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May 20, 2010

HTML5 – The Future of the Web

Steve Jobs was recently quoted as saying “No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5” igniting interest in HTML5 and sparking numerous debates online in blogs and forums.

Jobs’ prediction that flash is dead invokes memories of the famous Mark Twain quote “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. While the debate rages on over the future of Flash, HTML5’s destiny is assured.

It’s not just Apple pointing to HTML5 as an internet revolution, Microsoft, Google, Opera, Mozilla, W3C and even Adobe themselves agree. In fact HTML5 may become historic for that very reason. It is arguably the only time Google, Microsoft and Apple have ever agreed on anything.

How HTML5 evolved was largely due to a disagreement with the W3C over Error Handling and the failure to embrace modern Internet applications. In 1997, W3C announced it would no longer extend HTML4 and saw XML and XHTML as the future. Draconian Error Handling, (Draco was the Greek leader that issued death penalties for minor offences), instructed that browsers were to treat all errors in XML as fatal. With 99% of web pages showing minor errors, and the lack of new features in XML, many webmasters ignored the new standard or continued to serve their websites as HTML, even when adopting XHTML.

In 2004, a group of developers and browser vendors including Apple, Opera and Mozilla gave a presentation to the W3C on evolving HTML4 to include new features for modern web applications. The W3C rejected their proposal of extending HTML and CSS. Those interested in evolving HTML4 rebelled and broke away from the W3C, forming their own working group called WHATWG (Web Hypertext Applications Technology Working Group). At the core of the WHATWG beliefs was backwards compatibility and forgiving error handling. WHATWG’s vision was to extend HTML features including form handling while ensuring that it would degrade gracefully in older browsers. While the W3C wanted the world to move to a new standard XML, WHATWG planned to evolve existing HTML to support a modern Internet.

In 2006, Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the W3C, recognized that the rebels at WHATWG had gained momentum and announced that the W3C would work together with WHATWG to evolve HTML. The W3C HTML Working Group was formed, working with HTML in conjunction with XHTML. HTML5 was officially born. In October 2009, W3C shut down XHTML2 making HTML5 the future of the Internet. The pirates had taken over the ship.

HTML5 marks a change in attitude from the W3C and seeks to support the diversity of HTML rather than just enforcement of web standards. It is an incredible achievement that HTML5 is backward compatible, meaning most of HTML5 can be used straight away albeit with some JavaScript hacks on semantics for IE. Ideas from W3C, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Opera and many other experts combine to pull the best bits out of HTML and
browsers past into an exciting upgrade of the HTML language that promotes inclusion not exclusion.

In many ways HTML5 simplifies web pages, taking laborious tasks such as form validation away from web authoring and into the browser. The idea of making the browser do the work probably stems back to IE3, where Microsoft provided the first browser to build in CSS support. HTML5 introduces new tags for page structure and semantics of documents.

New markets in Typography are opening up with the implementation of “@font-face”, meaning designers at last can transfer the visual appeal of print to the web thanks to advances in CSS and HTML5. Large JavaScript libraries such as MooTools and JQuery can be slimmed down as HTML5 transfers many common tasks directly into the browser. Client side storage, session storage and client side posting are set to change how we communicate on the web. Web applications such as video are embedded by HTML without the need of JavaScript. Sites will begin to move away from Flash to deliver their video and onto HTML5, especially when current
codec concerns with Mozilla Firefox are resolved.

New HTML5 API’s, such as drag and drop, are reverse engineered from Microsoft, ensuring that they are supported from the start by IE. What developers of HTML5 such as Ian Hickson (Opera) have done is to view the modern web and say, “OK that’s what people are trying to do, how can HTML5 support that”.

Unlike previous web standards based releases such as XHTML 1.1 and the never finished XHTML 2.0, HTML5 is backward compatible and is here to stay. With the involvement of people that have been critical of the W3C, HTML5 brings a standard based upgrade of HTML that is fully supported throughout the industry. HTML5 will genuinely future proof your site without the danger of your markup depreciating in a couple of years.

HTML5 timetable for completion is in 2022, which has left many webmasters confused as to its relevance now. However, any website can begin using the new specification immediately by simply changing the doc type to “<!DOCTYPE html>”, the lowest number of characters required to trigger standards mode in IE. Currently, only beta versions of browsers IE9, Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera support advanced HTML5 elements. However, typography “@font-face” is fully supported in current browsers. For more information have a look at Ethan Dunham’s “” and Jeffrey Veen’s “”. Other HTML5 features such as “Drag and Drop” and “ContentEditable” are also currently supported. You can follow the implementation of HTML5 in modern browsers at “” and “”.

Further information:

Jennifer Robinson currently works as an underpaid freelance writer for Online Connect, a supplier of photocopiers and Document Management. Visit their website at

14 Responses to “HTML5 – The Future of the Web

    avatar SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » HTML5 … | Flash Designers says:

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    avatar John Sammers says:

    Great post Jennifer. It’s a benefit to all internet marketers being able to streamline their online marketing services timescales.


    avatar Cesar says:

    HTML 5 it is hardly a replacement for Flash. Steve Jobs is out of touch with reality, rich people get like that, thinking that everybody likes them or cares about what they have to say.

    How can a STANDARD, like HTML5, make the transitions, easings, display list management, and other capabilities if an APPLICATION like Flash?

    It is like saying batteries will replace cars in the future – how does one ride a battery?

    I don’t like Adobe, I think PDFs are useless and Adobe products are overpriced and difficult to use.

    Yet to say that HTML5 is going to take them down is just ignorance of what the technologies are, and childish, stupid, behavior from Steve Jobs.

    avatar Matt says:

    An excellent article, however, I did almost spit my coffee out when I read it won’t be recommended by the W3C until 2022, possibly later!!!

    I’d hope it’d be FULLY supported by all major browsers by 2012 at the latest, which if the estimate of 2022 is correct, would mean it won’t be recommended by W3C for a further 10 years?? Won’t HTML6 or 7 be out around then? Very lame!

    I’ve had a lot of repect for W3C over the last 12 years I’ve been designing websites, though I’m starting to lose respect for them bit by bit.

    I wonder if this is the beginning of the demise of W3C, making way for something much better? Will be interesting to see how things pan out!

    Jennifer Robinson It was really a great and good post. I have shared this information with my in house Web Designers and Web Developer team today. They appreciated this news about HTML5 and they are searching the information on HTML5.

    Jennifer can you help me training videos about HTML5 to improve & develop more quality websites…

    If you have any reference tutorials, video tutorials please give a reply soon…

    Raghu Manda
    SEO Team Lead
    Unified Technology Solutions
    Hyderabad India.

    Very informative article. I found your links to further information to be quite helpful as well, especially Thanks.

    avatar Don Whateley says:

    Very nice article about the future of “on the web” tech and where it is going.
    I was a bit put off at first as I use Go Daddy as my web host and Wesite Tonight as my editor. Over a couple of years I had voiced my unhappiness of not be able to add DOCTYPE to pages above the “” tag.
    At some point this was done for us, finally, by Go Daddy, which was a great relief to me.
    After reading this article I went to my website, and, “Low and Behold”, Go Daddy has already ” “” ” my pages for me.
    Way to go “Go Daddy” cudos to you and your tech teams.

    avatar Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    @Raghu There are some demo videos online but I haven’t seen any teaching videos, however “” has some excellent tutorials.

    @Matt I think it will be supported by browsers certainly by 2012. I think that date of 2022 has just thrown people. Remy Sharp (JQuery) said “2022 was misinterpreted as the year HTML 5 would be ready. That’s wrong. HTML 5 is ready today.”

    avatar Video Character says:

    This is a Daring dream. Hope it goes well for all of them developing this. We’ll see until 2022, I wish a lot of developers will be ready for changes coming.

    avatar wind says:

    I read one news this morning that Adobe releases HTML 5 update for Dreamweaver,the update itself will let web developers see and manage HTML 5 coding without the software being baffled by the new syntax and options, In addition, the update includes a new version of the WebKit browser for live previewing of web projects under development. I think that’s really great and I was Looking forward to that.

    @Jennifer Thanks for providing the “” which is having very good information. Our Unified Web Designers and Developers satisfied with your reply.
    @ Jennifer we are going to further extend our company with freshers… so that i am looking for some training video sessions about html5. If you found any good tutorials try to update me.

    Thanks n regards
    Raghu Manda
    SEO Team Lead
    Unified Technology Solutions
    Hyderabad India.

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