An Overview of HTML 5

Technology is forever changing; even now there are brilliant minds at work that are trying to make the world of tomorrow more convenient for the minds of today. The Internet is an area of great technological innovation. Connecting to people across the globe is truly one of the biggest improvements we have made in our lives, and yet we can still make what we have better, and this ambition is what keeps our technologies recent and useful.

The growing need for new HTML5 standard

One example of great technological strides involves the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). HTML makes using the Internet way easier, and it helps to decipher a lot of the code that is online that, as humans, we can’t interpret alone. Anytime that people go on the Internet, they use HTML to connect to different pages and link to different applications and programs. However, as time goes on, our current technology becomes increasingly insufficient, and the need to find something better becomes increasingly paramount. HTML 5 is one of the solutions that have been thought up to make browsing the web easier and more user-friendly. This new “Internet language” plans to reduce the need for plug-in-based rich Internet applications (RIA), providing people with a more continuous flow of great performance by their computer, and removing the time needed to load up excess applications. By doing this, people can surf the web and not have to worry about using plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR. However, these other formats do provide sufficient reason to stay competitive with this new format. Programmers from all over are in heated debate on whether or not these other markup languages will be obsolete when HTML 5 is fully operational. Many big- time players on the Internet (such as Google, Mozilla, and even YouTube) are already congratulating this new platform as revolutionizing Internet browsing. Then there are some who argue that HTML 5 will take too long to really get running, and formats like Adobe AIR will have become more mainstream by then. Considering all of this, we must remember that all of these formats can serve a function different from any of the other formats; trying to select one format to be superior over the others might not be the best thing to do. Still, the important aspect to consider is the ease of compatibility that HTML 5 offers, and how these other formats will be able to adapt to it.

More features as standard in HTML 5

HTML 5 has a variety of new elements that not only give it the potential to become a very successful markup language, but also allow users to surf the web without as much interference with other programs that may need to be loaded. For example, many audio/video enhancements are provided with HTML 5 that are now set within a standardized interface, so the language can group and decipher information that is probably going to interact in upcoming online processes. This makes the process of encoding simpler, because embedding video and other “bigger” files can be just as simple as including a picture file on a page. Platforms such as Silverlight and Adobe Air will probably wind up using different plug-ins to accommodate for different actions in the program, which can be tedious if you’re programming with a lot of different applications. This new language also has compatibility features that allow it to use older versions of HTML and other markup language without having to convert and save new data (which can sometimes have an effect on performance). This proves to be more efficient because users can refer back to the same program they are using to access the Internet to find old information. Not having to look all around your computer for data is one of the benefits that come with using HTML 5. New APIs (application programming interfaces) make this new language even more convenient; it provides new elements such as offline storage data space, timed media playback, cross-document messaging, as well as document editing.

HTML 5 pros & cons - C#, Flash, Silverlight and RIA

Competition between the new HTML 5 and other web page formats, such as Silverlight, has been tense, to say the least. Some argue that there is no way to compare the two formats, claiming that different jobs promote the use of different page formats, kind of like apples and oranges. This usually proves to be the case when programming is concerned; no matter which format you may feel is better, different jobs promote different tasks, so sticking to only one platform may not be the best decision. For example, to make full use of HTML 5, programmers still have to use JavaScript, while Silverlight uses C#, a type of static language, which is commonly integrated in programs for its basic syntax. HTML 5’s convenience is still questionable here; some feel that it shouldn’t have to include JavaScript to run certain programs, and that this takes away from some of the flare that this new markup language has built up. Errors can arise in either case; compilation errors can come up in C# programs, but the inconvenience of using JavaScript can hold back later programming ventures. Some people are also concerned about how the new platform acts when using different browsers. HTML tends to have different performances in different browsers, while Silverlight utilizes Internet Explorer settings to act the same in different browsers. Again, some people wonder about some of these inconveniences that may come out of using this new technology, yet this doesn’t put too much of a blemish on the new markup language. It doesn’t come without its holdbacks; people are accustomed to the problems that may come up when using Internet Explorer, and if a format has poor performance in its most basic form, using it in different browsers doesn’t seem to give it much of an advantage. Others like to point out that Adobe Air uses flash quite efficiently currently, whereas HTML 5 is still trying to become supported in all aspects of Internet. Again, HTML 5 is still a work in progress. Presently, it is still a rough draft of what it should be, which makes learning its functions kind of frustrating because they keep changing. Experts project that it may take some years for this platform to get to its full potential, but technology correlates with time, which stops for nothing. Some believe that by the time HTML 5 has become standard, flash application will have become more integrated with the Web.

Advantages for HTML5 over existing RIA standards

These other formats have good reason to compete against HTML 5, and they do have features that seem to deal closely with issues that HTML 5 can’t comply with yet. However, we must remember that HTML 5’s features will close many of the gaps we sometimes come across while browsing. Its features make surfing more convenient, which in reality is what people are looking for. Adobe Air is a very convenient platform, but people are too well aware of its hindrances to overlook some of the simplicity of using HTML 5. What some people don’t consider is the work that is involved in making HTML 5 a milestone in Internet. Companies such as Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft are coming in junction with WHATWG and W3C HTML WG to make HTML 5 revolutionary. Features like HTML 5’s document representation give it the foundation to browse the web more easily and process/display information. With this feature, documents can be represented using the Document Object Model (DOM). DOM trees make processing much simpler; they use two different Syntax languages to represent the information: HTML serialization (HTML 5) and XML serialization (XHTML 5). HTML serialization makes information representation easier because it contains code similar to that of existing browsers. When programming, users find that some tags are optional and implied automatically. This convenient way of programming makes it easier to get through a program if simple mistakes are present, thus letting programs run the way they are designed.

HTML5 already adopted by Google, Youtube, Apple…

HTML 5 does have many people hopeful for the future of the Internet. Optimistic visions of browsing the Internet and using media online without the frustrations of add-ons and other applications are feasible with this new technology, and it is already starting to blossom. As we speak, common applications and preferences we use over the Internet are being integrated with HTML 5, and it is also being used in new places. The new, innovative Ipad doesn’t provide Flash support, but with HTML 5, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem, because all browsing would be under the same umbrella of compatibility with this new platform. This applies to the use of the iPhone as well as the iPod Touch; these all use Wi-Fi Internet, and browsing on them can be quite opportune if you are in a situation where you need to use the Internet and all you have is your phone or iPod. With HTML 5, surfing the Internet will be much easier, since you won’t have to use plug-ins to view certain information not otherwise available through these devices. Google also used this new markup language with a couple of its new apps, such as Google voice, and it was said that HTML 5 could put the OS-specific application out of business. Even YouTube advocated its use over that of Flash, saying that it could revolutionize web video. The ability to embed video into a page as if it were a JPEG image leaves no wonder about the hype that HTML 5 has caused in the world of Internet browsing.

Conclusion, Expand the boundaries of Internet usage with HTML5

There is no such thing as perfect Internet browsing, but HTML 5 promises to meet the standards of all those who use it. Compatibility is one of its greatest assets, as well as the convenience it offers to programmers with its simple syntax. Put that together with the ability to write code in short-hand, and the great recommendations HTML 5 is getting from different sources that use it, and this could really be the next best thing in Internet. The ease this platform promises to apply to Internet browsing is utterly enticing; Internet users all over the world are wondering if this could be the breakthrough in browsing that everybody has been looking for. Our Internet experience has improved dramatically over the years; from having to wait for RealPlayer to buffer site information into streamable video, or waiting for a QuickTime application to initialize. Now, we can depend on RIA to get us what we need more efficiently than we could previously, and for the time being that is getting us from point A to B. However, it is 2010, and people are anxiously awaiting something better. This new platform may not make Silverlight and Adobe Air obsolete, but in any event, the luxury of simplicity it ensures its users is more than enough for it to be tested by Internet users as well as programmers. Time will tell if this platform will truly be what everybody is looking for, and the determination of whether HTML 5 can “walk the walk” will also be addressed in the future. Ultimately, we must not fall victim to relying on one mode of surfing the Internet just because of propaganda and talk. This new technology has the potential to expand the boundaries of Internet usage far beyond what they are now, but we can’t forget about RIA completely (at least not until this new markup language is fully operational).