Tweet I’ve been in the online industry for over 17 years, during much of that time I’ve been a ‘hack’ developer. I recall my earliest days of HTML, which I chose to learn after refusing to learn HyperCard – something about HTML felt so right. I’ve always felt HTML had more potential than we ever [...]
I’ve been in the online industry for over 17 years, during much of that time I’ve been a ‘hack’ developer. I recall my earliest days of HTML, which I chose to learn after refusing to learn HyperCard – something about HTML felt so right. I’ve always felt HTML had more potential than we ever realised.
So why am I writing this blog post about HTML 5 after a period of time away from blogging?
I have the privilege this week of attending Google Developer Day in Sydney and during this time I sat in on a couple of sessions by Eric Bidelman. I’ve know of Eric for a long time, but had never met him before or really listened to him present. One of the sessions he took was “HTML5 Bleeding Edge”. And this is why I’m blogging today.
HTML5 – the confusion
Lets go back a second. Why are both Adobe and Microsoft moving away from technology they both saw as empowering the ‘interactive’ or ‘engaging’ web? Well Adobe and my old mate Mike Chambers would tell you one of the key reasons they are killing off Mobile Flash is in part due to Apple and it’s lack of adoption for Flash on the iPhone. Sure this might have been the catalyst for this, but it is by far the primary driver. Both Flash and Silverlight existed to fill a void, a void that HTML historically left open. One of engagement.
HTML is a semantic structure language that defines on the page what elements are. That’s it. It simply says “This is a paragraph” or “This word should have emphasis“. HTML was never about “move this from here”, “reveal this”, or even “have I been clicked”.
A reality check here
So wait, HTML5 Rocks, I agree, but it would seem when we talk about HTML5 we are no longer talking about just HTML. What I’m seeing is HTML5 as more of a family, 3 in one if you will. The ‘holy trinity’ of the web.
- HTML – structured understanding and markup of elements on a page
- CSS – structured language for defining how an element sits on and what it looks like on a page
To that point, the folks over at HTML5 Rocks even have a slide that outlines this. They say that HTML5 is this family.
HTMl5 – the future, today
It’s nice to sit here and type out a blog post realising that finally after 17+ years, I’m seeing the true potential of what the web can be. HTML5 is what HTML2 should have been. I wonder if we hadn’t so easily chased after technology like Flash and Silverlight if the web would be in a much stronger place now. If the W3C had fought harder for standards, earlier, would Internet Explorer be a stronger (and by that I mean better) browser than it is today? I don’t lay all the blame for IE’s short comings at Microsoft, I lay part of that blame at Adobe’s feet. Flash made web developers and designers lazy, it made the W3C & web standards fights harder.
Today we no longer need Flash, we have HTML5 – sadly, Microsoft have promised 10+ years of support for Internet Explorer & Flash on the desktop is still around (for now). So yes we might have the future technology, today, but thanks to Adobe and Microsoft, most main stream websites still can’t make use of many of these technologies today, and won’t be able too for many years to come.
Yes I know that apparently Internet Explorer has dipped below 50% market share for the first time, and speculation is Chrome will replace it as the #1 browser within 18 months to 2 years. But for most websites (at least here in NZ) Internet Explorer is still in the 70% range of users – thanks in part to corporations not upgrading from Windows XP.