HTML5 – The Next Big Thing?

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” — The Joker
(but that doesn’t mean you should keep it to yourself!)

The internet is growing at an extremely rapid speed, but the HTML standards have taken their own sweet time in adapting to change. The previous version HTML 4.01, came out in 1999 – really long back, huh?!

So what is HTML5?

HTML5 introduces many cutting-edge features that enable developers to create apps and websites with the functionality, speed, performance, and experience of desktop applications. But unlike desktop applications, apps built on the web platform can reach a much broader audience using a wider array of devices. HTML5 accelerates the pace of your innovation and enables you to seamlessly roll out your latest work to all your users simultaneously.

What’s new in HTML5?

HTML5 (or HTML 5.0) is the ubiquitous platform for the web. Whether you’re a mobile web developer, an enterprise with specific business needs, or a serious game developer looking to explore the web as a new platform, HTML5 has something for you!

1. Storage

When web developers think of storing anything about user behavior or patterns, they immediately think of uploading it onto a server. HTML5 changes that, as there are several technologies that allow you to save data on the client device itself. It might also be synced back to the server, or it might stay only on the client: that’s up to you, the developer.

2. Connectivity

More efficient connectivity means more real-time chats, faster games and better communication. Web Sockets and Server-Sent Events are pushing (pun intended 😛 ) data between client and server more efficiently than ever before through HTML5

3. File Access

HTML5 provides very powerful APIs to interact with binary data and a user’s local file system. The File APIs give web applications the ability to do things like read files [a]synchronously, create arbitrary Blobs, write files to a temporary location, recursively read a file directory, perform file drag and drop from the desktop to the browser, and upload binary data using XMLHttpRequest2.

4. Graphics

The web has always been a visual medium, but a restricted one at best. Until recently, HTML developers were limited to CSS and JavaScript in order to produce animations or visual effects for their websites, or they would have to rely on a plug-in like Flash.

With the addition of technologies like the canvas element, Web Graphics Library and Scalable Vector Graphics, this is no longer the case! Personally, this is probably the most exciting feature addition 🙂

5. Presentation

With the introduction of CSS3 it has never been easier to create rich and beautiful sites and applications in HTML. There are many new technologies and extensions to CSS3 including: 2D Transformations, Transitions, 3D Transforms and WebFonts to name a few.

You can create rich user experiences with limited coding, by simply applying a little CSS to your existing applications.

6. Performance

Web apps are now able to rival performance of native and desktop applications. By using a variety of techniques and technologies, your sites and apps can feel more responsive and your users will get more done. Performance is important, it’s a constant theme across all aspects of your development and product.

You can also check out this amazing Google Video on HTML5 that covers media capture, file I/O, advanced usage of websockets, media streaming, device input, multimedia, and modern CSS design.

The future of the web will be built on HTML5 and most of the technological leaders including Google, Mozilla and Adobe are betting on this. With HTML5, you can deliver new kinds of experiences to your users. HTML5 is here now, so go ahead and use it 🙂 Add your thoughts on the HTML5 transition below!

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