HTML5: What is it good for?

Sep 12, 2011

HTML5 is on its way and is already creating a lot of buzz in the developers’ world. While some believe HTML5 will be a messiah of source-code, many are still not sure of it. I don’t know which side you are, neither I’m saying I’m an expert. But one thing that I believe-in is that HTML5 will revolutionize our perspective of how we develop applications.

What you can do with HTML5

The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) has introduced a number of new tags in HTML5. These tags mostly focus on drawing, animation/multimedia, which makes HTML5 coding more like Flash, and everybody knows how good Flash is. Though HTML5 has no “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) tools, it does lets you script your way to a drawing and moving all sorts of colorful pixels on the screen. Here are a few major features of HTML5.

The Canvas Element

HTML5 introduces an element called a "canvas" on which we can use JavaScript to draw. It provides you a new set of commands to draw and fill shapes on the screen, offering a quick and easy approach to drawing dynamic content. You can illustrate complex shapes and apply amazing effects to it. You can also adjust or morph the properties of your photos and images.



CSS animation

With the new properties of CSS animation, you can gradually change an element from one style to another. It allows you to transform styles on the screen with animation between the two styles. You can also add images to the styles creating interesting animations.



With the WebGL, you can create 3D graphics and environments in your application. It’s a handy tool if you’re much into developing complex games and graphic animations in 3D. WebGL is based on OpenGL ES, a graphic software API for creating games for mobile devices.


Video Element

With HTML5, it’s more than just graphics in your applications. You can now embed video into your app without the need of Flash embedded player. Users can directly play video or audio file in your app without the need to install Flash player. This should definitely make a big difference as almost all of the videos on the web require a Flash plug-in.

Offline Storage

HTML5 also allows offline storage of data in your local files. This is also a well planned move, given that more sites move to apps, which generally run locally on the device. Now with HTML5, you can access your local stuff directly from your app. To make this happen, we provide you with a packaging tool called Encapsulator. With this tool, you can do local storage and leverage the AppUp digital rights management service for your HTML5 app. You can make this all possible with just one set of code.  You can also run this code on a variety of other devices and other platforms.

Given all these goodness, HTML5 is definitely the way forward and a great step forward for developers. And trust me, it is not very difficult to learn. Even Adobe is now seeing HTML5 as a part of their road-map. They recently released Adobe Edge, a new tool to help developers build HTML5 based animations.

Now that you’ve seen what HTML5 is capable of, I hope I’ve justified why I think it’ll revolutionize our app developing perception. However, HTML5 still lacks a few important tools, specifically, WYSIWYG tool that is present in Flash. So it’s up to you to decide which side you want to be.

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