- 29 October 2014 10:40p.m.
- Web Standards
Today marks an important milestone in the history of the world wide web: the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has finally published HTML5 as a Recommendation. HTML5 is the markup language that drives almost every modern web site you visit, and has sure come a long way since 1997's HTML4 specification.
HTML5 includes many features necessary for today's web, including native support for video, vector graphics, the powerful canvas element for rendering 2D and bitmaps, and many behind-the-scenes API features. It's seen as an open standard for an open web, a web that can be accessed on many different devices from smartphones to tablets to televisions.
Unreal Engine 4 demo "Epic Citadel" running in Firefox via HTML5
Steve Jobs also saw HTML5 as a "Flash killer", and rightly so. Flash is not an open standard, it's a proprietary system, controlled solely by Adobe. It's a technology that stems from the PC era, that is, when the web was only available on desktops. It's a dinosaur, and it needs to go the way of the dinosaur, quite frankly. The full HTML5 recommendation offers all the features that Flash can provide, and it does so in an open format that is ubiquitous and platform agnostic.
By using HTML5, developers can free themselves from the shackles of using proprietary, closed technologies like Adobe Flash, and focus on developing rich web applications with advanced features for audio, video and animation. If you would like to see some of the feats HTML5 is capable of, check out these great sites: