Friday, May 29, 2009

Pay Attention To: HTML 5

About a decade ago, what most people think of as "Web 2.0" was jump started by several factors, including on the technical side a stable and ubiquitous free server stack and improved browser standards conformance. There was also a push around the turn of the century to quickly roll over into a next generation of standards (e.g., RDF, SVG, XSLT) and push much more pervasive implementation of XML (e.g., your Netflix queue is marked up as its own XML dialect instead of HTML and styled by CSS) but these technologies and approaches, while they've survived, haven't thrived or driven recent innovation. Instead, the past decade has been about wringing more functionality out of the existing web standards, and cramming the problematic parts (e.g., video) into Flash.

The next generation of HTML, HTML 5, is now ripening, and opening up opportunities for big leaps forward in functionality. Importantly, IE's market share is down around 66%. This is hopefully in the range where if they'll pay a price if they lag significantly in adoption of HTML 5 features. Even if people are still using IE, a lot more are at least aware that there are high quality, free browsers for every platform, so switching browsers is a growing threat.

Anyhow, the point is, if you're getting bored with the web as we know it today, it is about to take a healthy leap forward, so pay attention to HTML 5.

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