What is HTML5, and Why Should You Care?

September 13, 2010 at 12:48 am Leave a comment

Hey readers!  I’m excited to get the blog rolling this semester on a topic I’m pretty sure we all share a heartfelt passion for:  the internet.  Or rather, what the internet really is once you start to scratch the surface and what is to come in the near future.

You may have heard the term “HTML” before, and if you haven’t, well you’ve probably interacted with it.  HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language forms the backbone of almost every site on the internet.  HTML4 was the last major iteration of the language, which debuted in 1997 and has pretty much been the standard for web coding since, and for good reason too!  With additional plugins such as Flash, Silverlight, and Java, we as users have been able to experience some pretty awesome multimedia features through web browsers that otherwise could not be supported.  For example, without Flash, I wouldn’t be able to waste my hours on Youtube like I normally do.  That’d be terrible.

Now, this sounds all good and great, but for mobile devices like iPads and iPhones, many mobile browsers don’t support these plugins, thus limiting multimedia features.  That’s where the next iteration of HTML, HTML5, comes in to play.  HTML5 adds many new features and incorporates otherwise externally added plugins into the browser from the start.  So instead of having to install a bunch of small files on your machine just to watch a video clip, it will be ready to go immediately when you open the browser.

So that’s convenient and all, but what else can it do?  The first thing you will notice about HTML5 is it’s fantastic ability to have really cool graphics within the browser.  Right now, HTML5 is only supported in Safari, Google Chrome, and FireFox 3.6, with Internet Explorer 8 having very limited support.  If you are using one of the 3 browsers, check out this cool demo with trippy music.  This is a neat demo page that incorporates the enhanced graphics that HTML5 allows for manipulation, while using audio and sensing movements with your mouse.  With new innovations like this, it’s exciting to wonder what new interfaces we can expect to see within the next year or so to major websites.

Thanks for reading everyone!  Here’s the link to the original article. Don’t forget to take the extra credit quiz on Blackboard!



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