Is HTML5 a game changer

To answer this question we first need to look at what way it is different from HTML4. Here are the salient features of HTML5 arranged in the order of importance (my opinion).

  • Offline working: Like Google Gears it allows mechanism for ensuring Web applications are available even when the user is not connected to their network.
  • Local storage: It provides for client-side SQL database to store structured data.
  • 2 way communication with server: For implementing games, chatting and remote control, web sockets API are available.
  • Rich Text Editor: It is like supporting a mini word processor with spell check and grammar check extension.
  • Drag and Drop: Has full support for drag and drop with access to computer’s native drag system and clipboard.
  • Cross-document messaging: It attempts to provide a secure method of exchanging messages pages of different domains.
  • Support for 2D drawing: There will be tags available for 2D vector graphics.
  • No media plug-in required: New audio and video elements will enable developers to embed and control multimedia content and Flash, Silverlight or JavaFX will not needed.

Here is a link to the draft standard.

What HTML5 proposes to do is to remove most of the programming limitations from the browser and allow any browser based application to be almost as powerful as any native client application. It would also allow us to take advantage on increasing processing power of the client machine and build richer applications – Moore’s Law, Performance and RIA.

One of the important facts we have to keep in mind is that though it will remain “work in progress” probably till 2022, all the major browsers have already started implementing specific features. Therefore, the impact will be felt over a period of time but we can say with reasonable confidence that …

  • …the importance of O/S on the client machine will go down
  • …it will be technically feasible to create an office suite of application which runs in a browser and is as powerful as a native office suite
  • …there will be less incentive to build native mobile applications (Mobile App or Mobile Web)
  • …it will be a fillip for the cloud provider (Cloud Strategy)
  • …most of the RIA plug-ins will become redundant

And the gainers and the losers are:

  • Adobe —-
  • Microsoft —
  • Apple +-
  • IBM +
  • Oracle +
  • Amazon ++
  • Google ++++

Here are some more useful links to HTML5 related sites:

5 Responses to “Is HTML5 a game changer”
  1. Vikram says:

    Google is ditching Gears in favour of HTML 5 development which promises to offer many of same online-to-offline functions for web apps currently available in Gears.

  2. Deepesh says:

    One of the major advantages that experts are quoting for HTML 5 are the 2d drawing and the inbuild Video support. Rest of the features like offline support, Rich Text editor and Drag and drop are already achieved and getting used without much hassle (There are a lot of frameworks where these are built in functionalities).

    Now with Video and 2D graphics, there is already a fight between Apple, Google and Mozilla on what codec to be used. All are looking at their own options and there by fragmenting the implementation. Wouldn’t developers be in the dark back again? Will Flash really be overlooked in that scenario (considering their penetration) ?

    • Deepesh says:

      Also didn’t u/s the reason for Apple getting a +-. It would have been helpful if a small note was provided on how each Biggies benefit in turns of business with HTML

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