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Do we need HTML 5?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

As far a traditional web applications go, HTML 4 has served remarkably well. We've been able to create countless database driven applications, and, once we understood how to use Ajax calls, we began to create highly interactive applications. So why is HTML 5 needed?

The claim is that good application will become better. But it all depends on your application. A typical CRUD-style application doesn't really need the cherished CANVAS HTML element. We can do without it, as typical data representation is most useful in tabular form. On the other hand, having the CANVAS element uniformly available in all browsers will make things easier for web developers, since we don't have to create convoluted logic to account for IE's lack of cooperation.

Where is CANVAS needed? Mostly on graphic heavy apps, which require detailed pixel control. Will it replace Flash? Some of it. But I think Flash developers out there are already evolving with the times: pure JavaScript libraries and DHTML can already do most of what flash was used for. So, it's becoming clear that the browser will provide most of what's required off-the-box and won't need heavy plug-ins to do flashy stuff.

By the way, any incremental enhancement to any technology is a welcomed change. As long as all browser providers play by the rules, HTML 5 will be a great upgrade.

8:28 PM | 2 comment(s) |


I'd love it if browsers conformed to the new rules the same way, but based on experience, I don't think they will - IE always tends to do things just a little differently than the standards. It's taken a long time for web developers to understand that just because it works in Internet Exploder doesn't mean that it was done right - and some of them still don't get it.

I'd prepare for another round of "this page must be viewed in IE" websites once HTML 5 is out and lazy web developers start using it.

Of course, nothing would make me happier than being wrong about this...
By Anonymous Joe Enos, at 7:01 PM

Joe, I don't think we'll stop hearing about compatibility issues, unless all browsers use an open sourced HTML rendering engine. At this point, however, there is no need for multiple browser.

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