While browsing the INTERNET each one of us must have stumbled upon an article about the latest web war html5vs flash. Though most of us might not have spared a second on it the fact that the way we develop online applications and websites is going to change if the new HTML5 standard is fully implemented. Lets understand all about HTML5 and examine if its worth the hype or its just a flash in the pan.

The first draft of HTML 5 appeared on January 22, 2008, and it has been under revision ever since.

Technically speaking HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML specification, but it’s commonly used to refer to the combination of three technologies together: HTML5, CSS3 (the latest version of Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript. Together, they are known as the HTML5 stack. HTML – the markup language, CSS determines how it is rendered, and JavaScript is the programming language. All three of them provide a user experience similar to that of flash and silverlight. It allows programmers to build sophisticated web sites that behave more like downloaded applications. So HTML5 stands in direct line of fire from flash and silverlight.

HTML5 supports the following features:

  1. Offline data storage, meaning users can access web sites developed in it without being connected to the internet
  2. Drag and drop functionality
  3. Document editing (i.e. Google Docs)
  4. Built-in video
  5. Geolocation – the ability to identify the real-world location of a computer on the Internet.

The most exciting new induction to html existing standard is encapsulation of Canvas within the language. Canvas provides designers a rich API to render 2D, that goes beyond images and boxes available earlier. Web designers can now use the whole page for to build interactive artistic expressions without the need of flash and silverlight. This would decrease the dependence on various plug-ins- in name atleast.

Offline Storage: Web Apps Take the Next Step:

HTML5 takes offline web applications to a new height. The fact that we cant stay online almost all the time evidently felt like on airplanes etc. The local storage api can now be used to allow a web application to function until connectivity is restored. Indeed, with the spread of web applications, this storage, in its current incarnation referred to as DOM storage, is a requirement now and has been broken out of its HTML5 roots in order to streamline its real world implementation.

Modern browsers are starting to implement this HTML5 feature, and the current model of text based key and value storage is expected to grow into a universal structured data storage as the standard matures. This would greatly expand the usefulness of web applications, and in this author’s opinion it could single handedly make the current model of patching desktop programs obsolete as it would automatically update itself as a connection was restored. Exciting indeed.

With html5 the development process has also been made a bit more neat. With inclusion of tags like <nav>-element represents a section of a page containing primary navigation links to other pages or to parts within the page.

<article>-element represents an independent section of a document, page, or site. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a blog entry, a user-submitted comment, or any other independent item of content.

And also <header> and <footer> tags that meant same as their name. These tags come handy in creating a neat code and help make more accessible api for css and javascript.