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Aidan Hiljeh

What Is HTML and What You Can Expect from HTML5

Nov 15 2011, 07:47 PM by

There was a time when the web was chock full of nothing but static web pages whose only appeal was delivering something we had never witnessed: the web browsing experience. Thanks to the implementation of robust scripting languages such as PHP, Python and JavaScript, we are able to enjoy rich graphics and real-time functionality that generates up to the minute updates right before our very eyes.

The flip side to all this is that the bells and whistles we are blessed with today have come at the price of sacrificing the standards established to govern how the web is to be created. Unfortunately, the only way for users to enjoy these luxuries is to piece together different programs, plugins and protocols, which as you may already know, does not always result in a seamless experience.

HTML is the building block for every web page behind every internet website. Despite being flexible enough to support a broad range of more powerful languages and technologies, its once sturdy framework has become fragile due to all the tweaks, adjustments and enhancements that have been made to keep the language up to date with the technological changes associated with the internet.

HTML5, the fifth revision of the essential Hypertext Markup Language, aims to bring order back to the design and development standards of the World Wide Web. Many supporters believe it will revolutionize the look and feel of the web, so here is a breakdown of the benefits we can look forward to:

Better Standards for Developers - Adobe’s Flash is a classic example of why something like HTML5 is long overdue. Although Flash has done a fine job incorporating interactive features such as video, animation and games, the fact that it is a plugin prone to performance issues often makes it a headache for users. Many developers are looking forward to HTML5 because it will enable them to incorporate video and other features by simply utilizing code rather than problematic plugins such as Flash.

Mobile-Friendly - HTML5 is also being viewed as a solution that will create a better mobile experience. While Apple fully supports Flash on its Mac OS X operating systems, Steve Jobs himself forbid developers from using it on the iPhone because of how it drains battery life and system resources. Natively equipped with many of Flash’s features, HTML5 will not only ensure a better experience for iPhone users but users of mobile devices running Android, Windows and other operating systems.

Consistent Web Browsing - Some of today’s most popular web browsers are being designed to support HTML5. This is a big deal because the inconsistency in standards is the very reason a given email, web page or document may look great in one browser, and like crap in another. As more browsers are optimized for HTML5 compatibility, the better the overall web experience will be for both developers and users.

At one time, XHTML was believed to be the solution to the growing problem of HTML inconsistencies and broken web standards. It became clear to see that this wasn’t the case when several of the major browsers chose not to adopt it. While we may not officially see HTML5 until 2014, it looks to have more promise for this purpose than any other revision or extension to come before it.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Email Design & Templates, Online Tools and Applications

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Comments

Raoul

Nov 16 2011, 08:26 PM

And what is the benefit for email? Possibly all webbased e-mailclients will support HTML5, but will Outlook and Apple-mail support it?

Pierce

Nov 17 2011, 05:31 PM

(I'd like to thank our Support team for giving me the answer to this one.) Because HTML5 isn't a new language but a collection of new features and standards, the question really is: will desktop email clients support any specific HTML5 specification?

The most commonly asked-about feature is HTML5 video, and Apple mail supports this; Outlook does not.

You should always have fallback content in case the specific HTML5 features isn't supported. We probably won't see across-the-board HTML5 video support in email clients for another 2-3 years.