HTML 5 — Future of the Web
What is HTML 5
HTML5 New Elements
The main semantic elements that HTML5 introduces are:
<header>This element is used to define a header for some part of a Web page, be it the entire page, an <article> element, or a <section> element.
<footer>Like the <header> element, this new element defines a footer for some part of a page. A footer does not have to be included at the end of a page, article, or section, but it typically does.
<nav>This is a container for the primary navigation links on a Web page. This element is not intended for use with all groups of links and should be used for major navigation blocks only. If you have a <footer> element that contains navigation links, you do not need to wrap these links in a <nav> element, since the <footer> element will suffice on its own.
<article>The <article> element is used to define an independent item on the page that can be distributed on its own, such as a news item, blog post, or comment. Such items are typically syndicated using RSS feeds.
<section>This element represents a section of a document or application, such as a chapter or a section of an article or tutorial. For example, the section you are reading now could be surrounded by a <section> element in HTML5. <section> elements typically have a header, although it is not strictly required. The header for the section you are reading now would contain the text "Semantic elements," for example.
<aside>This new element can be used to mark up a sidebar or some other content that is considered somewhat separate to the content around it. An example of this might be advertising blocks.
Playing <video> and <audio>
In recent years, the popularity of video sharing sites such as YouTube and content delivery platforms like Hulu has seen a huge explosion in the use of the Web for multimedia streaming. Unfortunately, the Web was not built with such content in mind, and as a result, the provision of video and audio has by and large been facilitated by the Flash Video (.flv) file format and the Adobe Flash platform.
You may not realise it but you are probably already using a browser that is compatible with HTML 5. It is estimated that about half of all Internet users are already using browsers which are ready for HTML 5. Firefox (version 3.6 and higher), Chrome, Safari, Opera and IE 9 are the most popular of these HTML 5-compatible browsers, though the support is partial at this stage.
HTML 5 was developed give developers more flexibility, do more things in-house and enable more exiting and interactive websites and more powerful and efficient applications. It brings HTML up to date in terms of what developers have been struggling to do with HTML4 via plugins etc., including managing data, drawing, video and audio, and to provide websites that deliver what the users want better and faster. It will eventually make it easier for developers to develop cross-browser applications for the Web and portable devices.
Apple contributed significantly to the growth of HTML5—first by refusing to let its iOS devices support Adobe Flash, then by launching its own rich-media mobile ad network, iAd. However, HTML5 is an open standard, and it will do for mobile what Flash did for online.
HTML5 is a critical step for mobile web application development. Some of the key elements that it provides are:
- Offline Support — The AppCache and Database make it possible for mobile developers to store thing locally on the device and now that interruptions in connectivity will not affect the ability for someone to get their work done.
- Canvas and Video — These two features are designed to make it easy to add graphics and video to a page without worrying about plugins. When supported by the phone's hardware, as is the case with the iPhone, they provide a powerful ways to get media into a page.
- GeoLocation API — This is actually not part of HTML5, but is a separate specification. That said, it is often bundled together because the mobile phones that are including HTML5 are generally supporting the GeoLocation API.
Most importantly, nearly all of the hybrid applications frameworks—Phone Gap, QuickConnect, RhoMobile, Titanium Mobile, and others—rely on HTML5 features to provide a rich application experience. For these reasons and many more, We believe the adoption of HTML5 will be driven by the needs of mobile, not the needs of desktop developers.