html5 will reach full recommendation status in 2022, so why talk about it now?
Well, thanks to a push by Apple and Google – html5 is already a strong, practical implementation. Some parts of it are more mature than others, and can be used today. With the release of IE 9 (currently in late beta state) it will have the support of all major browsers. It can make flash developers a littlenervous, as it makes advanced presentations possible with just html, easier editable by site owners than flash sites.
What are immediate benefits?
For website owners:
Html5 provides you automatically with great outlines of page content, and packs some suitable parts of it (like full articles), ready for independent distribution across the net.
Its better handling of coding errors ensures your site does not choke on some browsers or platforms.
It lays the foundation for using rich media.
html5 makes it easier for search engines to pick up the essence of your content, although html5 tags are not treated in any different way than previous html versions.
Your website automatically displays gracefully on mobile devices (iPhone, Android) without making separate website versions.
For website developers:
The specification for html5 is 900 pages long, but don’t let this put you off – it’s more of an evolution than all new things to learn. What’s most important, thought, is that it’s backward compatible. Whatever you coded previously will still work. You have an opportunity now to experiment with the new elements and add through progressive enhancement.
New elements, like article, section, aside and nav add meanings to page structure.
You know how complicated doctypes can be and how difficult they are to remember or get right. Now there is one doctype: <!doctype html>. That’s it – so simple!
Html5 is focused on creating consistent user experience, so no more multiple versions of the same site to ensure they work in all browsers. It features detailed algorithms for parsing errors, so your site will display gracefully even with errors.
Html5 reduces the need for 3-rd party tools and plug-ins. Most nice effects are handled in native language.
Once major players decide on which video codec to designate as open standard (legal issues pushed this currently further into future), it will handle videos with one simple tag. The battle is between h.264, ogg theora and VP8 web video standards. You are still able to use simplified video tags right now.
It features integrated APIs: audio, video, offline apps, editable, drag&drop, history, protocols.
And don’t be fooled – these are not html5:
Every new browser trick presented by an individual company, css3 transitions, web sockets, geolocation, svg, css @font-face.
Michael Mahemoff (@mahemoff), famous software architect with 23 years of programming experience said – “html5 is a brand”.
Brad Neuberg, former Google developer, says about html5 usage: “Small pieces, loosely joined,” and shows how technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, canvas and geolocation can be used together to create stunning applications within the browser. Flash is not a must.
Various browser manufacturers seem to be racing each other to incorporate support for html5 as quickly as possible.