What is HTML5?
From the Wikipedia entry, I gather that HTML5 is two compatible specs, one from the WHATWG group and another from the W3CD. It adds a bunch of new elements and drops old presentational elements like <center>. It also defines the Document Object Model (DOM) and introduces new APIs. Notably:
- Canvas Immediate Mode drawing
- Timed media playback
- Offline storage
- Document Editing
There’s also a few new APIs that are not part of either spec, for example:
- File API
- Directories and Systems
- Web Storage
Looking at the comparison of layout engine compatibility with HTML5, I am getting the picture that this is indeed an application support layer for the web. The support across the major layout engines is still pretty spotty, and I don’t imagine it will be very uniform for the next 3 years. So choosing some working subset of features for now will be important.
Thinking about HTML5 Apps
A few HTML5 links:
- HTML5 Rocks is Google’s HTML5 showcase.
- HTML5 Web Standards is Apple’s HTML5 showcase
- HTML5 Framework by a developer. Good to browse through to see how things are linking together.
I think the biggest win right now with HTML5 might be the use of the new elements which are more broadly supported, such as the VIDEO, CANVAS, and AUDIO tags. Combination with so-called “responsive web design” for all device sizes might be cool too. I picked up ABA’s Responsive Web Design book to get an idea of how this works.