5 Interesting Things to Know About HTML5

HTML5 is now a fast growing keyword in job listings. A graph from Indeed.com shows that recruiters asking for knowledge of HTML5 started getting higher meteorically in 2010, and the rise has not yet stopped.

What is it?
HTML5 is an upgrade to the old HTML4 markup language that is used all over the Internet. In fact, HTML4 is the core language with which the Internet displays its pages. The World Wide Web Consortium intends to have HTML5 replace the old HTML4 language by 2020.

What Should You Know About It?

  1. HTML5 doesn’t just include HTML, but includes new JavaScript APIs and CSS features as well. For example, HTML5 can interact with JavaScript through the Document Object Model API to detect support for different video formats, play and pause the video, mute the sound, etc. HTML5 can also use the JavaScript-enabled Geolocation feature to detect where the user is accessing the page from and deliver location specific content.
  2. Although the release of HTML5 is still a few years away, there are websites available to let you understand what the new language is all about. Sites like DiveIntoHTML5.org and HTML5Demos.com both explain and show demos of what the language is capable of.
  3. Upgrading to HTML5 is as simple as changing the doctype, the tag right at the beginning of every page. Also, as opposed to the many different types of doctypes HTML4 had to differentiate whether the page was Strict or Transitional, HTML5 has replaced it all with the very simple  <!DOCTYPE html> tag. Also, obsolete tags like <center>, <dir> and <font> are still supported by HTML5.
  4. Many browsers, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera already support many of the features present in HTML5. The Geolocation feature, Canvas (for pictures), Video are all supported in the modern browsers.
  5. A lot of the functions that are served by Adobe Flash will be supported by HTML5 as well, removing the need to install plug-ins. Flash has long been the most used technology to create rich applications such as browser-based games and video players, but due to the lack of support for Apple’s iOS among other issues such as performance, Flash has seen a lot of criticism, most tellingly by the late Steve Jobs who said that “Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content.”

Flash, it might be remembered, was discontinued after last year in Android phones as well and only those who didn’t update their Adobe Flash app since last year or reformatted their phone have access to flash applications. All others have to rely on HTML5 today.


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