HTML 5 and why you should care

Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 9:44 am by Shaun Fillmore

I have had some friends asking me about HTML 5. There has been a bit of buzz about it, so I thought I would address it and how it affects us as designers and others as clients and users.

According to Wikipedia:

HTML5 is currently being developed as the next major revision of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the core markup language of the World Wide Web. HTML5 is the proposed next standard for HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 and DOM Level 2 HTML. It offers capabilities currently provided by plug-in-based rich internet application (RIA) technologies such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. In common usage, HTML5 may also refer to the additional use of CSS3, as both technologies are under development in parallel.”

Does that clarify things? No? How about this handy info graphic:

HTML 5 infographic


So, what does it mean? Fewer plug-ins required for a rich web experience. Lighter weight web applications. A universal platform for developers. I like it.

If you want to see some HTML 5 coolness in action, check this out. Make sure you are using a browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox (Sorry, Internet Explorer users, this one’s not for you). As well, you can check these links (Tom pointed to these in his excellent review of the new version of Safari):

Safari Technology Demos
Chrome Experiments

I think that HTML 5 has definitely raised the standard(s).

{ 2 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. The problem with Flash isn't that it's a bad idea, when Flash started it took a proprietary vector graphic library (because none existed at the time) and ECMAscript (javascript) and made a way to bring rich interactive content to the browser.

    The problem is this: when web standards DID allow vector graphics (SVG) Macromedia/Adobe spent all their time improving their Flash player, and keeping their Flash format proprietary, instead of building support in Flash for standards-based output.

    There's no reason why Flash can't be used today to create SVG and Javascript animations that could run without a plugin in HTML5 browsers, but Adobe dropped the ball on that one and it's too little too late.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a time and a place for proprietary software, but the web isn't one of those places. If you try to close off the web you're only signing your own death certificate in advance – the web is open and will stay open.

    As a web guy I'm excited for HTML5 and what it brings, but mostly I'm excited for how this will improve Typography on the web (the biggest sore spot I see on every website, regardless of how interactive the site is)

  2. Shaun's so savy!!!

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