HTML5 is aimed at making web Apps easier to build-search front-ends, discussion boards, wikis, drag-and-drop tools, real-time chat and many other latest web elements into any website, and have them perform more efficiently.
The HTML5 language lets developers deliver in-the-browser experiences that previously required standalone apps or additional software like Java, Adobe's (ADBE) Flash or Microsoft's Silver light. It supports lightning-fast video and geo location services, offline tools and touch, among other bells and whistles.
The new standard for websites isn't due to be complete until 2014, but websites including Google, Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia and Twitter are already using it. If you're not already using HTML5, here are some things you should know about it.
HTML5 is the future of the web and websites that doesn't take advantage of the newest web technologies will be able to create a better user experience, better development tools and allow for rich applications," says Google Developer Advocate Seth Ladd. Indeed, HTML5 is already being used by eight of the top ten websites. A report by Strategy Analytics says sales of HTML5 compatible phones will reach a billion next year.
The goal of HTML5 is to standardize all of the changes in technology and design of the last 15 years. A lot of the content that requires special add-on applications can be delivered with HTML5 alone. "HTML5 technologies ensure that various functionalities, such as video or 3-D graphics," Ladd says, "will just work within any browser, regardless of the device they are being accessed on.
Adding content is a lot easier with HTML5. "The families of HTML5 features simplify web development because in many cases they put common functionality into the browser," Ladd explains. You don't need to use FLASH or other tools to embed video. HTML5 provides built in video support with the video tag. Most modern browsers already support HTML5 video, and sites like Youtube have begun supporting the video tag. Audio content is supported with the audio tag. The canvas element and SVG graphic support make significant improvements to graphical elements. "When you put common behavior into the browser, that means the developer needs to ship and write less code- which is always a good thing."