When I first started working on web pages back in the mid 1990s, it was very, very basic. There were no WYSIWYG editors, it was all done by hand coding text. The only background was grey and the most sophisticated thing you do with text was make it blink!

Over the years HTML has changed but nothing too dramatically. All that is about to change with the introduction of HTML5. The latest incarnation of the web design code has been put under the spotlight with the very public spat between Steve Jobs and Adobe over Flash. Jobs’ argument was that there was no need for Flash, which he maintains causes Apple kit to crash, because HTML5 will provide everything the web developer needs.

So let’s take a brief, as non-techy look as possible at HTML5 and what it is going to bring to the party. First HTML 5 is a new version of HTML / XHTML which focuses on the wants and needs of web app developers. W3C has implemented many new features to reduce your coding time and to provide enhanced features. These include:

  • Audio and video will no longer require plugins but can be fired up by much reduced coding within the page
  • Canvas is a powerful utility using which you can draw graphics with the help of JavaScript. Canvases are useful when you want to show some reports, animations, charts etc
  • HTML5 gives you the opportunity to drag and drop whatever you like and customise your page as you like. This is going to be a significant feature
  • HTML5 will allow you to edit your page without using a specific editor
  • There will be greater harmony between all browsers whose suppliers have pledged allegiance to stick to HTML5. Just think no more hacking at code to try and make your page look good in Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Underneath it all there is a lot of revolutionary stuff being rolled out including geolocation, being able to store data locally in much the same way as Google did with gears and there will be significant improvements for those of us who use smartphones etc to access the web.