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The Truth About HTML5

There has been a lot of hype around HTML5 in recent months. I have heard individuals singing the praises of it without really knowing what it is.

  • First HTML5 is not the end all for Flash and Javascript. Both mediums still have their appropriate uses and will continue to live on.
  • Second HTML5 still a little "half-baked". There is not a single browser that supports all of the new features in HTML5. It isn't expected to be completed until 2014.
  • Third HTML5 is not an all new programming language. In fact it just builds on the already widespread HTML4.

So what is so special about HTML5? Does it deserve all the hype it's receiving? It is a significant step in the evolution of HTML, but it is not a game changer. The reality is most of the new features included in HTML5 are pretty mundane. These include minor changes to markup that make a web designer's life a little easier. For example the syntax used for doctype has been simplified, quotes are no longer needed, and the introduction of semantic header and footer tags will allow us to do away with specific div IDs or classes for those elements.

Don't get me wrong there are some nice "whiz bang" features included in HTML5 too. Examples of these include:

  • Audio and video support: Gone are the days of creating simple flash MP3 and video players. Audio and video will now play on the page without any additional plugins.
  • Editable Content: Web designers can give their users the ability to edit website content directly on the page. This is useful when creating an app or widget to allow users to create to-do lists directly on the site.

So what are the next steps? I think we all need to step back and wait. It is a little bit too early to start jumping head first into HTML5. We should also start to explore the new features and limitations of HTML5. Finally keep up to date on the emerging technology of HTML5. As I mentioned earlier this technology is still in development, and is likely to evolve over the next few years.


03/15/2011 10:58am
Can't wait until we can actually use the features of html5 though
03/15/2011 11:04am
I'm excited about it just for the browser compatibility issues. I'm so sick of having to code special for IE platforms. May be a long time though till they figure out it's "ready".
03/15/2011 11:17am
Don't even get me started on CSS3 compatibility...
03/15/2011 11:21am
Lets just say it would make life a lot easier if browsers supported CSS3
04/19/2011 5:55pm
HTML5 Does Build Off HTML4. Hence: Hyper Text Markup Language 5 ;). I think most people know that one. It's def. not a new lang :). Good post though.

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