Is HTML5 the future?

By Bryan Parsons

13 June 2010

Over the last few weeks Adobe and Apple have been having a very public disagreement over the future of Adobe’s Flash standard. Apple haven’t included Flash support on the iPhone or the new iPad; instead they are pushing HTML5.

So what is HTML5 and is it the future?

HTML5 has been included in all Apple’s latest devices, Safari on Mac and PC support it as well as on the iPhone and iPad. Apple has launched a website to showcase some of HTML5’s features; you’ll need Safari to take a look.

If you like what you see and you’re a developer you can get some help using the effects for your own HTML5 pages. Apple have include code samples and guides on each of the showcased features.

HTML5 is an open standard which anyone can use, view and manipulate. It’s a progression in the language used to create today’s websites, it will enable website developers to create nicer looking websites with features like those demonstrated on Apple’s website. This will eliminate the need to use flash and this is good for a couple of reasons:

  1. Adobe flash is a ‘closed’ language, Adobe own it and developers can’t manipulate it.
  2. Adobe flash is a separate plug-in for browsers, where as HTML5 support will be built in. The flash plug-in has sometimes been known to be unreliable and cause browsers to crash.
  3. Adobe flash can cause security flaws in your computer; a new one was discovered only last week!

HTML5 aims to replace HTML4.01 and XHTML 1.0; it introduces new elements and amends some others. It will provide the functionality developers need to create websites with rich multimedia content.

HTML5 is still in the development phase but is expected to see increasing use towards the end of 2010 and into 2011. It’s not clear if it will end up replacing Flash or end with the two still working side by side. Apple though is convinced that Adobe Flash’s days are numbered!

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