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Kiss Those Obnoxious Java Updates Goodbye: HTML5 is Here

by: Robert Wang |

HTML5 is a huge overarching reworking of the HTML language. As a whole, the project is very much a matter of style. HTML5 is about removing the old, clunky bits of code (i.e. frames and plug-ins) and replacing them with smooth, browser-based alternatives.However, it should be thought of more as a series of suggestions on how people should code their websites rather than programming language upgrade. Only those who opt in and insert the requisite code will need to worry about the technical aspects.

Nevertheless the issue is already a raging battleground with Apple and Google on one end and Adobe Systems and Microsoft on the other. The lines have been drawn and the swords are out. Google recently dropped development on its Google Gears project to help push HTML5 along, while Adobe and Microsoft continue to fight to keep Flash and Silverlight from the cold, shameful shadow of obsolescence.So what exactly does HTML5 do? Below, we’ve listed the features that are making the biggest splash.

1) Independence from media plug-ins:

This is the unmistakably the headlining issue. As browsers grow increasingly complex, sites running HTML5 will have the freedom to provide immersive multimedia experiences to users without the need for plug-ins or add-ons.

Why you should care: You’ll never need to install another plug-in for a HTML5 site to function optimally. Audio and video tags will access multimedia content directly through a site instead of through an intermediary program like Flash. This’ll mean a cleaner, faster browsing experience and a lot less coding for you web designers out there.Does this mean we’ll see a flash-free version of YouTube in the future? From the look of it, the plan is already in the works.

2) Offline Storage:

Once HTML5 becomes more widely employed, websites be able to store bigger chunks of data locally (on your hard drive). This will allow for offline access to various websites and databases.

Why you should care: Offline access has always been the stumbling block for email services and web applications. If implemented correctly, HTML5 will allow these services to run in even the most inhospitable 3G-free environments.You won’t be able to send any emails, but at least you’ll be able to see that top secret message your hacker friend sent you right before SkyNet took over. Now you can finally remove Microsoft Outlook from your computer. Huzzah!

3) Geolocation:

This is rapidly becoming the buzzy must-have function of hour. Strictly speaking, geolocation just feeds your current coordinates to a page or service. That’s it.

Why you should care: It’s up to each website to get creative: whether it’s finally updating that clunky store locator so it will do its job in a single click or creating a fully functional web based GPS, the possibilities here are truly exciting.That said, there are really only two stances you can take on the issue and they are:


Implementing a new standard has been tried time and time again and all it causes is increasingly more complex systems to deal with outmoded websites. Even if HTML5 has a positive effect on the internet, it’s just ONE MORE format that browsers will need to deal with.


The project isn’t about converting everyone at once. Once everyone sees the potential of the new web standards, everyone will want a hip shiny new site in the same vein and web fragmentation will cease to be an issue for the most relevant sites. No one visits older, poorly maintained pages anyway.

Like it or not, the momentum  seems to be with HTML5, as sites like worldwide have already begun adoption. Here are a few more HTML5 sites to tide you over till next time.

Which side are you on?
Leave your comments below! Barefoot. Out.

Peter Holmes

As Creative Director of Barefoot Solutions, Peter is an interaction design specialist focusing heavily on UI and UX design. Although his background is in psychology and neuroscience, he also manages the day-to-day operations of the development team to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.

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