Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Blog

HTML5 has a new Logo

HTML5 doesn’t just improve the process of creating applications, it improves the fundamental functionality of your web page by making activities smoother and more intuitive. For those of us who live and breath mobile, the new specification certainly portends to be a game changer that can deliver browser based applications that can rival native application performance.

"It stands strong and true, resilient and universal as the markup you write. It shines as bright and as bold as the forward-thinking, dedicated web developers you are. It's the standard's standard, a pennant for progress. And it certainly doesn't use tables for layout." (Source w3.org)

Here's a quick (digestible) summary of the key elements that the new spec. offers (in no particular order):

  • 1. Video and audio elements
    The ability to embed audio and video without the need for third-party plug-ins or codecs (e.g. Flash, Windows Media, etc.)
    2. Canvas
    In technical terms, the canvas element allows for dynamic scriptable rendering of bitmap images. In terms of the end user, it will allow the creation of things like diagrams, animations and 2D/3D charts/graphs. The important mobile angle here, is that this will enable the ability to display embedded images with a consistent look and feel regardless of screen size.

    3. Local storage
    Increased functionality for storing web based information locally on your machine - important for data dependent web applications aimed at the enterprise. This also allows for allow websites to store information across sessions, which improves performance and reduces server-side queries.

    4. Web workers
    Web workers defines an API for running scripts in the background independently of any user interface scripts (without tying up the UI) - essentially allowing for smoother running of code-heavy web pages.

    5. Geolocation
    Enables location (generated via GPS, cell-tower triangulation or wi-fi databases) to be available to any HTML5 compatible browser-based app.

    6. Semantic document structure
    A new semantic structure for pages which was previously handled using DIV, SPAN, and other elements with class and ID attributes - these elements include Header, Nav, Article, Selection, Aside, and Footer.

    7. Client-side database
    The client-side database API interface features enable access to local databases with an SQL server built into the client (sometimes referred to as a local SQL database). Database capabilities will allow for a broad range of consumer and business oriented browser-based mobile applications.

    8. Cross document messaging
    A very useful feature that allows documents on different domains to communicate with each other (e.g., enabling two frames with content from different domains to communicate).

A new "revamped" w3.org website is now up - the shift towards the "non-technical" audience is evident, and smart. The working group continues to add members (+6 since 3/10), and participants (+18 since 3/10). The notable disagreements (as of this writing) are:
  • How often extensions will be needed and whether name collisions would tend to be a problem, and the practicality of providing decentralized mechanisms to avoid name collisions (proposals have been made for adapting namespaces to HTML 5).
  • Whether central coordination through the HTML Working Group & Wikis is sufficient
  • How much to compromise to maintain compatibility with XML
  • Which capabilities should be split out from HTML 5 and which existing recommendations to make usable in HTML 5
Ratification is still at least a year away, and unresolved issues, and new "bugs" persist. However, there is ample evidence of traction and forward progress by the working group, and a lot of activity from developers and ISVs. We're keeping our eye on progress, and will continue to monitor and report any significant development in this space!

By the way, you can even get an official HTML5 t-shirt and a bumper sticker (free) at w3.org! I would also suggest poking around and checking out the new w3.org site design as well.


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