HTML5 is ready for primetime, says W3C
Steve Jobs famously put his weight behind HTML5 as the successor to Flash, and declared war on the latter saying "we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open" in regards to Adobe's proprietary standard. Although support for HTML5 is available in most web browsers and operating systems, the standard itself had been considered incomplete - until today.
Now the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published a recommendation of HTML5 which means it is stable enough to represent a set of features which people will be able to rely on for years to come...
"Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations."
The standard is platform-agnostic, and therefore promotes the values of an open internet.
As Berners-Lee mentions, a big advantage of HTML5 is the lack of plugin requirement. Web-based audio and video can be interacted with without the install of extra software, and rich applications can be created with access to bitmap canvas and scalable vector graphics for rendering graphs, games, and other visual imagery on-the-fly.
The standard is platform-agnostic, and therefore promotes the values of an open internet. It's unsurprising then that Gartner identified HTML5 as one of their top 10 mobile technologies and capabilities for 2015 and 2016, saying HTML5 "will be an essential technology for organizations delivering applications across multiple platforms."
But the work isn't over, not by a long-shot. In a blog post, W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe states that "now that HTML5 is done, W3C should do more to strengthen the parts of the Open Web Platform that developers most urgently need for success."
Jaffe enumerates that these "Application Foundations" must be strengthened:
- Security and Privacy: identity, crypto, multi-factor authentication, privacy protection
- Core Web Design and Development: HTML next generation, style, layout, graphics, animations, typography
- Device Interaction: access to hardware and sensors such as bluetooth, NFC, vibration, etc.
- Application Lifecycle: background tasks to manage offline, push, geofencing, sync
- Media and Real-Time Communications: WebRTC, streaming media
- Performance and Tuning: profiling, enhancements such hints and pre-loading, responsive design
- Usability and Accessibility: ensuring the Web is accessible to all and supports the world's languages
- Services: social Web, payments, annotations, Web of data
HTML5 has reached a key milestone in its development, and has the recommendation of the W3C for its use. Whilst it still has some work to go, the "write once, deploy everywhere" promise of HTML5 is coming to fruition and that's something for everyone to be excited about.
What are your thoughts about the HTML5 standard? Let us know in the comments.
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