8 Reasons to Gear Up For HTML5 Now

The W3C won't finalize the latest iteration of HTML until 2014, but there are plenty of reasons, from better video to cleaner code to improved user interaction, to incorporate HTML5 into current Web development projects.

By Richard Hein
Wed, June 13, 2012

CIO — As CIOs and IT managers, we are always dealing with evolving technologies. The enterprise world is constantly changing as well, and our workforce is dead set on going mobile. Why fight the tide?

Fortunately, HTML5 is ready to answer the call. While the cross-platform markup language won't be finalized by the W3C until 2014 there are significant reasons to get on the bandwagon now.

The fifth revision of the HTML standard has become bigger than the sum of its most recent enhancements. What most people refer to when they say HTML5 is actually a collection of technologies—HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Making Web Apps Behave Like Client Apps

HTML5

HTML has long been the standard for building and deploying Web content. Now it appears that this technology is on its way to being the standard for building and deploying apps as well. The newest iteration represents a shift towards client-side Web development. Such a shift will benefit you for four reasons:

  • It provides an open architecture to build upon, since HTML, CSS and JavaScript are all free.
  • Since HTML5 runs very well on all manner of devices, it offers cross-platform programming—which is huge for all of us overrun with BYOD requests.
  • In addition, HTML5 was built with battery-powered tablets and smartphones in mind.
  • Finally, HTML5 provides lighter, easier-to-read code than previous iterations.

Your mobile workforce and customers want to do everything they do on their desktop PCs on their smartphones and tablets—and HTML5 is the way to start manifesting that experience. With that in mind, let's take a look at eight HTML5 tips you should keep in mind as you build your websites and Web applications.

1. Video and Audio Integration

Flash is buggy, requires plug-ins, has frequent updates and gobbles up power on mobile devices. Steve Jobs let us know it, and Adobe rang the bell. Flash is going away on mobile devices—no more Embed or Object tags.

Let's roll in the new era of Video and Audio tags, which were designed to have the ease of use of the familiar Image tag. If you know how to create HTML code and are familiar with JavaScript, then you should be all set to use these HTML5 media elements:

  • Video: Used to render video content.
  • Audio: Used to define sound content.
  • Embed: Used to insert, or embed, some type of multimedia content.
  • Track: Defines text tracks for video and audio tags.
  • Canvas: Allows for rendering of games, graphs and other visual images on the fly.

This technology allows developers to flex their HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills instead of using Flash or Silverlight. The Video and Audio tags perform better, too, which results in smoother playbacks and better power consumption, not to mention playback across all platforms. Finally, built-in support for captions and subtitles makes adding video and audio elements to a website easier than ever before.

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