We usually try not to get too geeky on this blog, but sometimes it seems like we have no choice. The recent stories about the Kindle Cloud Reader indicate that perhaps the time has come to talk about the facts of HTML5. Most people know what HTML is — the venerable HyperText Markup Language that has long been the fundamental building block of web pages — but we generally don’t pay a lot of attention to HTML versions. We should pay attention to the new HTML5, however, since it will make it possible to do some interesting, interactive things with websites. If you’re thinking about creating a smartphone app for your library, for instance, read on.
- Top trends of 2011: HTML5 (ReadWriteWeb/Richard MacManus) “One of the most interesting debates around HTML5 is how it enables companies to create a single, browser-based version of a web service. The ‘write once, run anywhere’ dream of developers. In other words, developers don’t need to create separate apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and all manner of other smartphone (and tablet) platforms. Instead, they simply write one mobile browser site.”
- Amazon sidesteps Apple with HTML5 ‘Kindle Cloud Reader’ (GeekWire/Todd Bishop) “Kindle Cloud Reader takes advantage of the expanding capabilities of web browsers — using HTML5, the latest generation of the underlying language of the web — to make the experience more like an app downloaded and installed from a mobile marketplace.”
- Amazon’s Cloud Reader still doesn’t take the Web seriously (Wired/Tim Carmody) “You can’t read EPUB3, the emerging — but still incomplete — e-book standard that is HTML5 but isn’t used by the Kindle. Or Nook. Or iBooks. Even for the enhanced books that sometimes use HTML5 audio and video. In fact, just about the only people experimenting with EPUB3 are HTML5- and cloud-based e-reading companies like ThreePress, who have an HTML5 webapp with local storage very similar to Amazon’s Cloud Reader called Ibis Reader.”
- Adobe ‘Edge’ tool could replace Flash with HTML5 (PCMag/Michael Muchmore) “The work on Edge, which is available for developers to download from the company’s Adobe Labs site, is something of an acknowledgement by the premier design software house that the Web is moving away from Flash. It is instead focusing on open-standard HTML5 and its many sub-standards, which are capable of creating the same effects in a non-proprietary manner via compliant Web browsers, without a plug-in.”
Even though it is already widely used, HTML5 is technically not “finished” yet and exists as a draft web standard. The target date for official recommendation as a web standard is currently 2014.