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HTML5

Technology Updates

HTML5 is the latest version of HTML or Hypertext Markup Language. It is currently only fully supported by a handful of browsers. To create something innovative and advanced. Each browser may support different features of HTML5, which makes it important for those interested in coding to figure out which features they need and which will be supported by different browsers.

 

Features

  • Any HTML5 syntax requires a doctype to be specified so that the browser can render the page in standards mode. The good news though is that the doctype declaration has also been simplified from previous HTML. It is now just:
  • The audio and visual support in HTML5 is outstanding. As soon as it’s fully running and all browsers support HTML5, you will find it easy to add audio and video to websites without the need for outside plugins.
  • Editing the content of your website is simplified with HTML5. Using the contenteditable attribute, you can quickly and painlessly change your text by adding contenteditable=“true” to any element.
  • The canvas element makes it possible for you to bypass Photoshop to make your 2D images and directly place them in your code.
  • The application cache enables you to navigate web applications while you are offline.

 

Why Use It

  • HTML5 will load much quicker than its older brother because it implements WebSockets.
  • Mobile phone applications will be much more accessible if written in HTML5 because you will not have to write applications for a specific brand of phone but rather can create universal applications for all phones.
  • You have more flexibility in creating your website.
  • Video, audio and images are all easily written right into the code, eliminating the need for any third party software.
  • This language is growing and will only result in more, new, better and faster features that will leave old websites looking outdated.
  • HTML5 simply builds on HTML4, so the old markup can stay in place as you develop the new features.
  • HTML5 and CSS3 together will give you some serious designer credibility.

 

HTML5 Attractions

Interactivity

The biggest advantage of HTML5 is that the functionality is built into the browser. Web Developers have been increasingly trying to create applications which display fluid animations, stream video, play music and integrate with Social Network sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In most cases they could only provide these things by learning and applying add-on tools included Flex, Flash or Silverlight or building complex JavaScript tools. This increased the complexity and the time it took to develop the Web Applications. HTML5 changes this with DOM and HTML support, (without the plugins and 3rd party programs) for video and audio embedding, high-quality drawings, charts and animation and many other types of rich content demanded by users.

 

Canvas element

It is part of HTML5 and allows for dynamic, scriptable rendering of 2D shapes and bitmap images. It is a low level, procedural model that updates a bit map and does not have an in built scene graph.

In plain English, Canvas is an area in HTML5 that allows users to draw. The canvas can be scaled by width or height and, coupled with Javascript, can be used to accept user input, provide animations, edit images and a host of other features. Again, like the video tag, developers can use the canvas tag to create regions of dynamic content without relying on external plugins. There are a number of simple and more advanced examples of canvas at work on the Internet.

 

Native video

Until recently web-based video relied on Flash, Adobe’s rich media language. But HTML could put an end to that with its own native video tag. In HTML 5 it is not only as easy to embed a video in a website as it has been to embed an image – using just one tag – but it also opens the way for a host of additional features. Using the HTML5 video tag developers can embed videos without third-party codes and manipulate the videos in real-time. A demonstration of HTML5’s video capabilities can be found here.

Cleaner Code

HTML5 will enable developers to use cleaner code; we can remove most div tags and replace them with new structural elements.

Greater Consistency

As websites adopt the new HTML5 elements we will see far greater consistency in terms of the HTML used to code a web page on one site compared to another.  This will make it far easier for web designers and web developers to immediately grasp how a web page is structured even if they are brand new to it.

Improved Semantics

As the elements used to code a web page are standardized, using the new HTML5 elements, the semantic value of every web page will increase.  As it will be easy to see which parts of the page are headers, nav, footers, aside, etc. and most importantly know what their meaning and purpose is in a machine readable format.

 

Improved Accessibility

With HTML5 it should be possible for assistive technologies to expand on the features they can offer their users as they can immediately build up a more detailed understanding of the structure of a page by looking at the HTML5 elements it contains.

 

Geolocation

The new HTML5 geolocation APIs make location, whether generated via GPS or other methods, directly available to any HTML5-compatible browser-based application. A good example is the Google Latitude for the iPhone. This is a pure Web App not a platform-dependent iPhone application.

HTML5’s geo-location capabilities are already being included in many popular browsers. The geo-location features allow users to share their current location with the site they are visiting. The feature uses a combination of GPS, WiFi, IP address and Bluetooth to determine the user’s position. Typically this is more functional on mobile devices with built-in GPS or location-aware hardware. There are many opportunities for geo-location-capable browsers, including customised search results, location-specific maps and listings and a host of others. Users have to actively give permission to a site to obtain their location to prevent against abuse. A geo-location example can be found here.

 

Client-side database

HTML5 provides a new SQL-based database API that can be used for storing data locally, that is client side. You get fully defined and structured database storage. This allows a developer to save structured data client-side using a real SQL database. It is not a permanent database, but enables you to store structured data, temporarily. The data can be accessed to support the web application and it can even be accessed when the client is disconnected for a short period of time. This database can be used to store e-mails or shopping cart items for an online shopping site.

 

Offline Storage

An offline application HTTP cache that can be used to make sure applications are available even when the user is disconnected from their network. All browsers have a cache but they have been very unreliable for delivering whole pages and applications. Mostly the browser would not cache the page properly and so you would be unable to view the page when you disconnected from the Internet. HTML5 provides a smart solution by allowing a developer can specify the files that the browser should cache while online. So, even if you reload the page from the cache when you are offline, the complete page will still load correctly.

 

Smarter forms

HTML5 offers enhanced forms with improvements to text inputs, search boxes and other fields and provides better controls for validating data, focusing, interaction with other page elements on the page and various other improvements.

 

Sharper focus on Web application Requirements

HTML5 is aimed at making it easier to build search front-ends, wikis, real-time chat, drag-and-drop tools, discussion boards and many other modern web elements into any site, and have them work more efficiently

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