses of the canvas include building graphs, animations, games, and image composition.
Offline Storage – HTML5 lets developers create web pages that can be cached by the browser for offline access.
Native Audio and Video – Allows a browser to play audio and video without plugins, such as flash.
Geolocation – Makes location available to any HTML5 compatible browser. HTML5 can find a user’s location and use it to tailor things like search results.
New Markup – HTML5 adds new markup tags to provide a meaningful alternative to “div” tags and make your code easier to navigate.
Much more – There are plenty of new and exciting features coming in HTML5 including drag-and-drop, messaging, etc…
When is it coming?
HTML5 has been in development since 2004, with a scheduled completion date of 2014. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to use it–many browsers already support HTML5. In fact, you can start using many of the features right now! HTML5 is designed to be backwards compatible (as much as possible) with older browsers, meaning the use of HTML5 won’t render pages in older browsers unreadable.
Who does HTML5 affect?
HTML5 affects the regular internet user as well. It will provide new features and bring more capabilities to mobile browsers. Most notably, it will allow mobile browsers to view web video without the need for flash.
Which browsers support HTML5?
The latest version of Opera offers the most HTML5 support at this time. The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer all support many HTML5 features, but will support more in the coming versions.
Why should I learn HTML5?
If you work with web development at all, you should learn HTML5. It will be the new standard, and make you a more productive developer. It will allow you to do things not previously possible with the old standards, and speed up your development time by leaps and bounds.
HTML5 is finally gaining support among browsers, and will be the new HTML standard in the very near future. If you’re at all involved with web design, you should understand HTML5 and how to best implement the new features. Thanks to HTML5’s backwards compatibility, you can even start using it in your development right now.